Ingress Protection

Protecting Customer Electronic Innovations & Investments

The Challenge

An existing customer of Phoenix Mecano North America was ordering and performing final assembly of a standard “02” series fiberglass enclosure for their design. They were attempting to mount an off-the-shelf user interface three-button bezel housing with a Phoenix Mecano enclosure. In an attempt to seal the enclosure, they used a modified manufacturer-made box bezel with an open cell foam gasket, which proved unsuccessful. The product, when used in the Washington State area, was experiencing water infiltration due to the high moisture environment, as this environment type was not taken into consideration when determining proper Ingress Protection (IP). Because of this, the client was experiencing a high number of product malfunctions and returns from that regional area. The customer reached out to Phoenix Mecano to ask if the team could assist in modifying the product design to solve the moisture infiltration issues they were experiencing. The customer service team assigned an engineering expert to re-evaluate the customer’s needs. A conversation commenced to establish an Ingress Protection baseline, as the customer did not want water or moisture ingress. In asking the correct questions about the environment, possible scenarios, and the needed design specs, the Phoenix Mecano lead engineer uncovered how to solve this issue. The new unit does not go underground but is used in tandem with an underground receiver and transmitter; therefore, the new part would need to protect against outdoor exposure to a high moisture environment, but not submersion or the deluge of water.

The Solution

To accommodate the new design specs, the same Phoenix Mecano “02” series fiberglass enclosure was selected. It has a standard rating of IP 65: 6 protects against all dust, 5 protects against water splashing from any direction. To address the ingress issues, the Phoenix Mecano engineers recommended removing the gasket, which offered little IP protection. Additionally, Phoenix Mecano designed a milled pocket in the lid and sourced a 2-part epoxy that bonded the lid and the bezel together, rather than relying on a gasket. This meets the needed IP protection rating, as well as creating a nicer, more consistent appearance for the client’s end product.

The Result

Once the Phoenix Mecano engineering team connected with the customer to understand usage and issues, the customer’s CAD drawings and product specs were reviewed to determine the needed design changes to improve the product. Because of the recommendations and the successful first run, the customer decided to go into full production. When the Phoenix Mecano team is engaged, they can build to spec based on the customer’s design drawing, and can also use technical expertise to understand the usage to improve the product quality, production cost, and assembly time.

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