Understanding Rugged Devices and IP Ratings

Understanding Rugged Devices and IP Ratings

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

In the past decade, rugged devices are finally getting the recognition they deserve. After all, these powerful tools are made to provide the right solutions for common mobile workforce challenges. Rugged devices have all the functionality of a consumer tablet or mobile phone and more. These devices also come with additional features which make it possible to work under compromising environmental conditions.

In this article, we will take a look at rugged devices and IP ratings. We will also review why rugged mobile devices are great for business use, particularly for companies that require data mobility in challenging working environments.

To understand the true definition of rugged devices, let’s start by defining what an IP rating is. An IP rating determines how resistant a device is to environmental elements such as dust and water. IP ratings consist of two numbers: The first number represents protection from solid objects such as dust particles; while the second number shows the device’s water resistance. For example, an IP68 rating means that a device is completely dust-proof and can withstand immersion in water up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. If either of the numbers is an “X” or a “0” it means there is no rating.

Rugged devices are engineered with special components and materials to increase their durability and longevity in harsh environments. These devices also come with additional features such as shock and vibration resistance, greater temperature tolerance, and higher drop protection. As a result, rugged devices can be used in any environment to ensure maximum product reliability. However these other environmental factors are NOT represented in the IP rating. As an increasing number of consumer devices carry an IP rating it’s important to understand what an IP rating tells you about the device but also to be aware that operating temperature range, shock (e.g. drop) and vibration (e.g. use on a vehicle or fixed to operating machinery) are rarely if ever cover by consumer products. These factors should be detailed on the datasheets of any rugged device.

Rugged Devices and IP Rating For Android Rugged Devices

Defining Rugged Devices and IP Ratings

What is a Rugged Device?

A rugged device is a type of hardware designed especially to tolerate the harshest of environments. For example, exposure to extreme temperatures, shocks, drops, water, and dust should no longer be a reason for device failure in businesses. As access to data is crucial for businesses across many industries, from logistics to retail and construction as well as emergency services, rugged devices have become THE solution to downtime and device breakages.

Types of Rugged Devices

Generally, there are three levels of ruggedness: semi-rugged devices, fully-rugged devices, and ultra-rugged devices. These three levels are measured according to how much exposure a mobile device can endure:

  • Semi-rugged devices – These are an enhanced form of commercial off-the-shelf hardware (COTS). This means that all the parts of the device are the same but are augmented for better protection.

  • Fully rugged devices – These devices are designed from the inside out to work in the most extreme conditions. Fully rugged devices are durable, resistant to shocks, drops, and vibrations, waterproof, and dust resistant. For example, a fully-rugged tablet may have a toughened screen, a thicker case, and an ultra-resistant hard drive.

  • Ultra-rugged devices – These devices are designed specifically for military use. Military-Grade or Military Standard ultra-rugged devices can survive under the most extreme conditions.

Industries that Benefit from Rugged Devices and their Key Benefits

From extreme temperatures to dusty environments, wet conditions, and then back to the office again, rugged devices are built to last. They can tolerate a range of hazards including exposure to fluids, extreme vibrations, and more.

These devices are becoming increasingly popular across a multitude of industries, allowing device longevity and greater levels of productivity without compromising functionality.

Some of the industries that will benefit when using rugged devices are:

  • Construction and building

  • Engineering

  • Automotive

  • Manufacturing

  • Healthcare

  • Transport

  • Warehouse and logistics

  • Public sector

  • Education

  • Hospitality and Leisure

  • Utilities and Services

  • Retail


Rugged tablets play an integral role in many industries, this can be put down to their durability and ability to perform even in the harshest environments. In manufacturing, for example, employees from all operational levels can benefit from being equipped with rugged mobile devices as tasks such as record keeping, inventory management, customer interaction, communication, and even transactions can be handled more efficiently. This is because they can withstand the tough conditions of the factory, production line, or warehouse.

Conker rugged devices come with numerous benefits including dust resistance, long battery life, water resistant, and excellent support.

Inventory Management

For the warehouse and logistics industry, rugged devices are fundamental. Without these IP-rated mobile devices, failures and breakages would quickly occur. This would hinder productivity and impact negatively on inventory management. But through the power of rugged and the right set of applications, such processes are made substantially more efficient.

Public Sector use

Those working in emergency services – whether it’s the police, ambulance, or fire services – consider rugged mobile devices to be a necessity. When it comes to working in the field of public safety, the availability of critical communication, access to real-time data and durability is key.

Rugged devices and IP Ratings can help with mission critical communications

Different IP Ratings Explored

Rugged mobile devices are built to meet more than the minimum standard features that commercial or consumer devices have. Still, not all rugged devices are made the same. A true rugged tablet or mobile phone must be able to demonstrate its durability in both field and laboratory testing. The two methods of testing that determine the “ruggedness” of a device are the MIL-STD-810: Environmental Engineering Considerations Laboratory Tests, the Ingress Protection (IP) rating system and the ATEX Certification.

  • MIL-STD-810 –  To be MIL-STD-810 compliant, technology must have endured a series of tests designed by the US military to assess tolerance under, particularly harsh settings. These methods of testing are extensive and cover a wide range of situations and conditions.

  • IP Rating – Also known as International Protection Ratings, this is an international standard of EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992). The standard is utilized to define the levels of sealing effectiveness of an electrical device against foreign materials such as water, dust, dirt, and moisture, which may damage internal parts.

  • ATEX CertificationATEX (ATmosphères EXplosibles) a comprehensive certification standard that was originally developed in the European Union guarantees that devices, machinery, and components not only comply with stringent safety requirements but also undergo rigorous testing to minimise the risk of explosions or fires in hazardous environments.

Technology must have a minimum rating of IP54 to be considered “fully rugged”. This means a rugged device can endure exposure to dirt or dust, with some water resistance. However, in industries where greater levels of protection against shock, water, and dust are required, for example in manufacturing, utilities, and engineering, a higher IP rating is recommended for more robust rugged devices.

An IP rating of IP65 and above ensures that the device can completely withstand dust, dirt, and water contact. It can also survive when exposed to low-impact pressure water jets for up to 15 minutes. Furthermore, devices with this IP rating will also withstand a meter drop. 

For working environments that are unpredictable when it comes to weather, like a construction site, a higher IP rating, such as IP67 may be required. This protects against up to 1 meter of water submersion for 30 minutes.

As technology becomes more integral to the way businesses are run, so does the need for reliable Mobile devices that can withstand the most difficult working conditions. Thanks to the advances in technology today, rugged devices are readily available and often the standard choice for businesses across an array of industries worldwide.

Conker Rugged Devices

Conker is a leading provider of rugged devices that are designed to withstand tough environments and challenging conditions. Our devices are built to withstand drops, vibrations, extreme temperatures, and exposure to water and dust, making them ideal for use in industrial, commercial, and outdoor settings. Conker devices are also highly customizable, with a range of accessories and add-ons available to meet the specific needs of different industries and applications.

One important feature of Conker’s rugged devices is their IP rating. Conker devices have IP ratings ranging from IP65 (the SX82) to IP67 (the SX50 2D), indicating a high degree of protection against dust, water, and other environmental hazards. This makes them well-suited for use in environments where dust, water, and other contaminants are present, such as warehouses, manufacturing plants, and construction sites.

To find the right rugged device with the perfect amount of ruggedness for your business get in touch with us today.

What would you like to do now?

About Conker

Founded in 2008, Conker is a British producer of business-rugged tablets, touch screens, and mobile devices, providing durable and reliable systems for successful digital transformation. The firm’s consultative approach delivers fit-for-purpose solutions that improve productivity and streamline business processes, supported by its easy-to-work-with UK-based service team. Customers include Eastern Forklift Trucks Limited and the food waste company, Winnow Solutions. Conker has a partnership with Fusion UEM by VXL and intends to expand its technology partnerships.

Led by founder and CEO, James Summers, Conker’s collaborative approach now empowers mobile workers to measurably improve productivity and make their lives easier by automating the mundane and streamlining business processes. The business has received recognition within The Financial Times’ FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies (2018) and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 (2017). The company legally trades as Tablet Technologies Ltd. For more information visit:

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter
Conal McGuirk

Conal McGuirk

Top 3 Long-Range Barcode Scanners
Continue Reading
Top 5 Rugged Android Handhelds with Barcode Scanners
Continue Reading
Top Rugged Wearable Computers
Continue Reading