A Focus on Laser Safety in Mines

Is Laser Safety Important in your Mine?

In 2009, Applied Resolution Technologies released an Intrinsically Safe laser product that utilizes the features of laser safety parameters to provide a more powerful, longer range, laser product for underground coal mine use.   This product uses a 20mm diameter beam at the laser and 5mW total output but still meets Class 2 laser safety requirements.  Because of the larger beam and increased power, it falls within a Class 2M Laser Safety Classification according to IEC 60825, the International Standard for laser safety.  In 2012, ART developed a new range of battery removable laser units to distinguish ourselves from the previous resellers of our products who had taken on a competitor.  In 2017, we expanded our product range with new options that include both Class 2 (1 milliWatt) and Class 3R (5 milliWatts) lasers, as well as our long range Class 2M laser systems.

Class 2M lasers by physical definition have better beam characteristics over long distances.  In automotive terms, it is like comparing a V8 to a 4 cylinder.  Our only competitor in supply of Intrinsically Safe lasers in Australia decided to classify all of their lasers as being Class 2M, where they were obviously not.  It could be deemed as deliberate false advertising, or just that they cannot do the maths, and have no concept of laser safety issues.

On recognising the misclassification, ART expressed concerns with one of Australia's regulators of Mine Safety matters.  We even presented the maths.  However, some 6 years down the track, the deliberate misclassification of laser safety parameters still exists in the public domain, and the regulators have  not addressed the blatant lack of compliance to Australian Standards. What is perhaps as disturbing is that the underground coal mines themselves have not recognised the issue, indicating that there is a lack of laser safety awareness in the sector.  This has been perpetuated by a lack of attention from the Inspectors despite them being aware of the lack of awareness.

When VW deliberately misled the market over diesel emissions, they were heavily fined and products were recalled from the market.  Severe penalties were imposed.

So what does ART believe should be done about this?  We believe that all deliberately mislabelled products that do not meet the requirements of the Australian Standards should be withdrawn from the mines.  We believe that appropriate laser safety training needs to be undertaken in mines.    After all, it is a safety issue.  If safety issues are let slide for some weird reason, then the industry is on a slippery slope.  If I bought a vehicle that supposedly had a V8 in it and discovered it was a 4-cylinder, I'd be going for a refund.

Laser Safety Classification does not require independent testing.  It is achieved by calculation and reference to Standards.   Simple "Rules of thumb" can be used to simplify the confirmation that your lasers are actually correctly Classified.

If you require further information, we are happy to discuss these issues with you and back it up with documentation.  I have over 30 years experience in laser technology, a PhD in Laser and Molecular Physics, and a responsibility to expose laser safety issues in hazardous work areas.  Knowing there is an issue in the industry means we have a responsibility to call it out for what it is.

smART Veterinary Therapy Systems available

smART Laser Therapy Systems

Applied Resolution Technologies is pleased to announce that the smart Laser Therapy systems for Veterinary use are available from August 14th, 2018.  The systems are available in 3 kit configurations :

  • smART Laser Therapy only, with laser, tablet, reference book  and APPs
  • smART ThermAPP laser kit as above with ThermApp camera and APPs
  • smART FLIR laser kit as standard kit with FLIR ONE PRO camera and APPs

Contact us for pricing and availability.  The therapy system can be purchased as the laser only kit with addition of Thermography components at any time.

Removable Intrinsically Safe Battery Modules

Providing removable Intrinsically Safe IECEx Certified battery modules for guidance laser systems in underground coal mining allows the battery system to be exchanged with a freshly loaded one without removing the entire alignment laser assembly.

Instead of being a huge task of removal and re-alignment, the task takes a matter of seconds to replace the battery module.  Saving time in underground mining is important, because time is money.  Not only for those doing the laser alignment tasks, but also for those relying on the laser alignment downfield.

Recent improvements to the battery module coupling system also reduces the requirements for service.  Continual Improvement to make applications simpler and reduce costs...….

The most popular systems are C-cell Alkaline systems due to their lifetime and ease of handling.  Modular design over a range of different laser products allows for amortization of battery systems for different mining tasks.  Contact us to find out what best meets your requirements...…..

New FRAS String Liner Mount for Underground Coal Mining

Many low-roof mining facilities like to use string mounts for mounting guidance lasers.  Minor adjustment of the laser is sometimes required.

On the left is the new FRAS Approved string mount with FRASAlign, a double wedge beam steering system that adjusts the laser up to 1 degree from the mount axis to compensate for any alignment adjustments.

If interested, contact us for details.....

Many low-roof mining facilities like to use string mounts for mounting guidance lasers.  Because we manufacture the lasers, we prefer to also manufacture the mounting systems.

On the left is the new SLX-635S red laser mounted in the FRAS Approved string mount.

If interested, contact us for details.....

 

Many low-roof mining facilities like to use string mounts for mounting guidance lasers.  Because we manufacture the lasers, we prefer to also manufacture the mounting systems.

ART has embarked on a mission to establish a modular FRAS plastic string mount that will mount the SLM- and SLX series of lasers.  The string mounts can be extended for use with the SLM- series of lasers with removable battery modules as shown here.  The battery module is removable from the mount while the laser head remains in the mount.

If interested, contact us for details.....

ART Laser Blog

Welcome to the Applied Resolution Technologies BLOG. What a horrible word blog is......but this is where we will periodically provide interesting short articles relevant to our products and activities.  So we might as well kick off with out new smart Laser Therapy and Infrared Imaging systems.  Visit the page on in our Products section, and have a look at these smart new products.