The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market shows no signs of slowing down. A report from Meticulous Research estimated that the IIoT market will reach USD263.4 billion by 2027.
The rapid growth in this sector has yielded innovation across industries, such as ecosystems of sensors and network-connected devices and equipment.
These advancements pay off by optimizing assets, enhancing processes, and improving productivity. According to Allied Market Research, the integration of smart sensors into industrial machines has lowered operational costs by 50% amongst manufacturers.
However, there’s one major challenge standing in the way of the IIoT market taking full advantage of new technologies: finding innovative radiofrequency (RF) devices that can adequately handle harsh environments.
If smart sensors are damaged by extreme heat, dust, or water ingress, it can mean data loss, interrupted processes, and maintenance costs, just for a start.
IP69K Vs. IP67
Typically, IIoT RF devices are required to have an ingress rating of IP67. IP67 entails high vibration resistance and shock absorption, sometimes requiring waterproof design as well.
IP69K, on the other hand, is the highest protection rating possible and ensures protection against ingress of dust and water, including high-temperature and high-pressure at close range.
While an IP67 rating requires rigorous shock and vibration testing, long-term exposure to vibration can end up causing unpredicted stress fatigue on solder joints, resulting in data loss and malfunction.
Additionally, for applications exposed to extreme weather and rough terrain, the high-pressure washdown requirements of IP67 may not cut it.
IP69K-rated devices are built specifically for the most extreme environmental conditions, so there is no risk to process and operations even in the roughest terrains.
Finding the Right IP69K Solutions
While all IP69K-rated devices provide a significant level of protection, not all solutions are created equal.
Conventional IP69K RF devices use plastic or metal housing with conformally coated PCB assembly or vapor-deposited parylene nano coating – often, these materials are high in production costs.
PCI designs and manufactures IP69K devices using polyamide and polyolefin thermoplastic instead, which eliminates the housing and keeps components firmly in place.
It’s much lower in production costs, and has been proven to reduce up to 30% in printed circuit board (PCB) protection and waste costs compared to conventional potting, conformal coating and other sealing methods.
Our solution uses complete encapsulation including internal antenna(s) to ensure IP69K devices are impervious to dust, liquid ingress and vibration and shock.
As a result, our IP69K devices provide numerous benefits:
- Watertight encapsulation
- Industrial or automotive operating temperatures
- Impervious to dust, vibration and shock
- Lower manufacturing and assembly costs versus traditional methods
- Lower service, maintenance and warranty costs
- Encapsulation serves as a housing—no need for external plastic or metal housing
- All encapsulation material is natural ingredients and is recyclable; zero material waste.
Our IP69K solutions also feature Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) and Bluetooth 5.0. They are compatible with level, proximity, temperature and vibration sensors.
Future-Proofing with PCI IP69K-Rated RF Solutions
Keeping your business “future-ready” isn’t just about the latest technologies. It also means prioritizing sustainability.
Our encapsulation of IP69K-rated RF devices use recyclable natural ingredients that produce zero material waste, which minimizes negative environmental impact and enhances product safety.
The shelf life is also far longer, reducing waste and costs long-term; polyamide and polyolefin thermoplastic gives RF devices a shelf life of two years, while epoxy potting risks ingress to the antenna area and has a shelf life of only six months.
Remaining competitive in the new world of big data and Industry 4.0 relies heavily on future-proofing processes and operations to be as reliable, profitable and sustainable as possible.
The adoption of IP69K-rated RF devices provides a myriad of benefits for staying ahead of the game in the IIoT market, allowing for reliability, efficiency and safety in even the harshest conditions.
PCI’s unique, innovative IP69K solutions ensure added protection, cost savings and longevity over other conventional RF device options.
Contact PCI to learn more about our IP69K-rated RF solutions.