Arges GmbH, Wackersdorf, Germany, has introduced the optional SafeScan function for its scanners for applications that require special safety, for example, medical devices like ophthalmological systems or for high power applications such as remote welding.
The function includes a three-step security concept. It verifies the correct functionality before and during the laser processing and monitors the safety-critical optical elements as well as the electro-mechanical components of the scanner internal beam path.
Predominantly, the Arges-Fiber-ELEPHANT (see photo) can be equipped with the SafeScan function, but also the RHINO and the company's OEM subsystems for industrial and medical applications. For the medical industry, it will largely be used in customized scanning solutions, which will be equipped with the function.
SafeScan functions include:
- Real-time plausibility checks of characteristic parameters of the scanner axes during laser processing, e.g. tracking errors, position noise, resonant behavior, etc.
- Plausibility check of the position data received from the scan head with regard to speed, acceleration, etc.
- Surveillance of scanner internal and external system parameters (temperature of electronics and actuators, operating supply and reference voltages, cooling water, behavior of the individual optical elements and coatings, pressures of process gases like air/nitrogen, etc.)
- Preventive maintenance functions: The SafeScan function not only serves as a safety monitor but also allows - due to continuous registration of the wear and tear condition - an early planning of preventive maintenance before a machine breakdown caused by failure of critical components.
If one of the monitored parameters is beyond an as "normal" defined value, the operator will be informed in advance about a possible imminent machine breakdown. Should one or more parameters exceed the safety critical range, the scanning system activates the emergency shutdown of the laser.