I have personally been selling PC’s, PC Peripherals and scanners since 1995. When I came to ImageSource in June of 2000, I had to learn the document scanner side of things. ImageSource was definitely an early adopter of the VRS (Virtual Rescan) Technology. This insight was driven by being close partners with Fujitsu and Kofax. In the beginning, you had to have extra hardware components in the scanner and host PC to make the equation functional. The installations were clumsy at times, but it really was the best way to get the best quality image from your scanner.
Why my customers choose the Panasonic KV-S1065C:
1. One of my healthcare customers had a requirement for scanning medical cards. This scanner is specifically designed to work with many different sized identification cards. They also love that the scanner software allows you to view both sides of the card on one image. This is a great feature in the medical field. Another great feature is the long paper scanning option for scanning unusually long patient records.
2. Many customers in any industry enjoy utilizing the Kofax VRS software to autocorrect their scanned images. This cuts down time on the end-user manually correcting these images. Productivity is increased substantially.
When purchasing a scanner for document imaging, software is bundled with the scanner that automatically examines documents and applies the correct settings to deliver high quality scanned images. Or in simple terms – it enables image clean-up and clarity to occur automatically at the point of scanning the document. This software SAVES a great deal of TIME and is EASY to use…This little piece of magical software is called Virtual ReScan or VRS.
Many scanner manufacturers include the Kofax VRS software in the scanner purchase price. Fujitsu includes Kofax VRS Professional software with their scanners and Panasonic includes the latest version of Kofax VRS called Kofax VRS Elite bundled with their scanners. Other manufacturers do offer the software at an additional cost (Canon, Kodak etc.).
Some of the features in Kofax VRS Elite software:
- Hole punch removal
- Blank page deletion
- Color detection
- Color smoothing
- Automatic crop and deskew
- Improved recognition (increases the accuracy of OCR & ICR software)
- Scan at the scanner’s rated scanning speed
- Network-friendly images
Take a look at the Image Processing video on Kofax VRS Elite to get a visual on some of the functionality. I have customers that use the software and will not purchase another scanner without it!
I have blogged before about the Fujitsu fi-6800’s reduced footprint, the LED technology that it uses, and the many environmental friendly qualities it has, but there are other features that must be pointed out. As you can imagine, when a company so well respected and influential in the ECM world as Fujitsu releases a new product, a lot of thought and engineering goes into it beyond just making it faster. The fi-6800 is packed with features that enhance productivity that was based directly on customer feedback.
I saw a recent live demo of this model and it is impressive. It’s look, size, footprint. How quiet it is. It also became evident, that this scanner is also easier to use than the fi-5900C, the previous mid-volume production heavyweight manufactured by Fujitsu. This scanner weighs a mere 70 pounds compared to 100+ pounds of other scanners and its compact size makes it physically the smallest in its class. This scanner was designed with this in mind: bring production scanning from out back to up front without obviously disturbing the front of office business environment.
This scanner was also designed with batch scanning efficiency in mind. For example, it can be equipped with a pre or post scanning imprinter depending on the need, and features an active stacker which controls paper speed as it exits the scanner to keep documents orderly and neat. The front operator panel has a document counter and a batch counter too. It is intelligently designed featuring an intuitive LCD operator panel which can be programmed in seven different languages.
Speaking of intuitive technology, the scanner offers Intelligent Multi-Feed Function (iMFF) and Automatic Image Quality Checker (aIQC). According to Fujitsu, “iMFF allows for instant detection of a multi-feed or multilayer document, such as taped-on receipts or sticky notes added to a document. This function transports the document that has caused the alert to the exit path of the scanner, and presents both the physical document as well as the scanned front and back side images to the user so they can decide whether rescanning is required.” The Automatic Image Quality Checker allows for document batches to be processed without interruption because it marks images virtually with potential missing data (for example folded corners) and others that might indicate multi-feed incidences. This allows the user to check through the earmarked images and either re-scan or validate without interrupting the image order.
Lastly, the scanner comes equipped with an impressive full suite of bundled software including Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard, Kofax VRS 4.5 Professional with enhanced barcode recognition, ScandAll PRO with Scan to Microsoft Sharepoint, and QuickScan Pro Demo. The fi-6800 fits well into any Document Management and Enterprise Content Management solution.
Once again, Fujitsu steps out into the limelight and into the front of the pack with production level document scanning for the world.
Many people think that scanning documents only requires putting it in the feeder tray and pressing “scan”, but there are many steps that need to be followed when scanning documents into your Document Management System. Documents come in many shapes, thickness, sizes, and conditions, so the first step is to properly prepare the documents for scanning. “Document prep” is a highly important step before scanning, this assists in achieving the rated speed of the scanner and to avoid damage to its components. This includes removing staples, paperclips, or any metal fasteners that might be attached to the documents so that you do not cause damage as the paper is fed through the scanner. You also want to remove any post-it notes or small receipts and attach to a regular size piece of paper to avoid miss-feeding or jamming. Any crumpled or folded document will need to be flattened out so they feed correctly through the scanner. This seems a time consuming first step but it actually makes the scanning process more streamlined and efficient.
Once your documents are properly prepped, it is time to scan them. Often scanner operators will use separator pages to separate the batches of documents, to index the batches together correctly. This saves time with data input on the operator’s side. Scanning software functionality such as Kofax VRS, allows the operator to either manually alter the document to improve quality, or set up settings automatically to do this and speed up the quality assurance (checking the image) process. Once the batch of documents is scanned, Capture Software such as ILINX Capture or Kofax Capture allows the operator will use specific index fields to associate metadata with the documents. These metadata fields will accompany the image once released into repository software so that the document can be searched for and found in the future.
If done correctly, scanning documents can be an efficient business process that will save your company time and money….it is as simple as that! For a demonstration of document scanning (even bring your own documents), attend Nexus. Call Inside Sales at 360-943-9273 and mention this blog for a registration discount!
Andrea Latham, CDIA+
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?
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+
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+