What is an IP Rating and Why is it Important in Packaging?

One critical aspect of packaging often overlooked is its ability to protect products from various environmental factors, including dust, moisture, and liquid. Packaging plays a crucial role in safeguarding products during storage, transportation, and handling. This part is where the IP rating comes into play.

This rating denotes the degree of safeguarding offered by a device against the ingress of both solid and liquid substances. Typically comprising two numbers, the rating’s initial digit signifies the level of protection against solids, while the subsequent digit indicates the degree of safeguarding against liquids. 

Though occasionally, a third letter may be included to convey additional details, it is frequently omitted. 

ip rating

Understanding IP Ratings

IP stands for Ingress Protection or International Protection, depending on the context. This rating is a standardized system used to classify and rate the level of protection provided by an enclosure or packaging against intrusion from solids and liquids. 

It was established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to provide clear and consistent information about an enclosure’s ability to protect its contents from environmental factors.

This rating consists of two digits, such as IP67 or IP54. Each digit represents a specific level of packaging equipment protection against different types of intrusions. Let’s break down what each digit signifies:

Protection Against Solids (First Digit)

6: Complete protection against dust and contact 

5: Limited protection against dust and contact

4: Protects against solid objects larger than 1mm 

3: Protects against solid objects larger than 2.5mm 

2: Protects against solid objects larger than 12.5mm

1: Protects against solid objects larger than 50mm 

0: No protection offered against solids

Protection Against Liquids (Second Digit)

8: Protects against continuous immersion in water 

7: Protects against temporary immersion in water 

6: Per IP ratings chart, this number means it protects against high-pressure jets of water 

5: Protects against low-pressure jets of water from any direction.

4: Protects against splashing water from any direction.

3: Protects against spraying water (rain) at an angle of up to 60 degrees from the vertical.

2: Protects against water droplets at an angle of up to 15 degrees from the vertical.

1: Protects against vertically falling droplets 

0: No protection offered against liquids

The Importance of IP Rating in Packaging

Now that we understand what these ratings entail, let’s delve into why they are crucial in packaging:

Moisture and Liquids

Depending on the product’s nature, exposure to moisture or liquids can lead to damage, degradation, or malfunction. This rating on packaging ensures that the product inside is shielded from such threats.

Dust and Particles

Dust and particles can be abrasive or corrosive, potentially harming the product’s surface or components. An appropriate IP rating prevents these intrusions.


During transportation, products insecurely packed by food packaging equipment can be exposed to various weather conditions. Rain, splashes, and even immersion incidents can occur. An IP-rated package ensures that the product remains unharmed, even in adverse weather.


In storage facilities or warehouses, dust and moisture are common challenges. An IP-rated package can safeguard the product until it reaches its final destination.

Industry Standards

Many industries have specific regulations and standards regarding the packaging of certain products. Adhering to these standards, which often include IP ratings, is essential to ensuring product safety and compliance.

Quality Assurance

Customers expect products to be delivered in pristine condition. Packaging with the appropriate rating demonstrates a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.


Packaging that protects products effectively can enhance a brand’s reputation. It shows that the brand cares about its products and customers.

Preventing Damage

Adequate packaging with the right rating can prevent costly damage during transit or storage. It translates into cost savings by reducing product returns and replacements.


Products are often used in various environments. An adaptable packaging equipment and solution with an appropriate rating ensures that the product can be used in diverse settings without concern for its safety.

Choosing the Right Rating for Your Packaging

Selecting the correct rating for your packaging depends on the nature of your product and the environments it will encounter. Here are some steps to help you choose the right rating:

1. Identify Environmental Factors

Consider where your product will be stored, transported, and used. Assess the potential risks of exposure to moisture, dust, and liquids.

2. Know Your Product

Understand the vulnerabilities of your product, especially if not packed using automated packaging equipment. Some products may be more sensitive to moisture or dust than others.

3. Research Industry Standards

If your product falls under a specific industry, research the standards and regulations regarding packaging requirements. These standards often include ratings.

4. Consult with Experts

Packaging experts and manufacturers can provide valuable insights into the right rating for your specific needs.

Take the Next Step with Plan IT Packaging

These ratings are a critical aspect of packaging that ensures the protection of products from environmental factors. They are essential for maintaining product quality, complying with industry standards, and meeting customer expectations. 

Choosing the appropriate IP rating for your packaging can lead to cost savings, enhanced brand reputation, and customer satisfaction. So, the next time you consider packaging for your products, remember the importance of IP ratings in safeguarding what’s inside.

Ready to protect your products and enhance your brand with the right packaging? Plan IT Packaging is a name you can trust. Contact us today to discuss your packaging needs and get started!

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