EXPLOSION-PROOF LASERS FOR STRAIGHT TUNNELS


MCE Lasers provide alignment and levelling capabilities for every application, including mining.

WHEN the first laser was built in 1960 it captured the imagination of the public and science fiction fans in particular. Today lasers are all around us and have many potential applications in the mining industry despite the fact that lasers often involve pulses of high voltage electricity, which is not a good fit with potentially explosive gas or dust mixtures underground.

Melbourne-based engineer Zoran Crvenkovic saw a solution. Already servicing laser systems used for precision measurement, he realized that industry demand was growing which led him to establish Monochromatic Engineering Pty Ltd, to design and build Australian lasers.

Now known as MCE Lasers, his company specializes in the manufacture and design of lasers for alignment and levelling. The full range is rugged and entirely made from materials such as stainless steel, anodized aluminium and brass.

Lasers work by pumping energy into a material that then releases it as light and using mirrors to feed the light back on itself to produce a powerful, narrow beam. MCE Lasers use semi-conductor diodes to generate light at low voltages, meaning they're intrinsically safe, and can never get too hot or produce a spark that could ignite hazardous material. They can be powered by anything from D cells to LR44 cell batteries, depending on the customer's ideal operating time and physical size requirements.

"While I've heard the familiar refrain 'lasers are a solution looking for a problem', the success of MCE Lasers has been built on the close relationship with our clients to determine their whole project alignment needs," says Zoran Crvenkovic.

The company's range of lasers is being used by Rio Tinto, Newcrest, Xstrata Coal and BHP Billiton in countries such as Colombia, Croatia, Canada, China, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand.

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