Important information from Laser Industries Pty Ltd
We are often asked for information regarding starting a laser cleaning business or the usage of this great technology. This page can answer most of the frequently asked questions and is a source of information for anyone who is thinking about starting a business or has the applications to use our laser cleaning machines. Laser cleaning is a new technology with great commercial and industrial utilisation, therefore with diverse applications and a large potential customer base.
About Laser Industries Pty Ltd
Laser Industries Pty Ltd started as an Australian family business of motivated, passionate people having fun with laser technology. As a small business, this allows us to be agile, dynamic, and highly responsive compared to many larger international companies.
We have Sales, Support, and Technical staff focusing on specialized Laser Cleaning Systems. We are excited about our Australian and New Zealand exclusive import distribution agreement with a world-class leading European Laser Cleaning Manufacturer, Narran Lasers.
This solid foundation agreement was signed under the development of cleaning lasers – specifically for our range of IPG Laser Cleaning Machines custom constructed explicitly for often severe Australian and New Zealand climates.
Australia at times has harsh hot environments leading to our advanced contribution to design, implementation, continuous improvement, other laser projects, construction of single-purpose machines, robotic applications, automation, and unique solutions for our customers.
All our components and specifications are of the highest standards from the EU only.
How does laser cleaning work?
Laser cleaning uses concentrated laser radiation to evaporate and ablate impurities from the surface. The impurities are affected by ultra-short laser pulses (μs-ms), which generate heat and heat-induced pressure – the high temperature inside the material creates a high pressure that causes it to evaporate. Laser cleaning is therefore very gentle on the substrate. Almost no waste material is generated during laser cleaning, because most of the impurities evaporate, thanks to the high efficiency of our laser resonators used, the cleaning process has very low operating costs. Laser cleaning is a non-contact, non-abrasive method that is very gentle on the surface of the material. Since the course of the interaction of laser radiation with the material depends on the material, it is possible to set the cleaning parameters so that the substrate remains undamaged after cleaning.
Advantages of laser cleaning:
1. No damage to the underlying material.
2. Lower operating costs of vs traditional industrial cleaning methods.
3. Easy operation and intuitive user interface.
4. Eco-friendly – no use of any added material or chemicals.
5. Fast return on your investment.
6. Speed and efficiency.
7. Fast implementation.
8. Produce minimal waste for EPA Regulation compliance.
Our IPG Lasers clean and remove
Rust, Paint, Corrosive Coatings, Fats, oxidation, inks, oil, dried polyurethane, lacquers, adhesives, natural and synthetic rubbers, grease, much more, …
Where can you use laser cleaning?
Our Laser Cleaners have a very wide range of uses, lots we don’t even know of yet:
The most well-known attribute of laser cleaning. Rust can be removed from anything from metal nuts to large industrial machinery.
Laser cleaning is one of the best steel preparation processes before any welding, soldering, gluing, or new application processes.
A common method used in the process and production industry. Efficient for removing dirt, moisture, or any other contaminant.
Laser cleaning is especially effective in Restoring worn-out stone or, heritage objects. For damage removal of Soot and smoke stains but it is recommended to find out in advance whether the cleaning cannot cause side effects for the material.
Individual parts cleaning
It is not always necessary to clean the whole object if it only has a few worn out parts allowing less downtime.
What kind of Laser do I need to start cleaning?
IPG Lasers with power from 100w to 2000W are capable of similar cleaning results but they differ greatly in the time it takes and finishes left on the substrate. It is therefore recommended to discuss the choice of the Laser Cleaner by the size and types of the surface being cleaned. Also, Laser Industries provide Water-Cooled machines for long operational times, as opposed to air-cooled machines have a shorter operational span before cooling shutdown may be required. You can see the applications below:
Lasers can be divided into three categories by their power:
Low power IPG (100w Air-Cooled) Rust and NDT Cleaning, hard to access spaces, indoor cleaning.
Medium power IPG (200w-300w Water-Cooled) Rust, Paint and Corrosion, Stainless Steel Metal Stains, and Fire Restoration.
High power IPG (500w-2000w Water-Cooled) Heavy Paint, Rust and Coatings removals, quality finish low heat.
How much does laser operation, cleaning hour, etc cost?
Our lasers are very efficient and therefore environmentally friendly machines (ISO 14020 and ISO 14024). You do not need any additional materials for the cleaning process (abrasive media or blasting, water, dry ice pellets…), the efficiency of IPG Laser resonators is up to 50% and so the electricity consumption is up to 3000W / hour. Therefore, we usually state that the cost per hour of cleaning should not exceed $1-2/hour (wear of optics, electricity, preventive service).
How is it possible that the laser removes corrosion and does not damage the substrate?
With our programmable IPG Lasers, combining both hardware and software configurations, enable absorption of the dirt (rust, oil, paint, grease, adhesives, separators) where the laser ablation occurs, i.e. removal of impurities, but controls enough energy to not damage the substrate (steel, stainless steel, aluminium, metals, copper, stone, sandstone, granite, marble…), therefore it is especially suitable for cleaning moulds, tools, car parts, machines and also restoration in general.
How do you operate a laser?
The Laser Cleaner is controlled by a large clear touch screen. The user can easily select, save and name individual job tasks and parameters for easy repeat cleaning. It is now also possible with most models to adjust the main functions via the ergonomic process head even during the cleaning itself. The system also allows various options of login and rights for increased security and process repeatability.
Is Laser Cleaning safe?
All Laser Industries IPG model series of cleaning lasers are Class 4, so it is necessary to follow certain rules for safe use. Our lasers usually have a wavelength of 1064-1070nm, this is an area of infrared radiation, i. e. invisible to the human eye. Therefore, it is necessary to wear special goggles in the first place. Other rules are specified according to EN 60825-1 which we will, of course, guide you through and train accordingly with our recommended online certified Laser Safety Training programs.
We supply the highest quality PPE Laser safety glasses currently on the market.
All of the variants we offer have Australian and International CE certification.
Portable Laser Security Barriers
These Laser protection barriers are designed to increase safety when using laser
Equipment, especially portability for site operations.
Protects against laser radiation and meets the following certifications and standards: ANSI, CE and NFPA-701
Will Laser prices lower in the future?
We do not expect the price of Laser systems to fall over the next 5 years from this current new generation and technology. The knowledge needed to manufacture components and systems is highly specialised and there is no room for any significant price drops. Even since Covid started our materials cost has risen, once our manufacturer’s stocks have depleted, increases may even rise.
What is the service life of our Laser Cleaner and Warranty?
The average life service of our resonator and diodes, which is the source of a Laser is more than 100,000 hours of use. This would equate to approx 20-25 years of operational usage. Our Standard Warranty is 12 Months with an optional Warranty up to 3 years.
How does the Support and Training work?
Our IPG Series Laser Cleaning Machines are designed to be virtually maintenance-free, of course, subject to Operators taking due care of keeping the optical parts of the laser clean with normal maintenance. If our Training and SOP instructions have adhered to, then preventive service is generally not required by Laser Industries Pty Ltd on these machines and the water-cooled IPG lasers can be used for almost non-stop operation.
However, sometimes machinery, software or hardware can have a few hiccups or merely operators confusion for the usage cleaning of different materials and applications.
Of course, we are always available with normal methods of communications, email, phone and depending on the location of course on-site.
Remote access if necessary and if required to use, our IPG Machines are setup as mandatory via Laser Industries Pty Ltd support and technical services. This enables our IPG machines for remote internet login support, we can then troubleshoot almost any problem and even drive your Laser Machine Dashboard to show and instruct your cleaning programs. This service is unique to Laser Industries Pty Ltd and usually unavailable from most other suppliers.
IPG Laser Cleaner Live Demonstration
Of course, you are required to make an advance appointment at our demonstration Workshop in Newcastle, NSW.
However, we need to carefully discuss your applications and conditions before ascertaining correct safety operational procedures. Therefore, prior pictures and parts with concept proof testing are required. In certain instances, it may require a commitment to confirm companies have budgeted correctly and researched applications suitable for Laser Cleaning. see RoLA
How do I know if Laser Cleaning will work with my Application? RoLA
Very good question, and at times some overseas suppliers especially from Asia can be quite unscrupulous in revealing the actual truth. To confirm and assist with your research, Laser Industries Pty Ltd supplies independent RoLA (Research of Laser Application) Testing Services, demonstrating the research and testing of a specified, particular, Laser Cleaning Machine model/s or Laser Resonator Output Power Level/s.
RoLA Testing Videos are provided to assist with evaluation of the relevance, suitability, proposed practical usage approach of theory in the workshop environment, related to the specifically nominated Laser Application for Cleaning/Surface Preparation of nominated materials/parts relevant to the client’s desired, proposed usage of Lasers for Cleaning.
With Laser Applications for Surface Preparation/Cleaning, a RoLA can help highlight, investigate and evaluate whether certain aspects of a particular Laser Cleaning idea equate to a technologically feasible possibility from a research standpoint.
You should discuss with us for unique differences, qualities, and options Laser Industries Pty Ltd may offer that another company may not.
How long is the hose, cable, fibre?
That depends on the system, for outputs such as IPG100, IPG200, and IPG300w the fibre cable is custom ordered up to 5-15metres, IPG500 -IPG2000w can be 15-20m
It is even possible to custom build a system with different specifications up to 30-50metres
How wide is the Laser beam?
The beam itself is a small factor, which is further worked with the use of mirrors, therefore it can be scattered into any shape (lines, circles, rectangles, ellipses, etc.). The width of the beam, therefore, depends on the size we program, then on the optics used, due to the smooth manual move during the cleaning process we usually choose a width of 8cm. It is usually possible to choose between approximately 2-10cm, for special applications up to approximately 30cm.
How does the service work?
IPG Model cleaning machines are designed to be virtually maintenance-free; if our SOP Instructions are adhered to, then preventive service is not normally required by Laser Industries Pty Ltd on these machines and the laser (water-cooled) machines can be used for almost non-stop operation.
What will happen if a laser beam runs over my hand?
Of course, it depends on how it happens, what setting are you using,.., If you hit within the focusing distance, you will burn your hand, if your hand happens to be out of the focusing distance, you will only feel the heat. The laser is partially reflected, partially absorbed in the material, it can also pass through the material.
This is an Unsafe practice and a completely irresponsible act, we do not advise to attempt this situation at any time.
Can a Laser remove rust corrosion and paint?
Cleaning rust with our Laser Cleaner is one of the most used applications, this is the most efficient and effective method of removing rust.
Rust, paint, varnish, oil, and other contaminants will NOT resist laser cleaning methods, allowing a huge range of possible applications.
Specific industry applications should always consult with Laser Industries Pty Ltd to determine the most cost-efficient methods and options to provide the best outcome and ROI. Also consideration should be given to RoLA
What is Air-cooled Laser and Water-cooled Laser Cleaning?
Cooling the laser machine is important in the operation of the equipment.
The Laser beam comes from a hand-held cleaning head, it comprises a triggered housing for containing the optic components in a shell or gun housing. The hand-held cleaning head can be used to safely direct laser energy to a surface to be cleaned; the laser beam ablates from the surface coatings, corrosion, and the like without harming the substrate.
The Air-cooled Laser Cleaning Resonator and portable Hand-Held Cleaning Head are cooled by the environmental air with fans and or cooling fins.
The Water-cooled Laser Cleaner is cooled by a chiller or condenser, via tubes to the laser resonator and the cleaning head.
Difference Air Cooled vs Water Cooled Lasers
- Smaller operations
- Compact and portable
- Less cost but higher maintenance
- Less cooling protection
- Industrial medium and large operations.
- High energy efficiency.
- Near constant performance achievable, independently of the ambient temperature.
- Higher initial cost
- Lower maintenance
- IP62 Ingress Protection
Water-Cooled IPG Laser Cleaning Machines vs Competitors?
Rather than specify a comparison list, we recommend the features and benefits of our IPG Range of Laser Cleaners, some competitors may have some features and some may not.
IPG Water-Cooled Lasers by Laser Industries Pty Ltd have the following main features:
IPG Lasers have complete water-cooling with full integration from Resonator throughout the fibre cable and into the Laser Handheld, with freon Chillers, alarms, and temperature controls
IPG Lasers with dust protection IP62 Ingress
- Single Transportable Unit with a smaller footprint, less cumbersome than separate chillers and cables.
(normally separate chillers are larger units due to the requirements of large water tanks for circulation cooling only. Lower quality builds with no alarms. and non-refrigerant cooling)
- Due to the unique technology of Laser Industries manufacturing, we have enabled our smaller size chillers to accommodate our full range of Water-Cooled IPG 200w to IPG 300w and the IPG 500w to IPG 2000w Laser machines. The IPG 200w is the worlds-first water-cooled 200w mid-range machine available in Australia.
- The Australian mining and industrial applications can be quite demanding environments, the technology of Laser Industries manufacturing enable dust protection to IP62 Ingress protection to provide lower maintenance.
- Alarms and Temperature control needs to be inbuilt and adjustable to allow different climates, applications, and long operational shifts.