News 16 September 2019

Ingress protection testing of industrial actuators

At the LINAK® Test Centre, electric actuators for industrial applications are tested – often to the extreme. Some of the tests are set to examine ingress protection levels - or IP ratings. Dust, moist and water are natural parts of the work environment of many actuators, and they must be able to sustain full performance and operate unaffected.

One of the most extensive test regimes on the market for industrial actuators takes place at LINAK®. At the corporate test centre in Denmark, every actuator is tested – and none more so than the actuators used in industrial applications.


Ingress protection test for industrial actuators
Some environments are extremely dusty, while others are muddy and wet. Industrial machinery operating in such environments occasionally needs washing off – often with jets of water – and for electric actuators providing the movement in the machinery, such conditions are quite demanding. That is why LINAK tests its actuator products carefully against ingress – solids as well as liquids.

Industrial actuators from LINAK have undergone a fierce water spray test, hosing down the actuators with 100 litres of water per minute for three minutes, followed by an IP69K high-pressure/high-temperature test – 14-16 litres of water per minute at 100 bar pressure and 80 °C. Some LINAK industrial actuators are even tested for dust ingress and are ATEX/IECEx approved.

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Why ingress protection matters to you
Dust, chemicals, moist and water are all harmful substances to electronics and machinery operating in industrial settings. Electric actuators are no exception and failing to have the right and proper ingress protection can be costly – even dangerous.

Spreaders receive high-pressure washing
After a long day in the field, agricultural machinery typically needs a wash down. Dirt and mud are everywhere, and for spreaders, the muck is mixed with remains of fertiliser. High-pressure washing is necessary, and this involves hard jets of water at occasionally high temperatures.

Actuators, taking care of precision adjustment, must be able to cope with both the field work and the following wash down. That is why every LINAK industrial actuator is tested to meet an IP level of IP69K.

Ingress protection testing of industrial actuators - Spreader
 
Ingress protection testing of industrial actuators - Grain handling silo

Focus on IP in grain handling is crucial
For employees working near grain handling facilities safety has a high priority. These environments are typically very dusty, and the combination of dense clouds of grain dust and a single spark from a short-circuit can be highly flammable – even explosive.

Some LINAK industrial actuators are approved in accordance with ATEX/IECEx to increase safety around grain handling facilities.

 

For other dust-filled environments industrial actuators must meet the requirements for an IP6X rating. To earn this, they are tested in dust cabinets for two hours where a vacuum pump attempts to draw in air and dust to the actuator housing.

Outdoor wastewater valve automation
Systems controlling the processes in modern wastewater facilities often involve automation of valves powered by electric actuators. In the primary stages, the actuators are located in outdoor and humid areas. Changing weather conditions and fluctuating temperatures also adds to the strain on the equipment.

Actuators for wastewater handling undergo water spray tests to ensure IPX6 approvals.

Ingress protection testing of industrial actuators - Valve automation
 

Got a question about electric actuator technology?

- We are not oracles. But, we are experts in actuator technology. So, feel free to ask us anything you like about that.

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