washdown

Industrial Enclosures Protect Components in Harsh Environments

Guest contributor: Steve Sullivan, Rittal Training Manager

Industrial enclosures face harsh conditions. From blazing to frigid temperatures, to dust, oil, dirt, airborne corrosives and liquids. Industrial engineers know that the manufacturing environment poses a multitude of challenges to the integrity of the control panel infrastructure.

 Environmental protection of the control panel infrastructure is never simple. Determining factors in the selection of an industrial enclosure can include the most extreme conditions. The key to selecting the superior enclosure is evaluating the harshest environment possible, and specifying an enclosure that can withstand any setting.

Foreign substances

Environment elements that can affect the performance of the control panel include the picture-2
penetration of foreign substances (water, dust, dirt, oils, etc.). The delicate electronic equipment housed inside the enclosure can fail with even minimal exposure to external substances.

The Rittal TS 8 combats the ingress of these substances with a four-point latching system and a foamed-in-place gasket system. This forms a continuous barrier around the enclosure skin ensuring a gap-free seal. This creates a superior seal and memory retention to block out the challenges of any environment.

Temperature

The control panel infrastructure faces temperature challenges on two fronts. First, internal temperature is affected by the heat generated from the operation of control panel devices. The external or ambient temperature also affects the enclosure and the operating control panels.

Fully compatible with the TS 8 is Rittal’s line of cooling solutions for both enclosure based and room based thermal management. With 30% to 50% of energy costs attributed to cooling systems, Rittal designs maximum cooling efficiency into each solution: CRAC, in line/in row, chillers, pipe installations, water distribution cabinets or water heat exchangers.

The delicate dew point balance between the load temperature and the ambient temperature is maintained, preventing damaging condensation of the control panels.

Washdown

When washdown of enclosures is required, the control panels must be protected. Exposed to harsh chemical cleansers, high pressure and/or heated water and frequent cleaning can break down some sealing systems. Rittal’s impervious seal guards the vital control panel components from the most stringent cleaning procedures.

Corrosive Elements

Whether an enclosure is in an indoor or outdoor environment, corrosion can be a factor in the breakdown of the enclosure’s durability. Outdoor factors such as sun, snow, salt or chemicals can damage the exterior of some enclosures. Acids, solvents, alkalis, oils and industrial chemicals can threaten an enclosure housed on the factory floor.

Rittal engineers designed a three-step painting process to combat any environmental abuse. Similar to the process used in the automotive industry, an electrophoretic dip-coat primer is applied, followed by a two-part primer nano-coat and final powder coat. This provides a finished external barrier on the TS 8 for any climate, interior or exterior.

Enclosure material construction

A variety of materials have been used for industrial enclosures. The stainless steel 316 construction of the Rittal TS 8 has been proven to be impervious to the most corrosive environments and superior to lesser steel or powder coated materials. Stainless steel 316, combined with the three-step finish has proven durability in the most extreme conditions.

The environmental protection offered by the Rittal TS 8 has been field tested in more than 10 million installations, in industries like oil and gas, mining, pulp and paper, food and beverage and life sciences. For more information on the TS 8 and all of Rittal’s flexible industrial solutions, download our Fact Book today to start your change for the better.

About Us

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

The basics of IP69K washdown explained

Guest contributor, Will Healy III, Balluff

Ask 10 engineers working in Food & Beverage manufacturing what “washdown” means to them and you will probably get about 12 answers.  Ask them why they wash down equipment and a more consistent answer appears, everyone is concerned about making clean healthy food and they want to reduce areas of harborage for bacteria.  These environments tend to be cool & wet which usually leads the engineers to ask for 316L stainless steel & ingress protection of IP69K from component manufacturers and also ask for special component ratings.

So what are the basic elements of the washdown procedure?

  • Hot! – Minimum 140F to kill microbes & bacteria.
  • High Pressure! – Up to 1000psi to blast away soiled material.
  • Nasty! – Water, caustics, acid detergents, spray & foam everywhere.
  • Hard Work! – Typically includes a hand cleaning or scrubbing of key components.
  • Regular! – Typically 15-20hrs per week are spent cleaning equipment but in dairy & meat it can be more.

What requirements are put onto components exposed to washdown?

  • Stainless Steel resists corrosion and is polished to level the microscopic roughness that provides harborage for bacteria.
  • Special Component Ratings:
    • ECOLAB chemical testing for housings
    • FDA approved materials
    • 3A USA hygienic for US Equipment
    • EHEDG hygienic for European Equipment
  • IP69K is tested to be protected from high pressure steam cleaning per DIN40050 part 9; this is not guaranteed to be immersion rated (IP67) unless specifically identified.

If you are interested in what sensors, networking & RFID products are available for use in food and beverage manufacturing with a washdown environment, please visit www.balluff.us.

IP Ratings and ECOLAB Basics

Guest contributor:  Jack Moermond, Balluffwashdownsensors

Integrating sensors in washdown applications can be confusing when considering the

various approvals.  So what do they all mean?  If a sensor is an IP69K rated sensor does that mean it will survive everything?  In the world of sensors there is IP54, IP67, IP68 and IP69 so if my sensor is IP69K that means it is the best right?  The short answer is no.  Let’s take a brief look at the differences.

IP ratings will generally have two digits with the first digit referring to the solid particle protection.  The second digit indicates the level of protection against the ingress of water.

Sensors rated for IP54 indicates they are dust protected, meaning that dust can get inside the sensor, however, it cannot be enough to interfere with the operation of the equipment –  this is designated by the 5.  The 4 indicates that the sensor withstands splashing water on the housing from any direction with no detrimental effect.  The test for the splashing of water lasts at least five minutes with a water volume of 2.64 gallons per minute with a pressure of 7.25 to 21.76 PSI.

IP67 rated sensors are the most commonly used sensors on the market.  Even most electrical enclosures used in automation are IP67 rated.  The 6 indicates these devices will not allow the entry of dust.  The 7 indicates that the sensor can be immersed in water to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.

IP68 rated sensors are dust tight sensors that can be immersed in water continuously under conditions specified by the manufacturer.  Typically the depth of the immersion is 3 meters.

The IP69K rating is based on a dust tight sensor that can withstand high pressure sprays.  The devices are sprayed with a pressure of 1,160 to 1,450 PSI.  The water temperature can be as high as 176°F with a flow rate of 3.7 to 4.2 gallons per minute.  The distance from the nozzle to the device is 4 to 6 inches.  The sensor is placed on a rotary table that rotates at 5 revolutions per minute and the sensor is sprayed for 30 seconds at four angles 0°, 30°, 60°, and 90°.

The ultimate sensor would have a rating of IP67/IP68/IP69 indicating that it will survive submersion and high pressure washdown.  Also, some of these sensors are 316L stainless meaning they have low carbon content and are more corrosion resistant than other stainless steel grades.  Are all IP69K sensors stainless steel?  No, some sensors utilize polycarbonate-ABS thermoplastic.

Usually during washdown applications in the food and beverage industry the spray is not just water but some sort of cleaning chemical or disinfectant.  These aggressive cleaning and disinfecting agents can attack different housing materials.  This is addressed by the ECOLAB certification.

The ECOLAB test consists of testing the housing and sensor materials to exposure to these aggressive cleaning and disinfecting agents.  The devices are tested for 14 to 28 days at a room temperature of 68° F.  During this time the sensor is visually inspected for swelling, embrittlement, or changes in color.

Don’t forget that even though the sensor has the correct IP rating for your application that the mating connector has to meet the same specifications.  For example, if the sensor is IP69K rated and a IP67 mating cable is used then the lower IP rating has precedence.

If you are interested in what sensors and cables meet washdown requirements, please visit www.balluff.us.