Ingress Protection or IP rating for short, is a classification scale commonly used in robotics to determine the degree of protection an industrial robot will have against the intrusion of objects, dust, or water. Since robots are being installed in a variety of work environments it is important to have a rating system in order to understand a robot’s durability to maintain proper functionality.
Robot IP ratings are composed of two numbers. The first number indicates a robot’s protection against solid particles, while the second number signifies a robot’s level of protection from water. For example, the rating IP67 is quite common amongst foundry robots like the ABB IRB 6640 and cleanroom robots such as the FANUC LR Mate 200ic. This means a robot is dust resistant and can withstand temporary immersion in water. These protection levels are important for both types of robots since foundries often involve operation in dirty, grimy, dusty environments. While cleanroom robots need to be dust tight and somewhat water proof to prevent any contamination spreading from the robot to the production line and to meet the stringent standards of clean room facilities. Robotic applications such as arc welding and material handling can be done using robots with a standard IP rating whereas more intense operations like die casting and waterjet cutting should be done using robots with a higher protection rating.
If there is no data available to determine a protection rating for one of the elements, then that digit is replaced with an x. If the robot has no protection, then a 0 is used. Below is a breakdown of solid rating levels followed by a breakdown of water level ratings.
Solid Protection Level:
- 0- No protection from solids.
- 1- Protection from large solid objects up to 50 mm in diameter.
- 2- Protection from medium objects up to 12.5 mm in diameter.
- 3- Protection from small objects up to 2.5 mm in diameter.
- 4- Protection from small objects up to 1 mm in diameter.
- 5- Dust Protected- The intrusion of dust is not entirely prevented, but it will not enter in sufficient enough quantities as to interfere with the robot operation. Dust is protected against upon contact with the robot.
- 6- Dust Tight- The contact and intrusion of dust is completely protected against.
Water Protection Level:
- 0- No protection from any amount of water.
- 1- Protection from vertically dripping water.
- 2- Protection from inclined water drops from up to 15 degrees from vertical.
- 3- Protection from spraying water at any angle up to 60 degrees from vertical.
- 4- Protection from splashing water against the robot enclosure from all directions or angles.
- 5- Protection from water jets at any angle.
- 6- Protection from heavy jet spray from any angle.
- 7- Protection from temporary water immersion of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.
- 8- Complete protection of water submersion for an indefinite amount of time.