All ULS laser products (for laser cutting, laser engraving, and laser marking) comply with all pertinent United States and European Union government laser safety and product safety regulations.
Laser safety standards are well established and relatively harmonized internationally. The two most prevalent version of these harmonized laser safety standards are 21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11 in the US and EN60825-1 in Europe. These harmonized standards establish four broad classifications of laser safety for products. The classifications range from Class 1, in which the laser energy is fully contained within the laser system and the operator is not exposed to any laser energy, to Class 4, in which the laser system does not have containment provisions and the operator can potentially be exposed to high levels of laser energy. To process materials in a Class 1 laser system, the material must fit completely within the laser system enclosure.
All ULS products are designed to meet Class 1 safety requirements for the material processing laser(s) meaning they are designed to fully contain all laser energy used for material processing. To do this, ULS products employ laser hardened enclosures, along with labyrinth seals and redundant hardware interlocks on all doors and access panels. Class 1 laser products are considered safe for use by the general public as long as all safety precautions are followed as outlined in the manuals. There are no restrictions on the sales of Class 1 laser products. No safety gear or special facility accommodations are needed to operate a Class 1 laser system.
All ULS laser systems are also equipped with a low power red diode laser for aligning materials to be processed by the material processing lasers. The red diode lasers a similar to the laser pointers used in presentations and are considered safe for public use. ULS laser systems are labeled as Class 2 laser systems due to the presence of the red diode laser for alignment, but meet Class 1 requirement for the material processing laser(s).
Some ULS laser systems (ILS and XLS) can also be operated in Class 4 mode in order to process materials that are too large to fit completely within the laser system when equipped with an optional Class 4 conversion module. This module bypasses the interlocks on the side doors to these laser systems and adds additional safety features required only on Class 4 laser systems, such a key switch to prevent unauthorized use of the laser system, an emissions indicator to warn when the laser is active, and a mechanical shutter to block laser energy from entering the material processing area. Operation of the laser system in Class 4 mode puts additional restrictions on the operators and owner of a laser system including the such as the requirement for a trained laser safety operator, laser safety gear for the operators to wear and the designation of a restricted area for the laser system to operate in (see white paper on Class 4 conversion module for more details). Many of these safety measures are outlined in ANSI Standard Z136.1 “American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers” or in equivalent standards available in most other countries, such as the European Standard EN 60825-11. Other safety measures may be required by state and/or local authorities, for example, the Regulation BGV B2 on laser beams of the German Employer’s Liability Insurance Association. It is the responsibility of the Owner of a Class 4 laser system to understand and adhere to these laws.
ULS laser systems are designed and tested to meet product safety requirements per the harmonized global standard for computer peripherals UL/EN608950. This includes electrical safety and EMI certification per Class A standards. Where required, this process includes third party testing by certified testing laboratories.