American-made, Stainless Steel Conveyors for a Variety of Industries

Call us:


Email us:

Understanding IP Ratings: Ensuring Optimal Performance of Washdown Conveyors

In industries such as food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals, washdown conveyors play a critical role in maintaining efficiency and cleanliness. These conveyors are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of washdown processes, which involve water, cleaning agents, and often, dusty environments. To ensure the conveyors’ resilience in such settings, understanding IP (Ingress Protection) ratings is crucial. Let’s dive into the significance of IP ratings, their relevance in wet/dusty environments, and how they compare to the NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) standards, which are widely used in industrial applications across North America.

Industries that Utilize Washdown Conveyors

Before diving into the technical aspects, let’s explore the industries that rely on washdown conveyors to maintain cleanliness and adherence to stringent regulations:

  1. Food & Beverage: Food processing facilities require washdown conveyors to maintain the highest level of hygiene and prevent cross-contamination during production and packaging.

  2. Pharmaceutical: The pharmaceutical industry demands washdown conveyors to ensure sterile conditions and safeguard product quality in compliance with strict regulatory standards.

  3. Chemical: In chemical processing plants, washdown conveyors are essential to prevent cross-contamination, ensure product integrity, and minimize the risk of accidents due to spillage.

IP Ratings for Washdown Conveyors in Wet/Dusty Environments

Washdown conveyors are often subjected to challenging environments, including wet and dusty conditions. To safeguard against potential damage, IP ratings play a vital role. IP ratings are represented by a two-digit code, with each digit denoting a specific level of protection:

  • IP6x (Dust Protection): The first digit indicates protection against solid objects. IP6x ratings provide varying degrees of protection against dust and particles. For instance, IP65 ensures the conveyor is dust-tight, preventing any ingress of harmful particles.
  • IPx7 (Water Protection): The second digit signifies protection against water and moisture. IPx7 ratings ensure that the washdown conveyor can withstand temporary immersion in water without damage. IPx6 ratings offer strong protection against powerful water jets, ensuring efficient cleaning without compromising functionality.
  • IPx9K (High-Temperature Water Protection): This rating is essential for washdown conveyors operating in industries with stringent hygiene requirements. IPx9K ensures protection against high-pressure and high-temperature water jets during cleaning procedures.

Common IP ratings for washdown conveyors include:

  1. IP67: Highly resistant to dust and capable of withstanding immersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

  2. IP66: Offers complete protection against dust and powerful jets of water.

  3. IP65: Protects against dust and low-pressure water jets from any direction.

  4. IP69K: Designed for high-temperature, high-pressure washdowns, making it ideal for food processing environments.

NEMA Ratings: Understanding Differences and Similarities

NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) standards are widely used in North America, focusing on supplementary protection standards against corrosion resistance and atmospheric gasses. Unlike IP ratings, NEMA ratings cover various environmental factors beyond water and solid objects. Here are some commonly encountered NEMA ratings in washdown conveyors:

  1. NEMA 4x: Built to be non-corrosive and often made from stainless steel or composite materials, NEMA 4x enclosures are suitable for washdown applications.

  2. NEMA 4: Similar to NEMA 4x, these enclosures are designed for washdown environments.

  3. NEMA 12: Ideal for protecting against dust and debris, NEMA 12 enclosures are commonly used in dusty industrial settings.

  4. NEMA 4/12: A combination of NEMA 4 and NEMA 12, offering protection against washdowns and dust/debris.

While both IP ratings and NEMA standards provide valuable information about a conveyor’s protection capabilities, it’s essential to recognize their differences. NEMA standards are primarily used in North America and encompass a broader range of environmental hazards, including icing conditions, corrosion, and exposure to oils. On the other hand, IP ratings are globally recognized and primarily focus on protection against water and solid objects.

Washdown conveyors are vital assets in industries where cleanliness, safety, and efficiency are paramount. Understanding IP ratings and NEMA standards is crucial when selecting conveyors suitable for wet and dusty environments. By opting for conveyors with the right IP rating and NEMA standard, businesses ensure optimal performance, compliance with regulations, and longevity of their equipment. As a conveyor fabrication shop specializing in washdown conveyors, we at Hanover Conveying Systems are committed to providing our customers with the knowledge and expertise to make informed decisions and ensure their operations run smoothly and efficiently.


We’re looking forward to working with you. Whether you have questions about products or services, our team is ready to help.

We promise not to spam you and will only be sending information worth your valuable time.