High-power lasers, such as those used for marking identifiers on metal, can be embedded in enclosures. Such systems, when properly designed, are 100% safe for workers and passersby. Laserax has developed enclosures that can be installed on most conveyor types.
This blog post describes a laser system, with a through-conveyor laser enclosure, that is used to house a high-power laser that marks bundles of lead with unique identifiers: a serial number, weight and a barcode.
Laserax uses a modular approach to mitigate risks and improve efficiency in designing solutions that are highly adapted to your needs, requirements and expectations.
To create your very own laser system, you can choose components from three modules: laser machine, options and safety enclosures.
1- Laser machine
Figure 1 - Laserax's Laser - LXQ 3D series
The laser head is affixed to the side of the enclosure freeing up space inside the enclosure for an unobstructed flow of lead bundles. (see Figure 1).
Figure 2 - Laserax industrial laser LXQ 3D series
The bundles are placed on the conveyor using a robot ensuring repeatability in the bundle position of +/- 70 mm. That allowed Laserax to use a laser from the LXQ 3D series (see figure 2).
2- Laser Options
Cabinet for laser source and controllers
Figure 3 - Laser option: Cabinet for Laser source and controllers
Outside the enclosure, a laser cabinet is used to house the laser source and controllers required to operate the laser (see figure 3). The cabinet is rated IP66 providing excellent dust protection. It is also cooled to maintain an ideal environment for optimal operation of the laser.
Laserax’s Human-machine Interface (HMI)
Figure 4 - Laser option: Human-machine interface
An HMI allows the operator to select the job’s laser parameter, starting serial numbers, and interact with the laser system. The HMI provides alerts and monitoring of all the sensors and actuators; it can toggle from manual to automatic operation of the laser system. It also communicates with the other programmable logic controllers (PLC) of the plant.
Dust management system
figure 5 - Laser option: Dust management system
When a laser marks a metallic surface, dusts, fumes and small metal parts are ejected from the marked surface. In order to prevent the exposed optical components from getting smeared too fast (which might impact the marking quality), a dust management system was added to take care of the residues. In figure 5, you can see how the location of the laser head outside the enclosure clears up plenty of room for the lead bundles inside the laser safety enclosure.
3- Laser Enclosure for conveyors
The inline through-conveyor enclosure uses guillotine doors. A lead bundle enters on one side, is marked and exits on the other side. Sensors are included to make sure that all doors are closed and that a bundle is present before any laser marking can occur. During the marking, all laser beams incidents, reflected or diffused by the surface are prevented from exiting the enclosure, making the laser system a class one based on international laser safety standards IEC 60825-1 and ANSI Z136.9.
This client was using, prior to Laserax’s fiber laser marking system on conveyor, a labeling system that proved to be highly unreliable and costly. This new industrial laser marking system provides better control over what is written on the bundles. The information will always remain affixed to the bundle. The client doesn’t have to worry about consumables (such as labels or ink) because laser marking requires none. Apart from the occasional cleaning of the laser lens, there is no maintenance required over the useful life of the laser system.