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IP (ingress protection) requirements for production

IP (ingress protection) requirements for production

IP (ingress protection) requirements for production


I am new to IP rating and currently I try to establish if there is any standard (or other legal document) that would define testing for production parts with assigned IP rating (in order to make sure that the rating is maintained). I do not think that every enclosure is subject to same IP testing as the units used for obtaining certification, yet there must be a way/base for manufacturer to declare that rating is maintained. So far, I found that EN 60529 has a statement: "This standard deals only with enclosures that are in all other respects suitable for their intended use as specified in the relevant product standard and which from the point of view of materials and workmanship ensure that the claimed degree of protection are maintained under the normal conditions of use" Base on this can I not test production enclosures at all as long as I maintain workmanship (bit vague to me) or shall I establish internal quality control process e.g 1 every 100 to be tested? Any thoughts or guidance, maybe there is someone who deals with IP rated parts already. Thank you.


RE: IP (ingress protection) requirements for production

Firstly, there is no IP rating "certification". The standard provides a method of test. You use the test and can "self-declare" compliance.

You are free to do so after successfully completing the test on a single sample.

You are free to do so after successfully completing the test on a statistically meaningful number of samples.

You are even free to self-declare compliance based on wishful thinking without testing any sample at all.

Your motivation for testing a statistically meaningful number of samples for "qualification" tests, and for continued quality control and monitoring is your tolerance for the risk and consequences of failure in your production material population.

RE: IP (ingress protection) requirements for production


You design an enclosure to meet some standard such as IP66. You build a prototype, and you test it for IP66 compliance. You pass the test. Now, you need to manufacture your compliant enclosures. How confident are you that your manufacturing will meet the standards of your prototype?

As noted above, you claim to meet IP66. I trust you until my electronics get dusty and/or wet. If I call you and ask how you verify your compliance, it may because I have a batch of your stuff that is non-compliant. You need to reply very carefully.

Are you confident that your manufacturing meets your requirements? The worst case is that you must test and inspect each and every enclosure. If you periodically inspect a batch of ten units and everything passes easily, you probably are okay. If you get failures in your batch test, you probably need to inspect everything.

Your reputation is on the line.


RE: IP (ingress protection) requirements for production

Part of the risk calculus is whether your customers' intended use actually requires IP66 to a statistically significant degree or duty cycle. My watch is ostensibly IP67, but I've never used it in water, although, I'm sure there are others that routinely swim with it on.

Hypothetically, if you know precisely what needs to be controlled to maintain your IP66 performance, you need only to monitor those controls to ensure some level of compliance. If you don't know what parts of your process is critical to meeting IP66, AND, there is a significantly high probability that people are using it in an IP66 environment, then your risk exposure is much higher, and then it's a trade of how much it costs to test a production sample vs. the cost of the product and the consequences of failure.

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RE: IP (ingress protection) requirements for production

Thank you all for your informative response and confirmation that IP compliance falls under manufacturer self certification.

@MintJulep - Do you know if there is any document/article/guidance note/ anything that I could refer to and present internally which would have similar information to yours?

I think that reasonable way will be to start with high level of control initially and relax over time once processes are fully established, maybe focusing on critical aspects as IRstuff mentioned. I do not think we face high level of customer in need for it but if we state IP rating on product we need to make sure that each product is in compliance.

Again, thanks for your time.


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