Leaders in Document Management & Business Process Automation
Gateway To Scanner Hardware
If you’ve got paper, odds are you need a scanner. CIT has teamed up with the premier online scanner retailer to offer our clients the most competitive pricing available. 1st in Scanners sells every major brand at outstanding discounts. We’ve provided a gateway to a selection of units that we feel give you the most bang for the buck.
How much paper do you have?
How fast does it need to get done?
Largest and Smallest paper sizes that needs to be captured?
Colored pages, Black and White, or a mix?
Consistency of content
Volume of paper is probably the biggest factor in picking a scanner, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. First, most people believe a really fast “pages per minute” rating translates into getting a lot done quickly. This is true as long as you can take advantage of that speed by scanning very large documents. In most real world cases the average document is less than 20 pages. This means you’re going to have a lot of stops and starts. Of course there are things like Bar Codes, QR Codes, etc... that can separate very large documents into smaller ones, but the average user may not have that available to them. The second reason volume or quantity of paper needs to factor into your decision is duty cycle (How much work they are intended do on a daily basis). This will vary from unit to unit and it’s somewhat a measure of ruggedness. Less expensive scanners in a production environment with duty cycles in the 3,000 to 6,000 pages per day will tend to “wear out” fairly quickly when pushed near to their maximum capacity on a regular basis. You also will need to replace the consumable parts more often to keep the scanner working at that level. Feed, separation, and transport rollers all have a limited life span and will require replacement. It’s a good idea to take a look at the estimated replacement intervals and cost of the consumables.
Bottom line, the more paper you have, the better quality scanner you’re going to need.
Capturing paper is not so much about how fast something moves through the scanner, but how fast it gets separated, identified, and put away. If your average documents are smaller (say under 10 pages), 30 ppm scanner may be able to keep up with a unit that’s rated twice as fast because the bottleneck is in the identifying, indexing, and putting away process. More operators with less expensive “slower” scanners will get the job done faster.
This one is easy. If you have paper to scan that’s larger than 8.5” x 14”, then your choices are limited. The good news is that feeder style scanners that can scan 11”x17” used to cost $6,000 plus now start around $3,000.
We have over 12 years experience using and recommending scanners to customers. In that time we have found different manufacturers products have different strong suits and features.
The goal in scanning a piece of paper is to run through the scanner once regardless of what it looks like. Some scanners are very good a doing this by themselves with onboard processing and built-in native driver software. Other scanners rely more on the use of third party software like KOFAX-VRS (Virtual Re-Scan) to improve the quality of their output. There is nothing inherently wrong with either approach to provide a quality image.
We have found when scanning a mixture of colored, black & white, pages, photos, and documents with various areas of shading:
Panasonic and Kodak scanners give you the best “out the box” ability to capture images using onboard processing and built-in native driver software. Canon & Fujitsu tend to need the additional KOFAX software to deliver the same results.
Scanning paper with very consistent content:
Canon scanners tend to provide the best speed to price ratio.
Scanning physically very poor quality pages:
Fusjitsu scanners straight paper path tends to jam less.
Picking a scanner requires you to look at a variety factors to make the right decision for your situation.
Sometimes spending more up front means spending less in the long run.