Taking the Gold Requires Top-Performing Connections in Harsh Environments

As the 2022 Winter Games kick off, not only are athletes diligently putting their best foot forward in their event, but Olympic staff are also diligently ensuring the proper functioning of all supporting technology. Most of the equipment used in this spectacular event—from outdoor scoreboards and ski lifts to outdoor lighting and snow-making machines—relies on technology that must operate at peak performance, for safety and accuracy in wet, harsh conditions. They don’t call them the winter games for nothing!  And this means the integrity of the many internal components at the heart of critical equipment comes squarely into the spotlight.

The Importance of Proper Protection  

The Winter Games are not alone in their demand for high-performing technology in the most challenging locations. Many outdoor industry applications involve wet and rugged environments, where dampness and debris threaten design capabilities and performance. Waterproofing is increasingly a method used not only to protect product integrity but to provide safety as well. For instance, waterproofing can mitigate the risk of health concerns due to mold and protect buildings from structural damage. As manufacturers seek product protection from the effects of moisture and contaminants, the need for waterproofing has grown significantly. This business challenge has prompted the development of sealed connectors that offer ingress protection (IP) at the IP68-certified level, making it one of the only connector technologies available to meet waterproofing standards.

Why is IP, which refers to how well a product design can prevent debris/moisture from entering the product, so important?  Sealed connectors are tested by being submerged in water at a depth of 1.5m (3.3ft) for 30 minutes in order to assess their IP standard rating. Based on the results, a product is given an IP rating, which provides assurance that a product meets waterproofing and dustproofing claims by defining water and dust-resistance standards. The first digit of an IP rating ranges from zero to six (maximum of six), which indicates how well the product obstructs small particles. The second digit indicates the rating of water or liquid resistance for continuous immersion (maximum of eight), making IP68 the highest rating for dust and water immersion resistance for IP certification. This rating helps ensure reliable competition equipment performance.

Protection Under Harsh Conditions

At the 2022 Winter Games, where safety and accuracy are top priorities, IP68-rated components can play an integral role for guarding against harsh winter elements. Outdoor equipment at these events may endure below-freezing temperatures, gusty winds and high snow drifts. Scoreboards, ski lifts and lighting systems must optimally function under these severe conditions but are at risk for failure. Moisture, due to condensation, can cause damage to the internal components of this equipment, resulting in rust and corrosion. To overcome this problem, sealed electrical components that are IP68 rated offer an excellent solution for protection.

Protection in Rugged Environments

IP68-rated sealed connectors are also advantageous for many commercial vehicle applications, such as ATVs, boat engines, buses, farm equipment and heavy machinery. These operate in rugged environments, where systems could malfunction as a result of debris and water ingress. In consumer markets, products such as sensors and landscaping equipment are also subject to environments that can have an adverse effect on reliability. When dust or liquid ingress persists, internal connectors can underperform, leading to end-product failure, but applications with IP68 ratings can provide outstanding protection in such circumstances.

All-Around Gold-Level Performance

Testing is complete and the results are in—IP68-rated sealed connectors are certified to meet the needs of the equipment for the games. By meeting the highest rating standards for protection from adverse effects of long-term water immersion, provide excellent protection in a wide range of environmental conditions.

In addition to being IP68 rated and having seal caps for extra protection, Squba Sealed Connectors offer a uniquely compact solution that alleviates many of the most challenging design space constraints. Sealed connectors are often bulky, but a compact solution is necessary to meet the industry demands of increasingly smaller products. Many consumer products, such as phones, underwater cameras and liquid dispensing equipment require space availability for electrical components. Squba connectors were designed from inception to offer a first-rate solution.

Squba Sealed Power Connectors are valued for their ability to overcome the production and environmental challenges industries face, making them an excellent choice for many applications in rugged, wet environments. The Squba Sealed Connector is a top performer in all its categories, which makes it not only a contender for the podium but a Gold-medal winner, chosen by many organizations facing the toughest environmental requirements.

Global Product Manager, Power Solutions