SICK’s Incremental Encoder with a Stainless Steel Housing and High Ingress Protection

April 20, 2021 by Robin Mitchell

SICK released their first incremental encoder with an IP69K rating and ingress protection.

SICK’s First IP69K Encoder

SICK announced the release of their first encoder with an IP69K rating. The encoder was developed for applications requiring reliability in the most demanding environments. This reliability is clearly expressed in the meantime to dangerous failure (MTTFd) rating of 500 years (EN ISO 13849-1).


SICK DBS60 Inox encoder

Stainless steel housing helps increase the IP rating. Image used courtesy of SICK


The encoder produces 1024 pulses per revolution with a measuring step of 90° electric/pulses per revolution and a measuring step deviation of ± 18° / pulses per revolution. It has an eight-wire signal output with a 1.5 m cable length, operates on a voltage from 4.5 V to 30 V, and includes reverse polarity protection and short-circuit protection.

The DBS60 Inox is resistant to shocks of 100 g for 6 ms and is resistant to vibration up to 30 g between 10 Hz to 20,000 Hz. The enclosure is constructed from stainless steel V4A, as are the flange and shaft. The maximum operating speed is 6,000 min⁻¹, and the overall lifetime of the encoder is 3.6 x 109 revolutions.


The Encoder’s Ingress Protection

While the electrical characteristics of the DBS60 can be considered impressive, it is the ingress protection and IP rating that make the DBS60 stand out. To start, the DBS60 has an IP rating of IP69K, which is split up into three separate ratings: IP6x, IPx9, and K. 


The DBS60 Inox encoder. Image used courtesy of SICK

The IP6x rating is the highest rating possible and ensures a design is dust-tight. Dust cannot enter the housing, even if the housing itself is a vacuum.

The second rating, IPx9, is the highest rating for liquid protection and can withstand a powerful high-temperature water jet. This allows the encoder to be fully submerged while in use, and no water will enter the housing. 

The additional K parameter refers to the ability of the IP69 rated device to operate in an automotive environment. Specifically, IP69K is a variation on the IP69 testing standards and was conceived for use with vehicles that would receive frequent high-pressure cleaning (such as concrete mixers). 


DBS60 Applications

Protection of the DBS60 is provided by the SICK-patented Deflector Shield design. However, the hygienic gland structure also prevents the build-up of material and bacteria. As such, this allows the DBS60 to be used in industrial applications involving food processing. Furthermore, the IP69K rating enables cleaning the encoder with steam, which is often required for food processing systems.

The high reliability of the encoder also makes it useful for industrial applications dependent on reliability. For example, bottling plants and food processors are often required to be running 24/7, and any product recalls or equipment malfunction can have a severe effect on the production line. Therefore, the DBS60 not only “guarantees” fault-free operation, but it also helps to ensure food quality and reduce the chance of product recall thanks to its anti-bacterial properties. Furthermore, the DBS60 utilizes an M12 connector for the signal output, and its construction was designed to make it compatible with pre-existing industrial machinery.