y to simplify things. Manufacturers want to err on the safe side. We said, ‘OK in that case we can simplify a lot if we went with point-source exposures only,’ which made it easy for the end user to do calculations, too. We explain that if you want to do extended source (calculations), go to Dot 1, but you will be on the safe side using point source. I’ve been in touch with a lot of customers who have been very receptive to that concept.”
Using point sources only “simplifies for the average manufacturing operation what they need to know in terms of finding out how dangerous — or not dangerous — something is and how to calculate MPEs,” Lieb explains.
The new standard comes at a critical time, as lasers continue to populate more processing lines in the aerospace, automotive, energy, defense and health care industries.
“The advent of really high-powered fiber lasers and the potential for femtosecond and picosecond lasers in actual manufacturing operations has increased the need for safety attention,” Lieb asserts. Fiber lasers have enhanced the growth of an array of applications due to their relatively lower cost, plug-and-play capability and low use of floor space, he says. “They have expanded the marketplace.”
In particular, Lieb notes, the major automotive companies have raised the bar on safety consciousness in the past five years. They have “put protocols in place that demonstrate their awareness of safety concerns for lasers in the workplace and put requirements on their suppliers that heretofore hadn’t existed.”
LIA, the recognized industry leader in laser advocacy and safety education since 1968, serves as secretariat and publisher of the Z136 series of laser safety standards, providing financial and administrative support to the committee. To order the Z136.9 standard ($150 for LIA members, $170 for non-members), visit http://www.lia.org/Z136.9 or ca
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