As owners of a variety of Mekel and Zeutschel scanners, we have found Crowley’s equipment to be top-of-the-line and their post-sales services exceptional.

- Jim Modrall, Vice President, BMI Imaging Systems

Scanning Equipment FAQs

  • Are Crowley and Mekel the same company?

    Mekel Technology is a division of The Crowley Company. In 1989, Mekel Technology introduced the first microfilm scanner to the world, followed closely by its first microfiche scanner. Today Mekel Technology, owned by The Crowley Company since 2003, continues to be the industry leader in microform capture technology. The Crowley Company has preserved the strong brand name and key personnel of Mekel Technology, which is identified worldwide for its engineering and performance excellence.

  • Are Crowley and Wicks and Wilson the same company?

    Wicks and Wilson is a division of The Crowley Company. Founded in 1973, Wicks and Wilson is a well-respected manufacturer of microform imaging equipment including roll film, microfiche, aperture card and universal film scanners. Wicks and Wilson was purchased by The Crowley Company in November 2011 and continues to develop innovative scanning technology from its Basingstoke, England location. As with Mekel Technology, Extek Microsystems and HF Processors, The Crowley Company has chosen to keep this division under its current name as a nod to the strong brand recognition and loyalty from clients throughout the digital imaging industry.

  • Is your equipment Windows 7 and Windows 8 compatible?

    As of this writing, all capture and archive-writing systems manufactured and represented by The Crowley Company are compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8, excluding the Wicks and Wilson CS-series aperture card scanners which are compatible with Windows 7 32 bit. As mainstream operating systems change and advance, it is our goal to ensure that our hardware systems interface with those of the end-user.

  • Some of my operators don’t have strong PC skills. How difficult is it to setup and use your scanners?

    The Crowley line of manufactured and distributed scanners is among the most intuitive in the industry to operate. There are no complicated set-up wizards and each are designed so that a new operator, even one with limited PC skills, can use the scanners within minutes. With every scanner sold, The Crowley Company provides the option for installation and hands-on training. Additionally, we will help set the templates and image quality settings that are best suited for an owner’s conversion requirements. The Crowley goal is to make sure the operators/administrators have the equipment and software knowledge and understanding to ensure successful conversion efforts.

  • I only have a small batch of film or fiche. Is it wise to purchase equipment or are there other options?

    At Crowley, it’s understood that client needs vary widely. Our representatives are trained to help determine the most cost-effective solutions available. As a full-cycle provider, this could mean scanning or analog hardware, conversion services or a hybrid approach. For non-production volume scanning, The Crowley Company provides walk-up or on-demand scanners and also short-term rental to long-term leasing options to fit all scanning, processing and completion time frame requirements.

  • What is a patron scanner?

    A patron scanner, also referred to as an on-demand scanner, is any non-production level scanning unit that can be easily operated by untrained users, for example walk-up patrons in a library or university setting.

  • Is it true that third-party vendors also service the Crowley Company’s North American scanning equipment?

    Yes. The Crowley Company’s service agreements with certified third-party service vendors are in place as a customer benefit. Using Crowley-certified vendors may allow for quicker turnaround on minor repairs or on regular maintenance services in cases where there is a vendor service center closer in geography than one of our Crowley offices. Nothing changes from the client end – The Crowley Company is still your only contact. All personnel within the agreements are trained on the specific brands that The Crowley Company distributes including Mekel Technology, Wicks and Wilson, Avision, Qidenus, Inotec and Zeutschel.

  • What is Zeutschel’s Perfect Book technology?

    Zeutschel’s Perfect Book technology employs a line scan camera as well as a matrix camera. The image obtained from both image sources is converted into a 3D equivalent. With this, Perfect Book corrects the distortion of characters near a book spine/center and automatically recognizes the page sizes. The result? The compressed characters near the book fold are accurately aligned in the scan, the pages are automatically divided and scanned in the correct format, the book is deskewed using the gutter information and thumbprints are even removed from the image if needed to hold down the book during scan time. OCR recognition is considerably simplified, resulting in a notable increase in the recognition rate. Due to its true 3D data, Perfect Book does not depend on image margins for format recognition and determination of position. Instead, margin recognition is carried out using the height of the side profile on the right, left and center of the book. The book is automatically and accurately aligned, which significantly facilitates the process for the user, saves time and prevents damage to the material. This takes place during scan time without decreasing throughput or processing time. For an in-depth review, view the perfect book video. Perfect book is only available on Zeutschel 12000- and 14000-series book/large-format scanners and walk-up patron bookcopy machines.

  • Does Zeutschel have entry-level book scanners?

    In Zeutschel’s line of scanning equipment, the zeta and 12002 bookcopy systems are considered the most basic for walk-up patron use, while the 15000 and 12000-series color scanners are the simplest for preservation and back-office batch scanning. These units bring the archival/preservation image and lighting accuracy to the price range of everyday scanners. The 12000-series Zeutschel scanners offer the perfect mix of image quality, throughput and automation, creating an “entry-level” scanner that stands in a class of its own. Call your Crowley sales representative or Crowley direct for specific details.

  • Does the Zeutschel scanner store anything scanned on the hardware?

    No; images are saved on the Zeutschel walk-up bookcopy systems (the 12002 BCand the Zeutschel zeta). All information is automatically erased from the system once the digital scan is either saved to USB drive or printed.

  • What is the difference between the Mekel Technology MACH6 and the MACH7?

    Speed. The MACH7 microfiche scanner provides twice the throughput as that of a MACH6 microfiche scanner. All other feature/functionality offerings are identical. The MACH6 can be upgraded to a MACH7 should the owner’s throughput and/or volume requirements change. For more information, view the MACH6/7 brochure.

  • Are the Mekel Technology microfiche scanners auto-load only or can they be manually loaded as well?

    The Mekel microfiche scanners were not only the first production-level microfiche scanners on the market, they remain to this day the only tried and true production auto-loading microfiche scanner in the world. That said, not all microfiche will auto-load correctly, particularly those worn or torn from years of use. Adapting to fiche disparity, the Mekel microfiche scanners also allow for easy manual load. Even when manually loaded, the Mekel MACH-series microfiche scanners are still the fastest production microfiche scanners on the market today. There are imitations, but none which can boast a ninth generation model that has matured without rival.

  • Can I only scan standard 105mm (ie. 4in x 6in) microfiche on the Mekel Technology microfiche scanner?

    Not only can the Mekel MACH6 and MACH7 microfiche scanners digitize small fiche and/or larger tab-length microfiche, they can also scan aperture cards without issue.

  • Do the Mekel Technology microfiche scanners come with the Quantum software package?

    Quantum software is currently a standard feature for the Mekel MACH-series microfiche scanners. Contact your Crowley sales representative or hardware@theCrowleycompany.com for details.

  • Do the Wicks and Wilson 7700-series microfiche scanners scan COM fiche?

    Yes, the 7750 and 7720 scanstation models both have the capability to scan from computer output to microfiche (COM) and output to TIFF and CALS PDF in bitonal and to JPEG, BMP, JPEG 2000, RAW TIFF and PDF in grayscale. In fact, the Wicks and Wilson 7700-series units digitally scan COM fiche up to three times faster than competitive models.

  • What are the differences between the MACH5, MACH10 and MACH12 microfilm scanners?

    All Mekel microfilm scanners come standard with proprietary Quantum software for quality control to ensure 100% image capture. The main difference between the MACH-series microfilm scanner models is scan speed. The MACH12 is the latest iteration of the MACH-series and scans up to 750 true optical dpi resolution with image quality and accuracy that meets and exceeds true optical requirements specified by governments and archival institutions around the world. All MACH roll film scanner models offer a range of output options including TIFF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, PDF and PDF/A. For more information, view this info sheet.

  • My microfilm is on 1,000 foot rolls. Can Mekel Technology microfilm scanners handle that? What about 3M cartridges?

    The Mekel MACH-series roll-film scanners can scan the following as “standard:” 16mm, 35mm, 100’, 215’, 1,000’ and 3M/ANSI cartridges. No expensive additional add-on options are required.

  • What are the differences between the Wicks and Wilson C-series and CS-series aperature card scanners?

    Both Crowley’s Wicks and Wilson C-series and CS-series aperture card scanners scan 35mm aperture cards and output in greyscale or bitonal. The main difference is that the C-series units are designed for lower-volume manual and automatic scanning while the CS-series units are designed for higher-volume production scanning. The compact C-Drive X manual system scans single aperture cards with manual hollerith entry and the C400 scans 150 cards in a batch feed with automatic hollerith entry. The CS500 scanstation scans at speeds up to 500 cards per hour, with the top-range CS750 scanstation scanning at up to 750 cards per hour. Both CS-series scanstation models come standard with proprietary scancard and smartscan software featuring advanced imaging and processing tools.

  • What are universal film scanners?

    Universal film scanners, such as the Wicks and Wilson UScan+ UF-series models, are units that digitally scan multiple types of microform including microfilm, microfiche, aperture cards, negatives, photographic slides and more.

  • Can the UScan+ produce multi-page searchable PDFs easily?

    Yes. With the UScan+, you can create single or multi-page PDF files, as well as raw, compressed and multi-page TIFF, JPEG/JPEG 2000 and BMP files. If you choose to scan microform to a PDF file, the optional OCR and annotation features enable you to render the files text-searchable so that you can quickly and easily find the exact information you need. The UScan+ also was the first to support USB3.0 interface and scan microform in color in the U.S..

  • Is the UScan+ sold under other brand names?

    Depending on geography and the distributor, the UScan+ may also be sold under the names Mekel Technology Mach2+, Genus Ozaphan and Zeutschel delta+.

  • Is there an automatic page turning solution for large-volume book scanning that is reliable and won’t damage the pages?

    Yes. The Crowley Company represents the production-level Qidenus Robotic book scan 3.0-series, offering fully-automated, semi-automatic and manual operating modes. The patented bionic finger system makes automatic scanning easy and is gentle on original material

  • How do Qidenus Robotic book scanners compare to the competition?

    Important differentiators/advantages include:

    • Gentle V-shaped glass plate mechanism which guarantees no curvature of text/data near spine
    • Complete workflow software
    • A sole mechanical method which means no harmful vacuum mechanism
    • Double-page turning detection which guarantees only one page is turned at a time
    • Intelligent double-page control (self-adaption)
    • Fully-automatic and/or manual page turning modes
    • Ability to easily scan front and back book covers

    All inclusive pricing: includes scanner, camera systems, capture workflow software, installation/training and a full 12-month replacement guarantee. Qidenus and The Crowley Company stand firmly behind their equipment.

  • Is there a guarantee that the Qidenus automatic page-turning robotic scanner will only turn one page at a time?

    The Qidenus robotic book scan 3.0-series units have self-regulating page thickness and turning devices that self-learn expected page thicknesses to auto detect if more than one page is being turned at a time. The system will smartly retry a few times as designated by the operator in the system. If it cannot turn a page, it will alert the operator in the room via audible and visual light signal. A quick adjustment is made and the operator can place the unit back into production mode. This is in direct contrast to competitor scanners which use unreliable ultrasound and vacuum techniques which may be harmful to original material. For more details, view the Qidenus robotoc book scan 3.0 video.

  • Does Qidenus only provide robotic book scanners?

    Qidenus Technologies’ book scan 3.0-series consists of a robotic, semi-robotic and manual model. The Mastered book scan 3.0 is a semi-automatic system with a manual option, and the SMART book scan 3.0 is the more affordable manual-only system. All Qidenus 3.0-series book scanners come with proprietary QiScan processing software and feature V-shaped, specially coated glass plate technology and the latest CMOS sensors for high-quality capturing. For more details, view the RoboticMastered and SMART book scan 3.0 videos.

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