11 Questions to Ask in Order to Buy the Correct Wide Format Scanner

At ImageSource, we have many customers who call in asking for information on Wide Format Scanners. Selecting the right Wide Format Scanner for your needs is imperative, as manufacturers do not normally provide evaluation scanners for you to test.

I always recommend that customers review a software webinar demo before buying these larger scanners. The software functionality and ease of use is an important differentiator between scanner manufacturers. The incorrect software combined with a scanner that does not meet all your needs can be a costly investment that cannot be returned to the manufacturer. In this category of scanner, the cheapest price tag does not necessarily mean the best fit!

There are some basic questions that we always ask our customers in order to qualify what scanner(s) is the most appropriate. I would like to share these to help you with any future selection processes/decisions.

  1. Do you need B&W, Grayscale, Color capabilities?
  2. If Color is required, is it Color critical (such as photos and art work), or simple color (such asline drawings or printed maps)?
  3. What is the largest size original you will be scanning?
  4. Is speed important? Will this be production scanning or just occasional scanning?
  5. Approximately how many scans per month?
  6. What condition are your originals in? Poor (folded with a lot of background), Medium or Good quality?
  7. What kinds of media will you be scanning? Paper, blueprints, Mylar, stitched linen (very old documents), maps, etc.
  8. Do you need thick document scanning capabilities?
  9. Do you need a stand and catch basket?
  10. Will this be a scan-to-file application or do you need scan-to-print (copy) functions as well?
  11. Will you need to edit, modify or convert any of the images into CAD or GIS file formats?

We have been working with the major Wide Format Scanner manufacturers for many years so we are here to help give our expertise for any questions you may have. ImageSource will make it easy for you and guide you towards the “best fit”.

We are here to help!

Megan Lane
Inside Sales Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Yes, You Need Maintenance on Your Scanner

As budgets get tighter it’s inevitable that the need for hardware maintenance will come into question. It’s like insurance in your own personal life; nobody likes to pay for it but you definitely dont want to get caught without it.

If your equipment is mission critical, you need to keep it covered under a service contract.
If you don’t have the budget to replace it immediately, you need a service contract.
If you are unsure what model it would  be replaced by or where or how to get it you should definately maintain your service contract.

There does come a point in time when it is more practical to put those renewal dollars towards a replacement.  If you’re working with a good company such as ImageSource we will let you know at renewal time that you should be planning for your replacement either this year or the year after. We can help you select a model and also review compatibility.

Upgrades can be tricked and can trigger software upgrades at the sametime, these are best planned for rather than inadvertenly discovered.

If you need assistance planning, renewing or replacing your scanner please give us a call.
Thank you for your time!

Ruben Kerson
Inside Sales Manager
ImageSource Inc.

The Power of Partnerships

Working with other companies and their staff to deliver a product and service to a customer can be an enlightening experience.  I have recently been working with 4 of the top leading scanner manufacturer partners to assist a healthcare customer with their distributed capture initiative-with the evaluation and the purchase of 160 desktop scanners for capturing patient intake information.

The customer evaluated the 4 manufacturers’ desktop scanners. A number of factors influenced the healthcare customer on their decision to work with ImageSource and to purchase the following scanner evaluated:

  • The ease of use of the scanner equipment and software
  • Availability of the manufacturer’s sales person and sales engineer to be on-site to install the scanner, the numerous conference calls to answer questions that unfolded due to the testing of the scanner and every question was treated with utmost importance.
  • The attention to detail by both ImageSource and manufacturer to modify the demonstration of  the scanner and that the scanner software solved a number of their various documentation challenges (for example – the patient intake documentation varies is size, thickness and also includes plastic cards)
  • The high level of thorough communication between ImageSource and manufacturer (In the customer’s eyes it seemed they were working with one company, not two!)

The greatest learning experience and also the most important factor that made this a stress-free process was the level of trust that was initiated, grown and experienced by all parties involved;

  • From the customer perspective: Working with two teams from different companies- it did not matter who they called (whether it be ImageSource or the manufacturer), they received the same high level of service from both companies. Both companies kept each other informed of the conversations etc. they had with the healthcare customer, therefore alleviating any miscommunications or misunderstandings.
  • From the Reseller vendor (ImageSource) perspective: The high level of communication and interaction with the manufacturer’s sales team created a streamlined cohesive focus to ensure the customer received what they REALLY required from a scanner.
  • From the Manufacturer perspective: Being able to rely on a vendor partner that has the knowledge, expertise in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and initiative to go the extra step – to focus on how to solve the customer’s challenges, not just sell a scanner. It gave us the manufacturer room to really excel in presenting how the scanner and software was the solution to the customer’s challenges.

It is refreshing to experience this unique partnership among the customer, vendor and manufacturer. And I know from all involved, that it set the stage for a high level of expectation in the future opportunities to do business together. This experience reminds me of this quote I saw recently:

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Do These Documents Make My Scanner Look Small…?

Is this a common question in your organization?  Well, good news.  There are scanners that can scan documents that are larger than 8 ½” by 11”.  Even 8 ½” by 17”!  In our industry, we call them Large Format Scanners.

Large Format Scanners can scan documents up to 58” wide and up to several feet in length.  The scanned image can also look better than the original – just like with production and desktop scanners. Large documents can be scanned in resolution of up to 600 dpi.  The speed of these scanners is impressive as well – up to 16” per second.  Another great feature of these scanners is that they require few or no consumables to maintain their performance.  The manufacturer leaders in this industry include ImagePRO and Contex/Vidar.  Both of these manufacturers ship equipment with a standard 2 year on-site warranty agreement – a great add-on feature.  The ImagePRO line also uses LED technology which provides instant-on color calibration translating into no waiting time for calibration.

Businesses/organizations in which Large Format Scanners are commonly found include Architectural firms, counties’ assessors’ offices, galleries, geological surveyors, companies that produce maps, public utilities divisions, photography studios, manufacturers of airplanes and trains, etc.

The scanned image can be seamlessly imported into your existing enterprise content or document management system.    Typical software shipped with these scanners allows you to scan the document to a JPEG, PDF, or TIFF.  You can also scan-to-net as well.  In terms of drivers, most large format scanners work with TWAIN and in terms of interface, they use SCSI III, USB 2.0 and/or Ethernet.  These scanners ship network ready.

At the end of the day, feel confident that no matter how physically large yours document are, there is a scanner out there that can capture them, and give you the benefits of digital storage and deliverability that you have grown accustomed to in your normal day to day business with normal sized ones.

Ian Hundtofte

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.