Essentials for Building a Laser Control System

31 May 2019

Laser Control Systems (Interlock Systems) are a method of ensuring that dangerous (Class3 and 4) lasers are contained.  Interlock systems, with proper implementation, will limit the laser access to qualified, trained individuals.  The Interlock system prevents harm to those who are not properly trained on the safe use and operation of a laser.

Laser control systems can range from simple to complex configurations.  Here are a few of the basic parts that are needed.

  1. ICS-6 Interlock Controller

This is the brains of the operation. This versatile unit can control laser interlocks, door locks, illuminated warning signs and other equipment.  The ICS-6 can operate beam shutters and laser power with feedback monitoring and fault detection.  The controller interfaces with Access Control and Fire Detection Systems.  The controller fits to an Override.  This allows controlled access through interlocked doors while accepting emergency stop inputs.

  1. Access Keypad

The Access Keypad (ICS-KP14) is used with the ICS-6 Interlock controller for the purpose of inhibiting access to a hazardous area by unauthorized persons.  The keypad is mounted outside a door with is electrically locked and monitored by the interlock system.  The ICS-KP14 Keypad has two outputs which activate for a set time when the correct 4-digit user code is entered:  The Override output and the Door Unlock output.  Each output illuminates a corresponding indication on the keypad when activated.

  1. Laser Beam Shutters

To prevent damage to eyes or equipment, Laser Beam Shutters are used.  To clarify, shutters stop the laser beam automatically during unauthorized access, or manually when the beam is not required.  Our shutters are gravity fed for fail safe operation.  Shutters have a remote switching option.  They are compatible with safety control systems.

  1. Door Interlock Switches

Switches monitor the position of the door, window, or access panel (open or closed).  You can use them to shut off power, control personnel access and prevent a laser from starting (or turns it off) when the door is open.

  1. Warning lights

Automated switching of single or dual message signs.  Frequently used with laser control systems are the LEDS-L-2W and the LEDS-470-L-2W.  These signs run on 24V.   They connect directly to the ICS-6 Controller.  When the laser is in use, the sign will read in red “Danger Laser On”.  When the laser is off, the sign will read in green “No Hazard Laser Off”.

  1. Emergency Stops

Emergency stop buttons connect to the ICS-6.  Once pushed, this immediately halts the laser in case of emergency.

Interlock Equipment Positions

 Example of Interlock System Layout

In conclusion, those are the basics of a laser control / interlock system.  If you have an area you need to interlock, you can simply fill out our interlock design form and we can then provide you with a quote.  Above all, please contact us with any questions at 770-332-0092 or contact@rtlasersafety.com.  Likewise, you may fill out the form below to get in touch with us.
We look forward to helping you with your laser control system needs.
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