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Rob Coppinger investigates how the industry is containing lasers as powerful as Class 4

maximum safety Sensors in the upper half of TruLaserCell 7040 will detect movement. Image courtesy of Trumpf ‘C

Safety glasses are becoming more stylish for a wider range of wavelengths. Image courtesy of Laser Components

lass 3B and Class 4 lasers represent a serious hazard to the eyes and

skin. Additionally, Class 4 lasers have the potential to damage surrounding infrastructure,’ says Paul Tozer, managing director of laser safety solutions company Lasermet. Rising to the challenge of these increasingly powerful lasers with more comprehensive protection for users and their facilities is driving advances in the safety market. The range of laser safety products now span any

industry where lasers are used, from research science laboratories, to universities and engineering design institutions, to dentistry, the medical and beauty sectors and manufacturing facilities. Manufacturing is a leading user of the higher power Class 3B and Class 4 lasers.

One of the latest challenges for the industry is the design, development and manufacture of active laser guarding systems to protect personnel and building infrastructure against the destructive results of stray multi- kilowatt lasers. Various companies have been designing passive enclosures for many years so customers can fully enclose their lasers safely and cost effectively. Today enclosures are now advancing to active systems. One company’s patented active

laser guarding system is called the Laser Jailer. That company is Tozer’s Lasermet. Lasermet was


formed in 1987 and was run by its chairman, professor Bryan Tozer, who at the time had 25-years involvement in lasers. His son Paul is now MD and he explains that ‘the use of proven, CE certified laser blocking materials with their specified rating, ensures that laser beams are kept safely within the laser controlled area.’ A number of Lasermet’s Laser Jailer installations have already been completed in the UK and one of the larger ones has been installed at the University of Manchester. The company won the contract to supply and install active laser safety enclosures for three 16kW fibre laser robotic cells at the University of Manchester’s school of mechanical, aerospace and civil engineering.

The contract was to design and

build three laser safety enclosures with active and passive shielding that meet the standard EN60825- 4. Lasermet developed the Laser

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