This article explores the critical importance of proper winter maintenance for laser equipment, focusing on both water-cooled and air-cooled systems. It provides detailed guidelines for preserving these sophisticated machines in colder environments, ensuring their longevity and performance.
Laser machine, highly sensitive to environmental conditions, demands specific care during winter. Optimal operating conditions for laser machines typically include a temperature of 25±3°C and a humidity of 80±10%. However, winter conditions can often fall below these ideal ranges, potentially impacting the equipment’s functionality and longevity.
Ideal and Acceptable Operating Conditions for Laser Equipment
Optimal Environment: Temperature: 25±3°C, Humidity: 80±10%.
Acceptable Environment: Temperature: 5-35°C, Humidity: 5-85%.
Challenges of Low-Temperature Environments
Operating or storing laser equipment in environments below 5°C can lead to several issues. The laser source and external optical components may fail to function correctly, and in water-cooled systems, there’s a risk of the coolant freezing, leading to pipe deformation or rupture.
Winter Maintenance Measures for Water-Cooled Laser Equipment
Maintaining Ambient Temperature: Install heating or air-conditioning to keep the operating environment above 5°C.
Continuous Water Chiller Operation: Running the chiller 24/7 prevents water from freezing.
Draining Water in Prolonged Downtime: If the equipment is not in use or during power outages, drain the chiller water and store the equipment in environments above 5°C.
Adding Antifreeze: When temperatures drop below 5°C, add specialized antifreeze to the laser equipment.
Draining Method for Water Chillers
Step 1: Turn off all power sources and open the drainage valve at the back of the chiller to empty it.
Step 2: Remove the inlet and outlet hoses, marking them for easy reinstallation.
Step 3: Open the chiller filter and drain the water inside.
Step 4: Use 0.2MPA (2KG) pressure air to blow out remaining water in the laser system.
Note: Use an air gun with caution and open all ports (including the water inlet) to avoid damaging the laser. Ensure all water is thoroughly drained to prevent ice damage.
Starting Water-Cooled Laser Equipment in Winter
Step 1: Ensure the indoor temperature is between 5-35°C before starting the equipment.
Step 2: Check for ice in the cooling pipes; do not start the equipment if ice is present.
Step 3: Use heating to raise the temperature to 5-35°C and allow the equipment to sit for over 4 hours for natural defrosting.
Step 4: Start the chiller first to preheat.
Step 5: Once the chiller reaches the normal temperature (recommended: 25±3°C), start the laser.
Step 6: Run the machine at 30% energy or less for about 10 minutes before normal operation.
Winter Maintenance Measures for Air-Cooled Laser Equipment
Temperature Maintenance: Ensure the operating environment stays above 5°C.
No Special Protection Needed: Air-cooled systems do not require antifreeze or draining.
Storage: Store the equipment in places above 5°C during prolonged inactivity.
Starting Air-Cooled Equipment in Winter
Start the machine normally, set the energy to 30% or less, and run idle for about 10 minutes before resuming production.
Proper winter maintenance of laser equipment is essential to protect the investment and ensure uninterrupted operation. By following these guidelines for both water-cooled and air-cooled systems, users can prevent damage and maintain optimal performance, even in colder climates.