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Product Code: ILSC2009_901

High Powered Lasers - Using International Standards in Industrial Laser Robot Safety Compliance Design
Authors:
Thomas Lieb, L*A*I International; Elk Grove CA USA
Presented at ILSC 2009

There are several obvious hazards associated with laser end-effectors which are manipulated by robots (5-axis motion systems). But there are also risks which may be more subtle. Robot software is still subject to going berserk. Containment systems, unless properly designed, can complicate as many problems as they are intended to reduce. High powered Fiber Lasers, capable of utilizing very long focal lengths, present another element, which is becoming of increasing concern, as users of conventional laser sources are not aware of the effects of these newer capabilities. During the last few decades, safety control measures and guidelines have been developed, such as ANSI Z 136 and IEC 60825covering Walk-in-workcells. FDA has issued Laser Policy Notices (#37). And the robot industry has fostered the development of ANSI/RIA R15.06 for Industrial Robots and Robot Systems Safety Requirements. But none of these regulations and guidelines, which can nevertheless seem complex and forbidding, adequately address practical solutions, per se, to implementing a safe work envelope for the robot guided laser beam. One approach, with practical results, is to utilize reliance on IEC (EN) 60825-4 Laser Guards and Barriers, as a useful design guidance tool, in concert with the vertical requirements.

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