IP65 is the European standard that governs the protective capabilities of an electrical enclosure. IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection ‘and the two-digit number represents the amount of protection afforded by dust particles (first digit) and water (second digit).
An IP 65 enclosure is the standard enclosure suited for a wash down environment making it a pre-requisite for using computers in food production areas. For this reason most computer enclosures designed to IP 65 standard are manufactured from food grade stainless steel (316).
All electrical equipment that has to operate in environments where water is used to wash down areas needs to be protected to at least IP 65. Complications can arise if you are looking for a supplier of an enclosure based outside Europe where the IP rating is replaced by the National Association of Electrical Manufacturers – NEMA code.
Whilst strictly speaking there are no coloration between the European IP rating and the NEMA codes, a NEMA 4 enclosure required would suit a European IP 65 environment (and vice versa).
IP54 is another European Standard that demonstrates the protective capabilities of an industrial PC enclosure. IP 54 is more commonly used in environments where there is less of a threat of water splashing but a high prevalence of dust.
IP54 PC enclosures are used on shop floors, warehouses, packing areas and anywhere there are high concentrations of dust.