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PMD Profiler: photoelectric line scanner

It only takes a few steps for the photoelectric sensor to be ready for use and identify the profile of an object via laser line scan. The similarity between the reference and the target object is provided as a value between 0 and 100 %. This way the sensor detects whether any components, installation procedures, grooves or bore holes do not comply with the target status - with a deviation of only 0.5 millimetres.

The sensor works by means of triangulation. A laser line is projected onto the surface to be measured, reflected and taken up again by a receiving element (PMD chip). This creates a height profile of the object with millimetre precision.


All advantages at a glance

  • Inline quality assurance checks ensure correct assembly and sorting of parts
  • Quick set-up without software
  • Colour independence and insensitivity to extraneous light ensure universal use
  • Software-supported fault analysis with profile visualisation and measured values
  • Up to 10 selectable profiles offer increased flexibility

Quick set-up

The sensor can be directly connected via the standard M12 connector. With its user-friendly menu navigation and colour display as well as the intuitive setting with only 3 pushbuttons, the sensor is ready for use within a few minutes without requiring any software. The settings can be made individually in 10 languages.


If the distance between the sensor and the object changes, the proportions of the object remain the same. This means that the profile is measured independently of the distance, which makes it much easier to align and position the sensor and saves a lot of time in comparison to 1D sensors and camera systems.

Immunity to extraneous light

The sensor is insensitive to extraneous light up to 20,000 lux. Therefore, no screening or external illumination that would involve additional costs is required as is the case with camera systems performing to this high level of accuracy.

Object visualisation and fault analysis via IO-Link

The height profile of an object can be visualised using the ifm Vision Assistant software. In combination with additional measured values, such as the displacement of a component, errors can easily be analysed and their occurrence prevented in future. The quality can be checked and assured in the long term by monitoring the reject rate.

IO-Link benefits:

  • Measuring functions, such as object height and displacement
  • Additional parameter settings
  • Profile visualisation
  • Statistics
  • Data recordings
  • Profile selection
  • Internal operating temperature
  • Number of switching cycles

Region of Interest (ROI)

To detect the smallest variations with utmost reliability, the profile comparison can be restricted to a relevant section. This relevant section, aka Region of Interest, is displayed via green markers on the laser line. The remaining section will not be included in the calculation of the matching value in percent.

The ROI’s position is clearly defined in the fixed mode, which enables monitoring of the exact position of the object, for example. In the variable floating mode, the detected profile of the object to be recognised is compared to a match with the ROI of the reference profile along the complete laser line.

Some applications require a second Region of Interest (ROI) in order to focus two areas of an object and block out the area in between. With these setting options, the sensor can be used for various applications in a precise and targeted manner.