Category Archives for "Hardware"

Highlight on Fujitsu Scanners

We thought it would be a good idea to spend a few weeks highlighting some of the different scanner manufacturers and what kind of equipment and service they offer and the benefits of purchasing their product.  This week we are going to cover Fujitsu scanners.

Fujitsu offers a very wide range of scanner models from the ScanSnap S300 which is rated at 8 pages per minute (ppm) all the way up to the 5900C, which is rated at 100ppm.  For a more complete list of the Fujitsu models available, click here.  The majority of Fujitsu’s mid-range scanners come with an on-site 3 month Next Business Day response warranty.  They also come with a nice package of software including:  Kofax VRS, Adobe Acrobat Standard, and ScandAll21.  Also, most of the scanners are now Dual Interface: Ultra SCSI & USB connectivity, see blog about USB vs. SCSI scanners.

A couple of the newer models that Fujitsu has released, the 6670 and 6770, have 15,000 page daily duty cycles.  That means that they can scan 15,000 pages in one day and not shorten the life span of the scanner.  That is about twice the daily duty cycle of the models they replaced, the 5650C and the 5750C.  That high of daily duty cycle is quite good for a scanner in its price range.  For the lower volume and price range, another two new models are fi-6130 and fi-6140. These little workhorses scan 40ppm and 60ppm and an optional Flatbed can be purchased separately for both models.

Other benefits of the Fujitsu scanners are the service offerings. Fujitsu is one of the few remaining scanner manufacturers that maintains their own warranty and post warranty contracts. This permits for high availability of quality phone support prior to an on-site repair call as well as high availability of parts when and if an on-site service call is needed. Fujitsu service offerings range from Basic coverage (any hardware failure that isn’t consumables, see blog about the difference between parts and consumables) to the more elaborate ScanCare package. ScanCare is a more comprehensive contract which can include several Preventative Maintenance (PM) visits per year and consumables kit(s) depending on the model. First time buyers can sometimes experience sticker shock over the cost of some of these contracts but once you calculate the guaranteed PM visits, the consumables and the end user training,  you should be able to quickly gauge the value. Plus to replace a major part on scanners can often run into the thousands of dollars.  Contracts are much cheaper than replacement scanners and if it’s a mission critical scanner can you really afford not to be covered?

Andrea Latham, CDIA+
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.

 

Who Needs a Scanner? I Think I Need a Scanner…

The answer is almost everyone!  From scanning bills and statements in your home office to full Imaging Departments in the largest of companies, digital images are the way of the future.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room in my house for filing cabinets full of old mortgage, power, auto, insurance and all the other bills and statements that I get every day!  Many State, County, and City government agencies have also run into the same problem as they are keeping 100+ years of all different types of paper documents.

A lot of people today want to start digitizing their documents, but don’t really know where to start.   If you need some help trying to find out what type of scanner is right for you, there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself.  How many documents per day/week do I need to scan?  Do any of them need them to be in color?  Are any of my documents double-sided?  Are any of my documents of unusually large or small size?  What paper types and of what quality will I be scanning?  All of these questions are important and can help narrow down the size and type of scanner that will work best for you.   There are many manufacturers that produce scanners that range from home office/portable to the highest production scanners available.  Companies like Fujitsu, Bell & Howell, Canon, Panasonic, and Kodak all provide full lines of scanners to fit most every need.  Don’t let this unfamiliar territory intimidate you, there are companies like ImageSource, Inc. that know about and sell scanners to help you out along the way!

If you’re interesting in viewing muliple scanners at one time and location, sign up to attend Nexus ’09.  Some of the major manufacturers will be demoing their scanners there and answering the types of questions we talked about above.  Good luck and start scanning!

 

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