A guide to rugged mobile device specifications, acronyms, and their definitions

Specifications, classifications, standards, and definitions can be hard to understand for rugged mobile devices. We put together a road map for you to become more familiar with these frequently-used acronyms and standards and how they help to define the degree of ruggedization and performance for a mobile device. In this article, we will give you a brief understanding of these classifications and their definitions with the ability to learn more with the links provided.

What does an IP rating mean?

To understand what an IP rating means, we need to know what IP stands for, Ingress Protection. The numbers that follow IP explain what kind of protection the electronic device has. Protection against solids like sand and dust is indicated in the first number. The second number defines protection against liquids. For an even deeper look at the various IP ratings and a free IP rating chart, click here.

Juniper Systems’ Mesa Rugged Tablet, Archer, and Allegro Rugged Handhelds, and Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver all carry an IP68 rating providing protection from water and dust ingression.

IP ratings define your devices ability to withstand water and dust ingression
IP ratings define your devices ability to withstand water and dust ingression

What is MIL-STD-810G?

This standard was developed for equipment to be certified for military usage in the field. There are 29 total tests for this standard. Some of these tests include 26 4-foot drops onto plywood over concrete, a vibrations test for shipboard devices, shock, and more.

Each of the tests in the roughly 800-page document provides detailed guidance, examples, and procedures. All of this to ensure devices are rock solid and field ready for any situation a user may find themselves in. To learn more about this specification and how a device gets tested to meet the standards, click here.

Sunlight readable displays improve user experiences in the field
Sunlight readable displays improve user experiences in the field

What is the difference between resistive & capacitive touchscreens?

In your research for rugged mobile devices you might have come across differences in touchscreen technologies. These two technologies include resistive and capacitive touchscreens. Here is a brief look at the differences and the advantages of these two different options.

Advantages of resistive touchscreens include: stylus versatility, higher sensor resolution, register fewer inadvertent touches, resistive has been the norm, and it is cheaper. For resistive touchscreens, it is your fingertip or any other object that will register an input.

The advantages of capacitive touchscreens include: durability, reliability, future-proofed, and multi-touch capability. Capacitive touchscreens rely on conductivity to register input. The conductivity usually comes from the skin on your fingertip to have the screen register the touch. For more knowledge on resistive and capacitive touchscreens click here.

What are the hazardous (hazloc) area classifications and standards?

Hazardous locations or hazloc areas are defined into three classes and two divisions. In North America the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Publication 70, National Electric Code® (NEC) in Articles 500 to 506 define the hazardous location class divisions. The publication identifies the types of substances that may be present in the air in quantities sufficient to produce either explosive or ignitable mixtures. There are three classes to define the parameters of safety. Class 1 areas are those with flammable gasses or vapors are defined in Class 1. Combustible dusts are areas within Class 2. Areas with flammable fibers are in Class 3.

Understanding the classes within the Hazardous (hazloc) area classifications:

The Classes are further broken into two Divisions. Division 1 areas are likely to have flammable or combustible materials present under normal conditions. Division 2 areas are expected to have flammable or combustible materials present under accidental rupture or breakdown situations. Handhelds made by Juniper Systems are available in Class 1, 2, and 3 Division 2 configurations. This means that if there was an accidental leak, etc., the products are sealed against gasses, vapors, dusts, and fibers. With this protection, the electrical components aren’t going to spark and cause an explosion.

International classes and standards of Hazardous (hazloc) area classifications explained:

International hazardous location standards are broken into Zones depending on the type of hazard present. Zones 0-2 are for locations with gas and vapor present. Zones 20-22 are for locations with dust or fibers present. The Zone number represents the frequency and duration of flammable or combustible material being present in an area. The higher hazardous levels are represented with a lower number (i.e., Zone 0 has a higher hazard than Zone 2; Zone 20 has a higher hazard than Zone 22).

To get a full view of North America and International certifications and standards that provide peace of mind to the hands that hold these devices, click here.

Hazardous location ready devices protect users and assets
Hazardous location ready devices protect users and assets

What do I need to know about RoHS 2 compliance?

Here’s what you need to know about RoHS 2 compliance. RoHS 2 stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. Compliance is based on the European Union’s Directives 2011/65/EU. The restrictions are for certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. Products that are compliant with this directive will not exceed the allowable amounts of restricted materials. These restricted materials include: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), with some limited exemptions.

RoHS 2 compliance is a directive that applies to manufactures, authorized representatives, importers, and distributors of Juniper Systems computing and communications equipment. If needed, a letter of compliance can be found on our website by clicking here.

What is an FCC Part 15 Subpart B certification?

FCC Part 15 Subpart B certification is short for FCC Title 47, Part 15, Radio Frequency Devices, Subpart B, and Unintentional Radiators certification. This certification if from the Federal Communications Commission as part of the Code of Federal Regulations that have been established. For a device to be successful in this certification it must be tested by a third party for intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiators without an individual license. Therefore, if you are going to be purchasing a device for communication of exporting, importing, or collecting data you will want this certification to be compliant with the Federal Communications Commission.

Typically, the company selling a device that is required to have this certification will inform you of this in the specification, certifications, or about section of the product you are looking at. To find out whether or not the device you have purchased has this certification you can typically find it on or near the product labeling for the device. The main purpose for this certification is to prevent harmful radiation and to ensure the device accepts any interferences received.

FCC Part 15 Subpart B certification certification can typically be found on or near the product labeling for the device.
FCC Part 15 Subpart B certification certification can typically be found on or near the product labeling for the device.

What are the IEC 60950 and 62368 standards?

IEC 60950 and IEC 62368 are safety certification standards that are for information and computer technology devices, such as rugged handhelds. In the European Union, IEC 60950 expires on December 20, 2020 and is being replaced by IEC 62368. A number of other countries have announced their intention to adopt IEC 62368, but they have not yet designated a date for when that adoption will occur.

This transition is intended to update the standards to better match emerging technologies. IEC 62368 is structured to be a hazard-based approach, whereas IEC 60950 was more of a prescriptive approach that didn’t always fit with new technology. These standards classify energy sources, prescribe safeguards against those same energy sources, and provides guidance on how those safeguards are applied.

The intent is to reduce the likelihood of pain, injury, and fires that could be caused by using the products. Ultimately, customers of Juniper Systems can have confidence that our devices and their power source aren’t going to shock or burn them.

What is ICES-003 Issue 6?

ICES-003 Issue 6 is sometimes referred to as Industry Canada. ICES stands for Interference-Causing Equipment Standard. This means that tests are conducted for products that are to be imported to or sold in Canada. The tests are compiled to produce a report that identifies the methods of measurement used and compliance of the device.

Ultimately, this test is conducted to verify that the product being imported or sold in Canada will not perform improperly during normal operation. It is an additional standard that Juniper System products are tested against to create products up to par with the standard of performance that consumers expect and can rely upon.

CE Marking, what is it?

To understand the meaning of a CE Marking, let’s break it down by the letters. C stands for conformity. The E is for European. Put it together and we have European Conformity or CE. The CE Marking is a marking that is required for all new products which are subject to one or more of the European product safety directives. If you are planning on using your rugged mobile device overseas, then you will need to make sure the CE mark is on the device. This mark signifies that the device meets the European Union safety, health, or environmental requirements to be used with compliance to their standards. Discover other questions to ask before purchasing a rugged handheld device by clicking here.

Want more information?  Reach out and get rugged by contacting us and we’ll be happy to help.

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