The mechanical interruption unit of a beam, the so-called laser shutter, is designed to shield the environment from a laser beam.
As an important and redundant part of the safety circuit, the shutter has the role to completely cut-off the beam even in case of a failure of the electronic laser beam shutdown device. A variety of laser shutter models, adapted to beam diameter and power output are comercially available on the market.
Usually these shutters are built in a bulky form and occupy precious space in the beam path of the laser unit. This is not what we were looking for when developing our laser system. Our target was a smart, compact module, which offers more than conventional beam shutters do.
For this reason we developed a shutter, which cuts off the laser beam on the one hand and measures the laser power whenever the shutter is closed, on the other hand. Thanks to this mesurement, painful laser power drift can be compensated in situ. Such drifts may e.g. occur either after short production interruptions e.g. during component changes or during long production cycles. They may stem from the laser source itself or arise from environmental influences.
This novel shutter is very compact and fits into most, commercially available holders. It has been integrated in our laser systems and thoroughly tested under production conditions. As OEM integrator you can use these data to monitor the laser source without the need of an external measurement system. Furthermore, you can use this data to control the laser power of your source.
This is exactly what we do in our laser systems. The acquired power data are steadily transferred to the laser control unit, which then corrects the reference values accordingly.