During operation and maintenance of a Fiber Laser Cutting machine, it is important to remember some basic safety precautions as well as some simple things to avoid. Fiber Laser cutting systems are advanced systems of cutting technology used in fabricating shops throughout the world and they require an advanced approach to maintenance and care. With proper maintenance, and an eye to safety, you can keep your fiber laser machine cutting for years to come.

  1. Learn Your Machine - First off know your machine. Read and understand the maintenance manual for the machine, chiller, power source, dust collector and any other components and accessories connected to or running from the Laser Cutting system.  
  2. Know The Source - It's important to know that many items have their own power source and although you may have shut off the machines power, the chiller may still electrified. Know where all circuit cut-off breakers are and how to properly lock them in a safe position.
  3. Know Its Done - Make sure the fiber laser machine has completed all motion before attempting any kind of maintenance as sometimes there are pauses in a program, such as shuttle table motions that may not be visible from the operations area.
  4. Don’t Bypass The Doors! - When setting up and during normal operation it is very easy for operators to want to bypass the door switches in order to operate the machine with the front or loading doors open. If these door locks are bypassed on your fiber laser machine, your operator and surrounding staff will be exposed to not only the Class-1 Fiber Laser Light (which can blind!) but possible loose parts ejected from the machine during a rapid move. Further, anyone accidentally entering the motion zone can be pinched or crushed as the nature of fiber laser cutting systems is to process material very fast and thus have exceedingly high rapid speeds.
  5. Wear Your Safety Glasses - Never before in laser cutting systems has the light source been so intense and powerful then in fiber laser cutting machines. These lasers are typically guarded by solid cabin designs and expensive green glass protecting the operator and surrounding work area from flashes and eye burn. When maintaining your fiber laser make sure you take precautions by wearing your Class-1 Laser Light approved safety glasses as well as any other recommended safety gear.
  6. Chill Out - Maintain your chiller properly by checking fans, fluid levels in it and ensuring the filters are clean and clear per your manufacturer's recommendation. It is also imperative to ensure the chiller is running and cooling prior to turning the solid state fiber laser resonator on, as a cooling source must be in place.  These fiber laser power sources/resonators generate an enormous amount of heat during their normal operation that must be removed by the chilling process. A dirty or damaged chiller can cost tens of thousands in repairs to a damaged fiber laser resonator if not properly maintained.
  7. Steady Hands - When maintaining components of the fiber laser do not mishandle or drop them. There are very finely tuned and aligned components including optics within the laser system that can be easily damaged or destroyed by an inadvertent drop. Use an extra precaution when maintaining these sensitive components.
  8. Keep it Straight - Although the fiber optic cable is flexible by design, it is not meant to be wound tightly or coiled up like an old extension cord. Remember that inside the shielded larger “cord” like cable is a glass optic that can be fractured or broken which will greatly affect your fiber laser machines cutting performance. Also these cables require special equipment and a clean environment to be replaced so it is with an extra precaution that you should be handling them.
  9. Don’t Remove It! - Never remove the Fiber cable from the cutting head or the Laser power source. These areas are very suspect to even the slightest bit of dust and therefore should only be disassembled by a factory trained technician with the proper tools to maintain the head and cable connections cleanliness.    
  10. Clear The Area - Make sure the area is clear around the machine when operating it and the shuttle table or loading system. In some cases it is easy for workers to slip inside light guard protected areas during non operation to retrieve material, scrap etc and this be in a hazardous zone, unprotected when these components are then put into action.

If you follow these and other safety precautions recommended by your machines manufacturer, your fiber laser cutting system can produce great quality parts for years to come. Although these systems require far less maintenance then the CO2 laser cutting systems of old, a few simple steps can be used to avoid any preventable problems. If you have any questions about the Fiber Laser Cutting Systems offered by Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales, Inc. their maintenance, use or capability please contact us directly at 813-444-4555 or by visiting us on the web at www.southernfabsales.com

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