Laser Cleaning – Frequently Asked Questions

If you are interested in finding out some more about Laser Cleaning.  Please read the following Frequently Asked Questions and should give you a good idea about whether or not laser cleaning is suitable for your business.

Price Guide

  • Low Power Range (20W-100W): €45 to €95K
  • Mid Power Range (500W): €245K
  • High End (1000W): €380K
Laser Cleaning devices are are aimed at Business to Business customers. Laser Cleaning devices are not consumer products. They are use in industry for industry. Laser Cleaning is very application specific. It is not a wonder tool that cleans everything and not suitable for large areas. If there are cheaper ways to clean something, you or your account/business advisor/partner, sibling will find it. Entry level machines start at roughly €50,000. Only if nothing else works and there is enough value in the components being cleaning should laser cleaning be considered. An exception is made where you have identified a market or a specific need, and as such want to offer a laser cleaning service, be it rust removal, mold cleaning, classic car restoration, agricultural machinery cleaning, monuments restoration, etc. However a business plan is strongly advised and in any case is required (not by us) to the leasing agency or bank who will fund such a machine. This is why we request your company credentials, including business website and business address.
As a guide price, ex works, for mobile laser cleaning units:

  • Low power range (20W to 100W) – €40,000 to €85,000 euro
  • Mid-power 500W – €245,000 euro
  • The high end 1000W – €300,000 euro
Laser cleaning is very application specific. The particular application must be identified in order to establish if laser cleaning is suitable (Proof of Process) and practical (Is it cost effective). To choose the right system, can you please provide a photo of the items you want processed.
For companies looking to perform their own roll cleaning, LARC (Laser Anilox Roller Cleaning) from LaserAge offers a system that uses a Laser Beam that can clean most types residues on most kinds of rolls. However LARC offers an advanced cleaning technology, and can greatly help companies achieve their sustainability initiatives and move away from the use of chemicals and other processes that produce waste during roll cleaning operations.

    • Waste Free
    • Low Operating Costs
    • Fully Automated
    • Deep Cleaning: Can handle ANY LPI pattern

Laser Cleaning – uses no consumables

Our standard cleaning time using a 20W system for a scheduled clean for anilox roller of area 0.42m2 (d x l ; 180 x 750 mm) takes 45 minutes. Our Off-the-Press LARC Systems is engineered to remove most types of inks, coatings, adhesives and glues. These easy-to-use systems only require electricity to work – no compressed air, water, or media are ever required. With LARC, you can expect complete restoration of your cell volume — the laser beam pulverizes whatever is left in your cell and uses a small vacuum to capture the pulverized particles. LARC has always strived to offer the best available technology for roll cleaning, and this technology truly represents next generation cleaning performance – contact us now to learn more about this offering and how it may fit into your existing operation.

For new distributors these criteria are required:

  • At least 5 persons staff with technical competences in laser surface technology
  • Office/settlement in the country
  • Service capability (technical and engineering staff)
  • Turnover >3Million EURO
  • Existing company (Ltd.) must be established and trading for more than 6 years
  • Purchase at least one low power system and one medium system for hire and demo purposes
  • Liability Insurance value >3 MILLION EURO
  • Access to at least 10 potential customers in Automotive, Aeronautics or Marine

There is a range of lasers to choose from but for portability and mobility and for working on/off site, the 100W system is the most practical option.

You can put it in the back of your car/van.

The system is good enough for:

  • rust removal
  • paint removal
  • general weathering residues (from public monuments and statues)
  • on metal and ceramic surfaces

The electrical power supply for this laser is single phase so an outdoor electrical generator should do the trick .

There are no serviceable parts inside.

The unit is air cooled.

It weighs 80kg and the hand-held optical head is protected inside the transporter/trolley box.

This is an off-the-shelf, plug n’ play, Ready2Go device that requires minimal training.

ex works  – €85,000 (euro)

The system becomes affordable if a local service is offered, i.e.,  for example; rust removal.

Here is a particular situation why one would choose laser cleaning over a more traditional and certainly well established methods of cleaning.

Pleae circulate this story to your colleagues and get different perspectives and people’s views.

The story highlights costs of your current cleaning methods and allows you to compare it to the capital costs for a laser system.

We did a laser cleaning trial with a 300W laser cleaning system for removing release agent from very large composite tooling.

A comparison was made to the current cleaning method, i.e., an air operated abrasive grinding wheel.

In both situations manual cleaning was carried out .

Two molds were lined up, both identical and the stop-watch set to zero.

The result: The cleaning times were exactly the same for each method.

But this was not the reason why we did the test.

Now the grinding apparatus cost less than 100 euro and spare disks are easily available in the local DIY hardware store.

What did the client do –   He bought the laser, costing over €235,000 euro!

That was almost a decade ago and they have taken delivery of an even higher power laser cleaning machine early in 2016.

The molds they were cleaning were expensive and the abrasive cleaning method was putting them out of tolerance after a period of time, thus limiting the life of the mold.

The laser is a non contact tool and will not remove any substrate material, thus will extend the life of the component/mold/tool.

The whole-of-life picture, must be included when pricing a laser system.  The main things to look out for are;

  • logistics at outsourcing the cleaning process to a 3rd party,
  • manual transportation of components,
  • cost of abrasive media and its disposal afterwards
  • the cost of replacement molds over a period of time, etc..

When you do this exercise, then you can put the price of a laser in context.

People buy houses all the time, cost much more than this, yet are quite happily to go along to the bank and draw down the funds and spend the next 15 – 20 years paying it back.

These funds are huge when taken out of context but quite agreeable when ones considers the holistic picture.

No, the laser will not remove several mm of rubber layers or paper.  Can you imagine the smell from burning rubber !

What has been tried in the past is to use an induction coil to soften the glue holding the rubber to the steel roll. When the roll is hot, the rubber can be manually peeled back much easier compared to when it’s cold. back.

What remains behind is the glue residue, which the laser can easily remove.

For companies looking to perform their own roll cleaning, LARC (Laser Anilox Roller Cleaning) from LaserAge offers a system that uses a Laser Beam that can clean most types residues on most kinds of rolls. However LARC offers an advanced cleaning technology, and can greatly help companies achieve their sustainability initiatives and move away from the use of chemicals and other processes that produce waste during roll cleaning operations.  This has been described in a previous FAQ above.

Yes, we believe this product will save time in cleaning engine parts, especially on large diesel engines where some of the parts are very rusty.  Laser derusting breaks down hydrocarbons, which makes it an excellent method of cleaning engines and engine parts, or other areas where oil and grease are present.  Make sure to cover any rubber or plastic coated pipes with silver foil beforehand.

Please also make sure your engine is switched off !  you would be surprised !!