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Essentials for Building a Laser Control System

Updated: Aug 26

Laser (Interlock) Control Systems are a method of ensuring that dangerous (class 3 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 to get started.


1. ICS-6 Interlock Controller

This is the brain 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.


2. Access Keypad

The access keypad (ICS-KP-14) 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 which is electronically locked and monitored by the interlock system. It also has two outputs that activate for a set time when the correct 4-digit code is entered: The override output and door unlock output. Each output illuminates a corresponding indication on the keypad when activated.




3. 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 and are also compatible with safety control systems.




4. 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.




5. Warning Lights

Automated switching of single or dual message signs. Frequently used with laser control systems are the LEDS-L-2W and the LEDS-ULT-470-L-2W. These signs run off of 24V and 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".



6. Emergency Stops

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


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 provide you with a quote. Above all, please contact us with any questions at 770.332.0092 or contact@rtlasersafety.com





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