BY JEFFREY STEELE ON APR 1, 2014
Jeffery Steele of Wide-Format Imaging wrote the following article on the following categories: technology-based scanning trends, pinpointing opportunties, and the return on scanner investment. One of the persons interviewed was Randy Geesman, president of Paradigm Imaging Group.
As technology and the market for scanned documents evolve, PSPs find that owning a wide-format scanner is increasingly critical in generating customer traffic and profits. A wide-format scanner makes sense from a return-on-investment standpoint as well, because it’s possible to earn back one’s scanner investment quickly.
The trend in wide-format scanners over the past several years has been the shift from Charged Coupled Device (CCD) scanners, which involve cameras and lenses, toward greater use of Contact Image Sensor (or CIS) scanners.
So said Randy Geesman, president Paradigm Imaging Group. “The reason is that the optics are more stable [with CIS] than they are with CCDs, which require use of mirrors to create the focal length. And CIS is a less expensive technology to implement and manufacture.”
At one time, he added, CIS wasn’t capable of producing the same image quality and color gamut that CCDs traditionally could provide.
That is changing. “Colortrac has done something interesting in terms of improvements with CIS technology,” he said.
“They came out with Single-Sensor Technology. All the CIS scanners use an array of about five staggered sensors to cover the width of the scanner. Since they’re staggered, you have to implement some way to combine what the sensors are capturing, so there aren’t any stitching errors. In using Single-Sensor Technology, Colortrac has built one continuous sensor that covers the width of the scanner, resulting in the elimination of stitching concerns. And they’ve done something with the color-capture quality, so that the gap is being narrowed between CIS and CCD. With single sensors, Colortrac can now meet the demands of most scanning applications.”
Still, if a customer’s business centers on fine art capture, Paradigm would point him or her toward a CCD scanner. It’s important to recognize, however, that that kind of customer—which prior to Single-Sensor Technology would have comprised 25 percent of the market—now makes up less than 10 percent.
Pinpointing the Opportunities
Geesman identifies two kinds of applications to be served by PSPs. “Either you’re archiving documents to create a digital library of legacy data, an application we refer to as scan-to-file,” he says. “Or you are producing a hard copy. One of the growing trends is to utilize a scanner as part of a multi-function system to produce copies. PSPs need to look at both applications to derive the greatest revenue from their scanning investments.”
“We came out with an entire product line based on that concept, called a Flex system,” Paradigm's Geesman says. “You can add it to an existing printer, or have it stand alone. [PSPs] don’t have to purchase another printer when they already have plenty.”
Return on Investment
Most experts agree a scanner can quickly pay for itself in increased business.
Added Geesman: “ROI can be achieved quickly, especially if you’re targeting both main functions: scan-to-file and scan-to-copy. One large job would pay for the scanner. It’s not uncommon to have a 1,000- to 5,000-document job, which would provide the ROI in a single project.
Paradigm Imaging installed a Kurabo scanner for general manager Steve Coyle at Miller Blueprint in Austin, TX in October of last year. The choice was based on Coyle recognizing from customer requests that a 24-by-36-inch color flatbed scanner was needed to handle fragile legacy documents and artwork.
“Austin is blessed with a large number of local artists who have come to appreciate our ability to accurately scan and print their original artwork,” Coyle observed. “As a result, we are fortunate enough to have to use the Kurabo scanner every day. It’s one of the most important assets in our graphics department.”
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