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

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.

 

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!