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Thread: How could these systems possibly be "varianced"?

  1. #1
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    Default How could these systems possibly be "varianced"?

    I was browsing x-laser.com and it seems that most of their systems are run-of-the-mill Chinese projectors with what seems to be the same lack of safety features, yet they are advertised as being "varianced" and able to be certified. How is that possible? If these can be certified to perform legal public shows in the US, then any Chinese projector should be able to from what I'm seeing. X-Laser sells an external keyswitch/emergency shutoff for their systems, is that how they are able to pull this off? Those could be built for and used with any Chinese system as well..

    The systems I'm referring to are:

    XA100G Skywriter
    XA350RGBV
    X250G Dual-Blaze
    Last edited by ElektroFreak; 05-27-2010 at 08:20.

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    "Technically" Any system *can* be modified to be varianced. Chinese projectors, LW projectors, Toaster ovens with Laser modules inside of them- can all be varianced. Provided the fact that all they all be retro-fitted with all the necessary safety systems by 21 CFR 1040 (or the newly adapted IEC code. Sorry, but i dont know the code # off the top of my head). And as long as they go through the certification process.

    What X-Laser seems to have done is get the basic pre-fab units from LaserWorld and whatever other manuf. they are dealing with and modified them to satisfy the needs of the Laser Regs.

    They guys at X-Laser seem to be doing everything very legit and to be quite honest, seem like a very stand-up company. Adam (buffo) just went their to see their production and manufacturing process and seemed to be rather impressed. I am sure we will all be seeing a full review from Adam shortly.

    -Marc
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    Thanks marc!

    It seems that the amount of mis- and dis-information about certification is mind bogging.. Up until right now I had been under the impression that the vast majority of Chinese projectors would never, under any circumstances, be able to be certified. Obviously this is untrue. Sounds like it might be time to bump the old "Safety Guidelines for Would-Be Builders of Projectors" thread which would seem to have fallen smack on its ass.


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    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...t=10815&page=3

    X-Laser tour scheduled!

    Just to keep everyone here informed...

    Dan and I had a long chat on the phone, and we have agreed to meet while I am in the DC area. We agree that I'll be able to comment on general topics concerning their operation, but there will be specifics of their business practices that I will not be able to explain. I'm OK with that.

    When I get back to Charleston (around the 23 or 24th of May), I will start a new thread explaining what I've learned about X-Laser's products, and more importantly, about their power measurement and Quality Control methods.

    Stay tuned!

    Adam



    I'm excited to see what Buffo comes back with and what he is able to say since he had to sign a privacy contract of some sorts.

    I have seen the Skywriter 300mw and 4 color aperture blaze they have on their site in person and they weren't that bad for small club use but I wanted bigger. It was running off DMX so I don't know how good the scaners were but from it was pretty jittery when they had it on DMX.

    I was interested at first about purchasing from X-laser but found out soon later that Slick Lasers (who I have watched for years in venues) also manufactured lasers for sale and lives here in Seattle. I was able to get what I was looking for specifically. He did me so right. I love my projector and should have pics on here shortly of his work.

  5. #5
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    Some times it can be as simple as proper labels, proving beyond a doubt that the lasers shut off when unblanked, or at least perform to the same level of failure statistics as the mechanical shutter, having the interlock supported in the cable, and using tamperproof screws in place of interlocks. You might also find out that X-Laser requires a certain amount of information about the install and facility for each unit, and adds that to a cumulative report.

    IEC is a LOT less stringent in some areas then 21 CFR 1040. The fact that X-Laser is near DC might have helped a bit.

    ILDA just asked CDRH to relax some rules. CDRH and ILDA have started a dialog about the "hypocracy" inherent in the fact that chinese imports do not get stopped by customs. CDRH called a meeting and ILDA went. That is progress.

    X-Laser really doesn't get any special treatment, they just did their homework.

    There is a ombudsman process some place for small businesses within FDA, you CAN call your regional EOS or others and ask for help.

    Steve
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    When I still could have...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
    I was browsing x-laser.com and it seems that most of their systems are run-of-the-mill Chinese projectors with what seems to be the same lack of safety features, yet they are advertised as being "varianced" and able to be certified.
    They do look similar to many Chinese projectors, but they have subtle differences - upgrades, if you will - which are installed here in the US at their facility before they are sent out to their dealers. It is those subtle changes (which may not be immediately visible from a picture on a website), along with the variance paperwork that allows them to be legally sold here in the US.

    Every one of X-laser's projectors are CDRH certified. Moreover, they will not sell you a projector unless you also have a laser show variance. (This is actually specified in the CDRH regs, but nearly all manufacturers conveniently ignore this part.)

    Here's the interesting part: since most of their customers are first-time laser buyers, they won't have variances, right? But they've got a solution to that problem. X-Laser has a program where by they will help you to get your laser light show variance as part of the purchase process. (And yes, this even includes operator training.)
    If these can be certified to perform legal public shows in the US, then any Chinese projector should be able to from what I'm seeing.
    This is absolutely correct, assuming that you are willing to put the effort into modifying the projector to be compliant with the regs, and also willing to fill out and file the required paperwork, and also willing to assume sole responsibility for it as a laser manufacturer. (Which means you have to have quality control procedures, warranty and return goods procedures, a recall system in place, etc... and all the records to document this.)
    Quote Originally Posted by gottaluvlasers View Post
    What X-Laser seems to have done is get the basic pre-fab units from LaserWorld and whatever other manuf. they are dealing with and modified them to satisfy the needs of the Laser Regs.
    This is mostly correct. In fact, X-laser buys all sorts of components from various vendors (including LaserWorld). They then combine and/or modify those components so that the final projector is legal to sell here in the US.

    Along the way they also test everything thoroughly. They are well aware of the problems that members here on PL have had with some of LaserWorld's products, and they are working with LaserWorld to resolve the quality control problems with a few of their products.

    However, I learned that LaserWorld in fact does manufacture some really nice equipment. Very little of it seems to be imported here into the US (at least not until X-laser got started), which is why not many people have seen it. But I was truly impressed by some of the gear I saw on the bench at X-Laser, even though it came from LaserWorld.
    They guys at X-Laser seem to be doing everything very legit and to be quite honest, seem like a very stand-up company.
    This is exactly my impression after spending nearly 5 hours with them. Also, for the record, Casey Stack at Laser Compliance Inc. has been working with X-Laser for over a year now on various projects, and he also speaks very highly of their professionalism, their commitment to safety, and the quality of their products. That carries a lot of weight in my book.
    I am sure we will all be seeing a full review from Adam shortly.
    Maybe not exactly "shortly", but soon! I've been swamped ever since I got back, but I do have an outline ready. Maybe I'll draft the review this weekend if I get some free time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattatya View Post
    I'm excited to see what Buffo comes back with and what he is able to say since he had to sign a privacy contract of some sorts.
    Yeah, I signed a Non-disclosure agreement with them. Dan basically laid out his entire business model for me, complete with several internal memos outlining their plans. This information could be used to (unfairly) compete with them, which is why I had to sign the NDA. So the good thing is that I now understand exactly what they are trying to do, but on the other hand I can't say a whole lot about it other than I agree with their principles. (And this is important, because prior to my visit I did not trust them and all but accused them of doing shady things. To say that I've had a change of heart would be understating the issue greatly.)
    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    IEC is a LOT less stringent in some areas then 21 CFR 1040. The fact that X-Laser is near DC might have helped a bit.
    I think the fact that they're paying Casey Stack a bunch of money as a consultant helped a bit more! Though I agree that since they are in the CDRH's backyard, they have extra motivation to do things right the first time.

    The things that really impress me about X-Laser is that 1) they won't sell to people without a variance, 2) they will work with you to get you a variance as part of the sale, 3) they actually fill out the customs forms for the gear they import, and keep records for everything, 4) they have a *great* quality control program in place, and 5) they really did their homework re: CDRH and IEC regs before they got started.

    Adam

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    Sorry to reply to my own post, but my review of X-laser's facility is finally finished. Here's the link to the thread. Yeah, it's a monster post, but I felt that there was a lot to know about this company, and given our very strong initial reaction to them, I think it's only fair that the other side of the story be told.

    I believe that many of us (myself included) were far too quick to judge X-laser. Part of the problem is the halo effect, because they are using LaserWorld components, but until I visited X-laser's assembly area I didn't think LaserWorld could make anything of decent quality. I see now that I was grossly mistaken.

    True, LaserWorld does still have some quality control problems, but X-laser is aware of that, and they are working to solve the problems. More importantly though, some of the stuff I saw was world class hardware, and it, too, came from LaserWorld. So they do have some very nice stuff. It's just not the same stuff you see on E-bay.

    Anyway, if you get some time, go check out my review. I think you'll be surprised at what I learned about X-laser and their products.

    Adam

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