Wide Format Scanners in Ontario: How to Evaluate Options and Features

Posted by admin on Mar 14, 2012 6:22:01 PM

Increasingly, wide format scanners in Ontario play an important role in document management for a variety of organizations. Government agencies, production facilities, hospitals, property management firms and more need an efficient way to manage wide format documents. Examples include maps, blueprints, schematics and other documents typically 18 inches and larger.

These documents must be easy to handle during normal work functions, especially if they’re used in conjunction with smaller documents. And, they must be incorporated into the organization’s document management system.

The logical answer is to use a wide format scanner to digitize your wide format documents and incorporate them into your company’s document management system. So, how do you evaluate wide format scanners in Ontario to make sure you get the best solution?

The first step is to analyze how you will be using the scanner. What document types do you expect to digitize? Once you have a good idea of your application, you can start your analysis of features, options, pricing and more.

Important Features for Wide Format Scanners in Ontario

As you can expect, a variety of wide format scanners exist. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to evaluate what exactly you’ll need and won’t need in your solution. Things like image quality, speed and price are premier decision-making points.

Image Quality. “Dots per inch,” or DPI, is used to define image resolution and quality. The higher the DPI, the more detailed the scanned image will be. Wide format scanners in Ontario typically have DPIs in the 400 to 1200 range, with 600 DPI being the most commonly selected resolution. Experts believe a 600 dpi optical resolution would be sufficient to produce quality CAD, GIS and map documents.

DPI is an important consideration, especially if you’re scanning detailed documents such as CAD drawings. You need to determine the types of documents you’ll be scanning, then look at the level of detail in those documents. Therefore, a basic guideline is the more detail you have, the higher resolution you need in wide format scanners in Ontario to get a quality result.

Another consideration when considering resolution is the file size produced. The higher the resolution, the larger the digital file will be. So, it’s important not to buy a higher resolution scanner than what you’ll actually need.

For example, a CAD drawing scanned in color at 1200 dpi would produce a monstrous 6.2 gigabyte file. Managing and storing these huge document files can be inefficient and defeat the purpose of using wide format scanners in Ontario. Also, you need to make sure the computer the scanner is connected to is powerful enough to manage those huge files.

Speed. If your application is an office environment, you may be able to make a trade-off between another feature, such as price. However, if you will be operating a high volume scanning operation, like a service bureau, speed will obviously be an important consideration.

Whatever operation you have, you want the speed of wide format scanners in Ontario to be enough so it doesn’t catch production bottlenecks. Speed is measured in inches per second with scanner widths ranging from 24 to 54 inches.

And, if you have to scan lots of documents at one time, you’ll want a batch scanning feature. You don’t want to have to stop to scan each document individually.

Price. Almost all purchasing decisions come down to pricing. With a wide variety of options and manufacturers marketing wide format scanners in Ontario, it’s important to make a consistent comparison.

Whenever you consider price, you also need to factor into the total cost of ownership and value criteria. When you include these things in your analysis, you’ll find the lowest price isn’t always the best deal.

Total cost of ownership is a business term used to define the total investment you’ll need to make in wide format scanners. Your cost isn’t just the initial price, but what it will cost to operate, maintain and repair your scanner. In addition, if the reliability of your scanner isn’t the greatest, you’ll have a cost associated with the lack of productivity.

Value comes into play when you’re calculating the various trade-offs associated with wide format scanners. A lower priced scanner may be manufactured with lower quality parts. In this case, your costs you less to buy the scanner. But, you might end up paying more over time because of repair and replacement of parts.

When you make your purchase decision for wide format scanners in Ontario, it boils down to weighing several factors that are important to you and your application. When you determine what’s most important, you can then begin evaluating different vendors and models to get the right fit.

Contact MES Hybrid today for additional information on wide format scanners.

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