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How IP67 and IP69K components affect machine-design decisions

These industry vets share their insights as more equipment comes out of the cabinet and on the line where intelligence is needed

By Mike Bacidore, editor in chief

As consumers grow hungrier and hungrier for packaged goods that satisfy their appetites for variety, it is having a profound effect on manufacturers that reaches all the way back to the machine builders that make the packaging equipment used in these production operations. Our panel of experts answer questions on topics ranging from changeover and retrofits to skilled employees, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and moving components out of the cabinet.

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As more equipment comes out of the cabinet and on the line where intelligence is needed, how will IP67 and IP69K components affect machine-design decisions?

Jim HulmanJim Hulman | process, packaging, printing, converting—business development manager, Bosch Rexroth

On-machine solutions are already designed to IP67 and IP69K. There are many benefits to on-machine solutions (Figure 8). Primarily, with the elimination of the floor-mounted drive/control cabinet, end users are able to better utilize manufacturing floor space. Integrated motor/drive technology, and now on-machine drive power supplies, allow cabinets to be machine-mounted or eliminated. Cabinets become easier to service because high voltage is easier to isolate. This same technology reduces OEM assembly costs by replacing power and feedback cables with a single hybrid cable. The simplicity of this design also reduces machine installation time/cost by reducing the number of cable and wiring mistakes between a machine and floor mounting cabinet.

John KowalJohn Kowal | director, business development, B&R Industrial Automation, Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) member

As for high-protective-rated devices, we are certainly seeing more HMI, I/O and motion systems coming out of the cabinet and requiring IP67 to IP69K ratings. Track systems themselves are already available in food-grade, washdown configuration.

Craig SouserCraig Souser | president, JLS Automation

We use them extensively, given the nature of what we do.