Q. What is IOT?
A. The internet of Things (IOT) is the term used to define a network of embedded sensors and software systems with the objective of connecting all these devices over the internet. It is estimated that as of 2023 there are over 15 billion connected IOT devices in use and this number is only set to rise due to the benefits and technology advancements.
Q. What are the benefits of IOT?
A. The benefits of IOT are determined by the application, IOT devices are now seamlessly found in many in many applications including medical, production settings, vehicle tracking and occupancy sensing. Each of these applications and their associated IOT devices will be constantly monitoring data and reporting back crucial findings to assess equipment performance, the whereabouts of a vehicle or the footfall in a building.
Q. What are the key attributes needed for an IOT enclosure?
A. Plastic enclosures are commonly used in IOT applications to encapsulate and protect the electronics from impact, liquid and dust ingress whilst maintaining radio signal transparency to prevent connectivity issues. Depending on the application IOT plastic enclosures will require wall mounting options, ventilation or even a high IP rating.
Q. How are plastic enclosures utilized in medical IOT applications?
A. IOT plastic enclosures are used in a variety of medical applications including occupancy sensing, asset tracking and for wearable devices in hospitals, not many people realise that IOT has an important role outside of the hospital setting though. There are over 100,000 defibrillators in the UK however their operational status and location cannot always be determined when they are needed most. IOT enclosures are integral in this instance enabling emergency services to direct bystanders to operational machines, so they can be used to increase a person’s chance of survival. Without this technology and the crucial part played by the IOT plastic enclosures bystanders could find the equipment to be damaged from vandalism or simply being unable to find the equipment to begin with subsequently wasting valuable time.
Q. Why is IOT software used to monitor footfall?
A. Most commonly using an IOT sensor enclosure footfall is primarily used as a money saving exercise, whilst there is an initial outlay for the equipment and installation once this is operational the systems can begin to monitor areas in the building which are being used heavily and others less frequently. This can lead to a multitude of saving opportunities allowing the control of lighting, heating and even how frequently a washroom is cleaned. It is unlikely as a member of the public that you’d even notice these small IOT sensor enclosures hidden in a busy environment constantly monitoring and sending data. A second common use for footfall monitoring is in a shop environment, the retailer might be interested to know which areas of the shop might get the most footfall to aid with best product placement to increase sales or perhaps better understand a shops busy periods so staff can be rostered accordingly to save on staffing costs. In these busy shop areas it is best practice to use a tamper proof plastic enclosure to eliminate the risk of any unwanted access to the electronics.
Q. Can IOT enclosures be mounted to moving objects?
A. Yes, any small plastic enclosure or potting box large enough to house a Sim card can be used to access the IOT meaning they can be used for many “on the move” applications. A common example is vehicle tracking where a company might wish to keep an eye on the location of their vehicle fleet to determine if deliveries are going to be made on time or even to monitor the driving habits including speed, acceleration and cornering to determine if their employees are driving safely and economically. IOT enclosures that are mounted externally to a vehicle will require an IP rated junction box to ensure they are protected from ingress such as water and dust whereas IOT enclosures that are to be mounted internally often use small black enclosures to help keep them discrete within a vehicle cockpit.
Q. Can IOT enclosures be used in washdown environments?
A. Yes, IOT devices are often used in food processing applications that require regular washdown and temperature washdowns and so providing the correct IOT enclosure is selected this should not be a problem. For standard washdown and IP66 waterproof enclosure or IP67 waterproof enclosure should be selected, for temperature washdowns you should consider an IP69 waterproof enclosure. In some instances, these hermetically sealed enclosure may require some ventilation to prevent condensation forming internally caused by the heat generated inside the enclosure by the electronics and changing external temperatures, we would recommend utilising a venting element to counter this issue and protect the integrity of the IOT enclosure and electronics.
We have a wide range of plastic enclosures available including sensor enclosures for IOT and wall mounted enclosures for IOT. The complete range can be customised to include hole for cable entry or wall mounting and our printing service allows us to add your company branding to any IOT enclosure. For more information please do not hesitate to contact a member of our sales team who will be happy to assist you.