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What is the Difference Between Parts and Consumables?

When you own a scanner, or multiple scanners, you are responsible for keeping that equipment running efficiently by keeping consumables on hand.  The components of a scanner that touch the paper and are designed to wear out and be replaced every 3-6 months are called “consumables.”  They are different to what are referred to as “parts” of a scanner.  Consumables are designed this way to maximize the performance of the scanner and are end user replaceable, meaning you don’t have to be tech savvy to perform the operation.

The most common types of consumables are rollers, lamps, and pad assemblies.  Depending on the scanner manufacturer (Fujitsu, Bell & Howell, Canon, Panasonic, Kodak, etc..), you may have to replace one or more at least a couple times a year.  When a scanner starts jamming or double-feeding paper, the most common cause of this problem is usually worn out consumables.  Other imaging problems like: no longer reading bar codes, poor OCR results, or getting an optical alarm can usually be solved by replacing the lamps

When a scanner has a maintenance contract in place, it usually just covers the parts and not the consumables.  ImageSource receives a lot of calls from customers asking why the consumables are not covered and parts are.  The answer is because the consumables are almost always end-user replaceable and must be replaced much more often than parts.  And if your scanner is under maintenance, it’s usually required to have parts replaced by a certified technician.  See our blog on benefits of having a maintenance contract.

Not sure where to get parts or consumables for your scanner?  Contact ImageSource, they are happy to help!

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

Relationships – The Ultimate “Value-Add”

One objection we hear almost every day as a Sales representative from a Value Added Reseller (VAR) is “I can get that scanner cheaper online!”  While that may be true in some cases, it may not always be in the customer’s best interest.  That’s when we discuss the benefits of purchasing from a VAR.

VAR’s focus on front end capture solutions as well as the hardware. When choosing what type of scanner to purchase, it is very important to take into consideration what front end capture and back end software you will be utilizing.  You want to ensure the scanner will compliment everything you currently have in place for your document imaging solution.

When purchasing from a VAR (such as ImageSource ), you also receive depth and breadth of experience and knowledge,   not just the product itself, but the many applications and usage.  We strive to provide assistance in picking on the best piece of equipment for you and provide the buyer the opportunity to consider and compare all the options, taking into consideration future imaging growth and software applications.  And, if we don’t know the answer to the customer’s question, we know where to get it.

If you choose to buy the scanner from an on-line retailer with little or no human contact or experience, you are gambling that there will be no challenges.  Often during installation and troubleshooting – many on-line resellers may not take the time to assist you with resources and information that is needed for a successful installation. More than likely, a value-added reseller has come across this challenge before with other customers and can easily offer a solution or point you in the right direction. This is their expertise!

It is true you get what you pay for – online resellers do have a customer service telephone number but the question to ask is, “Do they have the real life experience of working with that scanner?”  ImageSource (a VAR and an Integrator) offers more than just good pricing at point of sale of the scanner…we offer information,  education and experience

Experience comes with a price, albeit small.

“The difficult we do immediately….the impossible just takes a little longer.”

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

SCSI vs. USB 2.0 in Production Scanners

Over the course of my time selling imaging hardware, i.e. scanners, many customers ask me which is better…SCSI or USB 2.0?  Actually some don’t even ask, they insist that SCSI (small computer system interface) is still the fastest option.  Unfortunately for them, almost all scanner manufacturers have moved to using a USB 2.0 interface as option on their scanners and some are USB 2.0 exclusively.

When the first USB (Universal Serial bus) it was slower than SCSI and at times Flakey. Anyone who has ever installed a SCSI device knows that there was definitely room for improvement in this technology as well. Between double checking SCSI ID’s and triple checking the Termination you could spend quite a bit of time sorting out a SCSI install if it didn’t go right the first time. But when USB 2.0 came out it was stable and fast. In fact there is little to no degradation in speed with the scanners.  In fact, Kofax has stopped manufacturing SCSI cards all together.  VRS used to be a limitation of USB in a production environment because it required a SCSI adrenaline board interface, but now the latest versions of VRS are more versatile and work with USB 2.0 just as well if not better than SCSI.

USB 2.0 is working its way to becoming the standard in imaging technology because it less expensive than SCSI and so much easier to work with.  You also have one less point of failure with the USB 2.0 vs. the SCSI card.  So for those people with the common misconception that SCSI is faster and better, I’m here to tell you that USB 2.0 is just as good when it comes to speed and less expensive for your pocketbook. It also opens up the door to using laptops.

ImageSource, Inc. offers the all of the best names in imaging hardware – Fujitsu, Bowe Bell & Howell, Panasonic, Canon– each one with their own strengths, but all equipped with the newest and latest connectivity of USB 2.0

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

 

The Wonderful World of Enhanced Bar Code Recognition

Capturing and reading bar codes has been done for many years, but more recently it has expanded due to color technology.  There is more information to assist in bar code interpretation and the enhanced bar code ready is able to achieve more accurate readings of all supported bar code types at lower DPI (dots per inch) levels and varying levels of quality.  Some prospective users of this technology are not sure exactly when this process can take place, at scan time or during recognition and the answer is…both!

The EBC (Enhanced Bar Code) module is an add-on from Kofax to their Capture product, but can also be added to other Capture products as well.  The EBC can be used at scan time if that is more effective for the scanning process, but also can run at recognition if you have many scanners capturing bar code information which needs to be released and processed at the same time through the server.

Enhanced Bar Code recognition is also included in the KofaxVRS product in the Workgroup and Professional versions.  The EBC, when used directly from the VRS product can only be run at scan time, not at recognition.  So if you are in need of that capability, you may need to look into purchasing the separate EBC add-on directly to the Capture product.  If you have more than one installation of Kofax Capture, be aware that you will need to purchase the EBC module for each installation that needs that capability.

In addition, ImageSource offers www.ilinxcapture.com to compliment an existing batch capture environment.  ILINX Capture allows content to be submitted in an adhoc manner from around the enterprise and offers enhanced bar code capability.

Some of the new improvements to the EBC functionality includes the ability to work with grayscale images in addition to having improved bitonal recognition capability.  Another significant advancement is the support of two-dimensional (2D) bar codes.  If you have any questions or need more information on this or other Kofax products, give ImageSource, Inc. a call and we can certainly help!

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

 

Yes, There is Such a Thing as a Wide Format Scanner

For many companies and government agencies, there is a great demand for a scanner that can accommodate documents larger than 11 x 17”.  Engineering companies, architectural firms, assessor and land use departments all have large format documents they deal with on a daily basis.  The most common large format documents for these users are blueprints, maps, and architectural drawings but other uses include graphics, fine art and photography.  Trying to find, store, and organize all these huge documents can be painstaking and space consuming, so in comes the large format scanner to the rescue!

The large format scanner comes in a variety of sizes for max scan width, the most coming being 36”, 42”, and 54”.  You can also choose between Simplex/Duplex and Monochrome/Color options.  Models with different speeds and resolutions also help customize your large format scanner solution.  For example, if you need to scan in a color map with a lot of detail, you will want a color scanner with very high resolution.  Large Format scanners are available with up to 9600 dpi.

Software is  available that assist with the scanning, processing and organization of your images.  Some software even allows the scanner to integrate directly with CAD applications enabling blueprints to be scanned, edited and digitally stored.  And most large format scanners include a 2-year on-site warranty, although most are virtually maintenance free – few, if any consumables are needed to maintain the optimum performance of the units.

ImageSource, Inc. can provide information on many different large format scanner manufacturers such as Vidar, Contex,  and Graphtec.  Regardless of the brand, you can integrate large format scanners seamlessly into your existing document imaging system giving you maximum flexibility for digitizing documents of any size.

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.