In order to build a fully waterproof computer system, you need waterproof IO connectors. Consumer-grade connectors and cables will not last in many industrial applications and can lead to system failure. The M12 connector is an industry favorite for its durability and it has become the standard across many industries including food and beverage manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, and pharmaceutical production. Another popular go-to for waterproof connectors is the M8, which is smaller than the M12. Both the M8 and M12 are standard under IEC 61076-2, an international standard for electronic equipment I/O connectors.

There are many variables to consider when choosing waterproof connectors for your computer system, here are just a few of the key variables you need to know, so you can deploy the best possible waterproof solution. 

 

Angle

A simple, but important variable of connectors is their angle. The angle can make a big difference in tight spaces. If straight connectors are crammed into an enclosure or pressed against a wall, they will crease and wear over time. Using the correct angle can also make your work area look more clean and organized.

 

Right Angle ConnectorStraight Connector
Angled IO ConnectorStraight IO Connector

Image source: https://www.connectortips.com/selecting-and-implementing-m8-and-m12-connectors/

 

Jacket type

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Jacket: PVC is a general purpose, widely used cable that usually comes at a lower price point. It provides resistance from water and some chemicals, however it will harden and crack when exposed to oils. PVC cables are made for only moderately abrasive applications.

PUR (polyurethane) Jacket: Polyurethane is more flexible and durable than PVC. It is good for use in environments with chemicals or oils, or on abrasive production lines. Polyurethane, however, has a tackier surface than a smooth PVC jacket, which can cause it to stick to itself and lead to tangling. 

TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) Jacket: TPE cables have the widest operating temperature range of the three listed here (about -25 to 125⁰C). TPE also has good resistance from salt water, UV and heavy oil.

 

IP rating

Different industries and settings require certain IP ratings, these requirements apply not only to your computer, but also to the IO connectors. You can learn more about IP ratings in our blog here.

 IP65 

 Protection against low pressure water jets spraying from any direction 

 IP67 

 Protection against immersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes 

 IP68 

 Protection against long periods of immersion and high pressure 

 IP69K   

 Protection against close range, high temperature and high pressure water jets 

 

Code

The most common codes for waterproof connectors are A, B, C, D and X, and the table below describes the typical use for each code. 

 A-code 

 For sensors and actuators

 B-code 

 For profibus (Process Field Bus) connections 

 C-code 

 For AC power

 D-code 

 For 100Mb Ethernet

 X-code 

 For 10 Gigabit Ethernet

 

Choosing the right code is essential to ensuring your computer and cable will work together. The graphic below shows different code types of M5-M12 cables.

 M8 and M12 Connector Examples from Phoenix Contact

Image Source: http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/2004185.pdf

 

Pins / Position

The number of pins (also called position) on your cable must match the port on your computer. Cables are available with as few as 3 pins and as many as 17. 

Examples:

5 Position A Code8 Position X Code
Example of 5 Position A Code IO ConnectorExample of 8 Position X Code IO Connector

 

 

Choosing a system of computers and cables is no short task. Fortunately, most of Teguar’s waterproof computers come with M12 connectors to make the selection and installation process a little easier. Contact us today to ensure you choose the best computer solution and IO connectors for your application.