E-Mail
Phone

Hotline
+49 (0)4131 / 9697 - 500


Newsletter
YouTube

Which laser classes apply for eurolaser systems?

An end to the rumours – the truth about laser classes

Compulsory marking of laser beam sources and laser machines in the form of laser classification has been in force ever since the first lasers were used for industrial applications. Decisive factors for the assignment of a specific laser class are the laser power, the wave length of the laser and the resulting safety aspects.

Nevertheless, misunderstandings, misrepresentations and even fraudulent labelling occur. Whether driven by purely economic interests or due to ignorance – these questions are difficult to answer. That is why we wish to clarify the situation for you!

Fraudulent labelling?

  • Laser machines that are designed for material processing must always be assigned to laser class 4.
  • A covering or an encapsulation does not change the laser class – The product has still laser class 4.
  • For getting permission in the EU, the operating area for all machines in normal operation must be assigned to laser class 1, or rather laser class 2. This also applies to all eurolaser systems.

eurolaser systems

  • have safe operating and handling areas and are compliant with laser class 1
  • are tested and approved by the TÜV (Technical Inspection Association) and are CE-conform
  • have an extensive safety concept
  • do not need any separate protective areas or cabs
  • can be operated without protective goggles
  • have unobstructed access so they can be used efficiently and flexibly
  • do away with the need of any unnecessary manipulations due to their ergonomic safety concept

Allow our experts for laser safety to give you extensive and individual advice!


To which class does a laser or a laser product belong as defined in EN60825-1?

To which class does a laser or a laser product belong as defined in EN60825-1?

  • Laser classes 1 (1; 1M) are lasers or laser products that do not emit any hazardous laser radiation. On the one side, the radiation (λ 400….700 nm) is deemed safe and/or on the other side, there are no secondary hazards with laser class 1 laser products. (Laser power: < 25µW ≡ 0.000025W) Example: DVD player; laser printer
  • Lasers and laser products that fall under laser classes 2 (2;2M) have accessible and visible laser radiation (λ 400….700 nm) that is not hazardous to the eye in the case of a short exposure. (Laser power: ≤ 1mW ≡ 0.001W) Example: laser pointer
  • Lasers and laser products that fall under laser classes 3 (3R;3B) have accessible laser radiation (λ 302.5….106 nm) that could be potentially hazardous to the eye and, under certain circumstances, also to the skin. It is necessary to comply with specific safety regulations here. (Laser power: 1 … 500mW ≡ 0.5W) Example: show and disco laser
  • Lasers and laser products that fall under laser class 4 are high-power lasers (λ 302.5….106 nm) that could damage the eyes and skin within the danger area through direct, reflected or in part scattered radiation. They also present a potential fire and explosion hazard – so-called secondary hazards. It is necessary to comply with important safety regulations here. Example: laser engraver for material processing, laser cutting system
laser class 4

So, basically the following applies:

  • Due to the wave length of the laser light and their high power density laser machines designed for material processing must always be assigned to laser class 4.
  • The secondary hazards, such as possible toxic process emissions and the risk of igniting inflammable materials, also require assignment to laser class 4.
  • Laser machines designed for material processing (laser class 4 machines) must be designed in such a way that they are safe for the operator. This means that their operating and handling areas must be safeguarded in such a way that they can be assigned to laser class 1 or 2.
  • However, this does not entail re-classification of the laser machine itself – the product retains its class 4 assignment

Which laser processing machines are available on the market?

1. Enclosed design

enclosed design


                                                                           

Maximum protection against:            
- occurrence of laser radiation
- scattered radiation
- moving masses
- noise
- process emissions

Restrictions in operation:          
- fast work procedures
- access & handling
- process control
- flexibility
- fire fighting


2. Open design

open design

                                                           

Maximum protection against:            

- no high protection

Restrictions in operation and heightened risk do to:           

- occurrence of direct laser radiation
- scattered radiation
- potentially unprotected moving masses
- potential contamination due to process emissions
potentially heightened fire hazard


3. Partially open design with intelligent safety solutions

eurolaser partially open design with intelligent safety solutions

                                                 

                                                        

     Benefits for operation and maximum protection against

- occurrence of laser radiation
- scattered radiation
- moving masses
- noise
- process emissions
- fast work procedures

- access + handling
- process control
- flexibility
- space utilization
- fire fighting

What consequence does this have for day-to-day use?

What consequence does this have for day-to-day use?

Compulsory registration with the supervisory authorities and the Institute of Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention is and remains applicable for every commercially used laser processing machine, i.e. laser class 4 machines. Protective housing or encapsulation has no bearing on this requirement! In other words, compulsory registration is required for every processing laser! Although the procedure for compulsory registration is individual in other EU states as well as EU-wide, it is often very similar.

An enclosed design in the form of encapsulation of the whole system is not necessarily recommendable. Where space requirement is concerned, this usually entails the largest laser class 4 zone as well as the heightened risk of unauthorised entry into the danger zone that this entails. The zones in which laser radiation can occur, should be kept as small as possible and render the bridging of safety devices, which is often the case, unnecessary. Fast work procedures and good handling characteristics are only possible with a partially open design.

The machine design offered by eurolaser is such that full encapsulation is not necessary while at the same time, it combines the benefits of the safety aspects with those of practical use. On the one hand, the operator is protected against the hazards of escaping laser radiation, scattered radiation as well as process emissions thanks to the encapsulated laser beam guidance. Due to its good handling characteristics on the other hand, the operator can work quickly, control the cutting process and benefit from full flexibility.

In order to gain approval within the EU and therefore also in Germany, it is mandatory that the operating and handling area in which the machine operator moves complies with laser class 1 or 2. Laser processing machines that are completely encapsulated only appear to offer maximum safety. In practice, safety devices are often bridged or removed in order to offset insufficient operating options.

Consequences:

  • By doing this, you expose yourself and others to heightened danger
  • You make yourself liable to prosecution under applicable law
  • It is difficult to extinguish conversions in the event of fire
  • The ergonomic properties of conversions are often doubtful
What do you have to watch out for when purchasing a laser system

What do you have to watch out for when purchasing a laser system?


1. Ask directly which laser class the machine has during proper use (normal operation)

2. Consider carefully the suitability of the machine for practical use, most especially pay attention to the safety aspect in relation to practical operability.

3. Ask which safety regulations you must comply with during commissioning and have these confirmed in writing by the manufacturer.

4. Ask directly about the risk assessments required for the CE markings and verifiable test seals (e.g. from the TÜV).

5. Ask specifically about devices that minimize the risks of secondary hazards, such as possible toxic process emissions and the risk of igniting inflammable materials.

6. Have the application you require demonstrated on the laser system before you purchase it.

eurolaser system with marked area in which laser class 4 applies
eurolaser system with marked area in which laser class 4 applies

Conclusion:


The systems from eurolaser are configured in such a way that they always comply with laser class 1 or 2 during normal operation. In other words, the operator is always safe and exposed to no hazards when working on the machine in normal operation.

Time-saving and safe

The work procedures have been significantly optimised by eurolaser to make them suitable for practical operation. The material is positioned directly on the processing area without any unnecessary roundabout routes and the finished parts are then removed immediately after cutting. The intelligent solutions from eurolaser guarantee you both maximum flexibility and maximum safety. No protective areas or protective glasses are needed during operation.

Ergonomic handling and operation as well as cost-effective operation are still possible. The efficient exhaust and filter concepts ensure an absolutely safe working environment even in the case of difficult emissions.

Laser class 4 in areas protected by covers
Laser class 4 in areas protected by covers
Protected eurolaser optical head
Protected eurolaser optical head

Safe laser class 1 operating and handling area for all eurolaser systems
Safe laser class 1 operating and handling area for all eurolaser systems

Sophisticated safety concept


We know from experience that large covers and protective barriers are often disregarded and bridged by operators. The workflow is interrupted and precious time is wasted. This is of course not what the inventor had in mind. So, it is all the more important to develop a safety concept that does not interfere with the workflow.

In addition to the shielding of the laser beam, eurolaser uses infrared sensors that monitor correct working procedures throughout the whole laser system. Moreover, laser emission controls, impact protection sensors and fire prevention mechanisms also ensure a high level of safety at the workplace.

Safe operation of a laser material processing machine cannot be defined in the long term solely on the basis of complete encapsulation. There are many factors that serve to ensure safety; however, practical operation is often left out of the equation. Thanks to its intelligent solution, eurolaser offers a maximum level of safety without compromise.

Overview of the benefits offered by the eurolaser design:

  • maximum flexibility
  • maximum protection
    -against laser radiation
    -scattered radiation
    -spread of emissions
    -access during operation
    -against the risk of fire
  • ergonomic operation and handling
  • cost-effective operation
  • legal certainty
  • consistent exhaust concepts
  • TÜV tested, CE conformity

Our extensive safety concept:

  • Constructive access protection against laser radiation
  • Constructive reflection protection against scattered radiation
  • Redundant monitoring sensor system
    -IR sensors above the processing area
    -IR sensors in the beam path
    -Laser emission control
    -Impact protection sensors 
    -against the risk of fire
  • No hampering of the work procedures by safety devices
  • Safety key - main switch for the laser
  • Laser emission signal lamp
  • Lower table exhaust system with flame protection concept (RP)
  • Efficient 360° moving upper head exhaust system

Allow our experts for laser safety to give you extensive and individual advice!

 
eurolaser - made in Germany & ISO 9001
 
 
© 2016 eurolaser GmbH. All rights reserved.
Brochures / Press    PRIVACY POLICY    Imprint