ScanMeg Inc

ScanMeg Type-P Photocells, Infrared Light-curtain Scanners & Laser Sensors for Sawmills


We need only to observe the harsh applications for which ScanMeg sensors have been selected to operate in sawmills to gain an appreciation of these products. These sensors and photocells have proven that they can deal with the most contaminated and harshest environments, typically found in the log yards and green mills of sawmills. Although the story of ScanMeg is a relatively recent one, it is a successful one with thousands of photocells and sensors installed in sawmills around the world.

If there is one product that is now ubiquitous in sawmills all over the world it is the ScanMeg Type-P Area Photocell.  It is a product that validates ScanMeg's reputation as a manufacturer of extremely rugged premium quality photocells.

ScanMeg Area Photocells are the answer for installations where there is high contamination, especially on chipper-canter and saw lines, debarkers, around high speed planers, around automated drying kiln pack handling systems, and in residue handling systems all around the sawmill. These Photocells have become the standard for OEM companies such as USNR, Comact, Autolog, HewSaw, and many others.

Sensors for Sawmills - Designed for Maximum Ease of Maintenance

The ease with which ScanMeg Type-P sensors can be maintained in the field is greatly enhanced with the standard 3-position, snap-in mounting bracket, which allows for a quick swap of photocells without use of tools.  This feature alone significantly reduces machine and plant downtime. Trouble-shooting and maintenance now finally made simple and easy!

Removing a Type-P Emitter or Receiver
(reverse procedure to re-install)

P-Type dismounting



Infrared Photocells and Scanners

The original Type-P was developed in response to sensing problems unique to the lumber industry.  As the ScanMeg sales brochure says "Gone forever are the days when you had to install, align, connect and tediously adjust settings of 2, 3 or more photocells to obtain the desired field of view and output results. Increase accuracy, reliability, productivity, machine and plant uptime. Reduce downtime and alignment time. Trouble-shooting and maintenance finally made simple and easy."

The Type-P series area photocell is now in its third generation P3 form, where the range is now standardised at 30m on all models.


Download Brochure Type P3
Type P3 Electrical schematic-2015

Type P Dimensions-2015
Download Type P User manual

Photocell Control Unit (PCU)

Using a rail-mount Photocell Control Unit, with its unique display and function settings, the Type P photocell can be programmed to tailor the parameters to fit the specific application without the need of a computer or special interface equipment.

Real-time access to:

  • Scan Rate / Precision
  • Adjustable emitter IntensityPicture7
  • Cancelled cells
  • Minimum detectable size
  • Imperial / Metric
  • Latch time
  • Debounce time
  • Photocell’s parameters
  • Individual cell status
  • 6 Predefined settings
  • Autosave parameter settings
  • Intuitive interface
  • Trouble-shooting
  • Multi-Lingual

P150 photocell on outfeed of high-speed machine stress grader



P150 photocell installed and still operational with less than ideal sensor alignment. While the installation method shown is not necessarily recommended, this photo shows just how tolerant the Type P photocells are to misalignment!


 A short YouTube video shows Type P in operation at a log canter infeed
Note narrow view between the infeed rolls and the canter infeed; the wood chips flying out of the machine through the photocell field of view;  and the status LEDs of the photocell.

View of entrance to a Canter (SQUARING) module with Type P photocell from ScanMeg, made in Boisbriand, Québec. The Type P replaced a normal single beam industrial photocell which had issues with the receiver (detecting flying chips).  The author writes "With this light curtain (emitter & receiver as well), I can get better filtering (out) of the chips. These photocells are fantastic, easy to install thanks to ingenious mounting brackets, easy to align, fast response, programmable and so on."
Note! This is an abbreviated translation from the original in French. Thanks to the author for this video.

An example of a well protected and securely mounted Type-P photocell


Types HD, LD and MD Light Curtain Scanners

TypeHD ImageThe Type HD increases your productivity by measuring the dimension and position of a log to an accuracy of 1mm and at high speed. With two analogue outputs built into our different models, the interface with a PLC has never been so simple. The first output gives the dimension and the second one the position of the object.

The Type LD model has every HD model feature but accuracy is 4 mm (0.160 inch). This allows one to select this scanner for a lower price when accuracy is not a major issue.

Scan range for LD and HD scanners is 5 metres, while scan frame lengths are available from 0.25 metres to 4 metres.

Download Type D brochure
Download Type HD Manual

The Type MD has a quoted accuracy of 12.5mm, and available in lengths from up to 3 metres. The MD scanner provides information on any object passing through its field of view (which could be a log, or a person if deployed as a safety device). When purchasing the scanner, the customer may choose one of three personality modules.

The personality module dictates the scanning mode of the MD unit. The unit can be used in a Photocell mode or a scanning mode with a resolution of 12.5mm or 25mm. For an even greater operating flexibility many personality modules can be connected together to the same MD scanner. The scanning range is from 4m to 6m.

Download Type MD brochure

ScanMeg PROX Backlog Pressure Scanner

The ScanMeg PROX Backlog Pressure Scanner modulates lumber flow feeding lug loaders and planer infeeds. Installed under the decks, the scanners have shown to increase lug fill, increase production and reduce manpower.
In this 2007 video by John Wilby (ScanMeg, Vancouver), operating costs were reduced by over $180,000 per year!

Download Type-Prox Brochure

Laser Single-point Sensors and Line Scanners

Types BBS4 and Type-BBS48 Single-point Laser


This sensor allows data acquisition to be independent of any kind of background. The BBS scans and measures any object present in its field of view. One can measure an object over a conveyor belt, a chain or any mechanical structure. Set the BBS in learn mode and the background disappears like magic. A unique analogue 4-20 mA output makes this single-point laser the most user-friendly interface to a PLC on the market.

The Type-BBS is available in two versions, the BBS4 and the BBS48.

A typical application for the Type-BBS sensors would be board thickness scanning, single-sided or differential, on a board sorter-stacker. For differential measurement use two Type-BBS sensors in conjunction with the ScanMeg DIFF Module. Thickness information is sent via a serial link or on an analogue 4-20 ma current loop.

Accuracy, field-of-view, & mounting stand-off for Type BBS4

Download BBS4 Brochure

Type-SP400 Single-point Laser sensor

SP400 PicThe SP400 sensor has less stand-off, but a larger field of view than the BBS4 sensor.  Although the scanning accuracy is also less than that of the BBS4, it remains a high precision device with accuracy as high as 0.2 mm (0.005").  However, there are many applications where this level of performance is entirely adequate. Using the SP400 there is an economic imperative too.

  • Visible laser point
  • Opto-isolated analogue 4-20 mA output
  • Can be used as a photocell
  • Serial link RS-232 (optional)
  • 100mm Stand-off
  • Nominal 400mm FoV

Download Type SP400 Brochure

Other ScanMeg Laser sensors

Click on links to download relevant brochures

Type Ultra-S
Model Ultra-S single-point laser sensor

Type S
Model Type-S single-point laser sensor

Type SE

Model Type-SE single-point laser sensor

Type TS

Model Type-TS laser line camera sensor


Differential Module

The Differential Module measures the thickness of an object with two sensors. The Differential Module accepts two Baby S48s, Baby S4s, SE or a mix of either. Daisy chain capability lets you have an array of thickness measurement sensors with an RS-485 serial link.

Download Differential Module Image


Other ScanMeg Light Curtain Scanners

Click on links to download relevant brochures

Type L
Model Type-L1 transverse light-curtain scanner

Type T

Model Type-T profile transverse light-curtain scanner

Type TL
Model Type-TL;TL2 LR profile light-curtain scanner

If you require more information on any of the products listed under "Other ScanMeg Laser Sensors" and "Other ScanMeg Light-curtain Sensors" please enquire via the online form on this page.  Note that you may download the relevant brochures by clicking on any one of the seven product links  above.


There are over 35 items of standard peripheral equipment that includes 16 pre-wired IP65 rated junction boxes with DIN-rail mounted speciality modules for hardware interfacing to standard ScanMeg sensor and photocell products.

For example, peripheral items commonly ordered with the Type P area photocells are the JB-PR1 and JB-PR2. The first accommodates one PCU (Photocell Control Unit) to interface with one Type-P photocell - the emitter and the receiver are terminated on the PCU, which usually is purchased with the photocell as a kit comprising 1 x emitter, 1 x receiver,  1 PCU unit, and 2 x 8m sensor interface cables (16m, 24m, and 32m are optional supply). 

The JB-PR2  junction box provides interface capability for 2 Type P photocell pairs.



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If you require a quotation or more information on any ScanMeg product, or seek a recommendation in regard to an application, please use this form to contact us.

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