Despite the conversations on going paperless, most organizations still require a mix of digital and paper-based documents for their business operations. These businesses now realize the benefits of going digital, in how it can help in archiving and managing documents, saving space, and generally, bringing benefits in workflow and productivity.
Nowadays, turning documents into physical copies is just a matter of printing them out. However, going from physical to digital can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you do not have the right tools to get the task done.
The most versatile tool for tackling this job are scanners, which come in different types and forms. For businesses that handle high volumes of documents, such as legal and accounting firms, the sheetfed type of scanners are, by far, one of the best options. As they are specifically designed for scanning loose papers, they make it easier to capture, index, store, and even share critical business documents.
Since every organization has specific needs that are unique to them, the question now is: what factors should be considered when buying one of these scanners?
When it comes to scanning a big load of paperwork, business owners need a scanner that scans quickly, and is durable and easy to use. Thus, manufacturers need to ensure that they provide data sheets that show the speeds of sheetfed scanners they offer.
The scanners’ speeds are usually measured as page per minute (ppm), which refers to the number of pages it can scan within a minute; or impressions per minute (ipm), which is a measure that shows the duplex ability of the scanner in automatically scanning both sides of the paper.
Nowadays, most sheetfed scanners have excellent speeds for scanning multiple documents. For instance, Epson’s WorkForce sheetfed scanner lineup has scanning speeds of up to 65ppm/130ipm.
Aside from scanner speeds, it also pays to consider the daily duty cycle, which represents the average number of scans recommended for the unit. While it gives users an idea on proper usage, duty cycle rates do not necessarily measure the durability of the scanner. If the user scans more than its duty cycle, there will be no immediate effect on the device; however, it can affect the life cycle of the scanner over time.
Business owners should consider this aspect when choosing a sheetfeed scanner to ensure that the model closely fits their needs and budget. Epson WorkForce sheetfed scanners, for instance, have duty cycles of up to 6,000 pages per day.
Business owners looking to make the most of their scanners would want versatility features, as well, especially if they need to scan different sizes and types of media. A sheetfed scanner can now deliver this capability if it has a flatbed scanner conversion kit.
For example, Epson WorkForce DS-530 with the Flatbed Dock can be used with the Epson Perfection V39 to provide a flatbed option for users, who need to scan objects such as passports, books, bound media or small and fragile documents that can be easily damaged such as receipts.
There are also other features to look out for, which will come useful in managing multiple documents. Some sheetfed scanners have an automated document feeder (ADF) that can hold many unbound documents. If the business requires scanning large batches, an ADF that can hold a hundred or more sheets is necessary.
For example, the Epson DS-780N, which has zero warm up time, has a 100-sheet capacity Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), and performs speedily at 45ppm/90ipm at 300dpi for both color and monochrome.
With the ADF, many may not be aware that sheetfed scanners can also scan a variety of documents, including fragile documents like ID cards, receipts utilizing a carrier sheet, as well as long papers up to 6m in length.
Aside from the ADF, some sheetfed scanners also have other intelligent features. For example, Epson WorkForce scanners have the Active Separation Roller System that helps prevent tedious document double-feeds, ensuring every piece of paper is scanned accurately and captured at the highest quality. They are also packed with Double Feed Detection Skip, which enables difficult media—such as envelopes or documents with post-it notes—to be scanned without the risk at the touch of a button.
Network and Wi-Fi Functionality
One of the biggest issues that businesses still have to deal with in using a sheetfed scanner is its ability to function with multiple users. Some units are still limited to only one or few users only. However, this is not the case for more advanced models, especially those that are equipped with network and Wi-Fi functionality.
Some models, such as the Epson WorkForce DS-570W, are equipped with optional Network Interface Unit, enabling it to be shared amongst a workgroup through Ethernet connectivity. In addition, the DS-570W, for example, provides scanning convenience and wireless freedom via Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Access Point (Wi-Fi A/P), and Near Field Communication (NFC).
Once this mode is turned on, the DS-570W acts as an access point, allowing mobile devices to connect directly to the scanner without the need for a router or access point. This is ideal for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments and makes it even easier to use cloud services to scan, store and centralize all important business documents for staff to access wherever they may be, on whatever device they may have.
Taking the concept of accessibility one step further, Epson makes it easier to print or scan documents with Epson Connect. This feature allows users to link to Epson printers wirelessly from any smartphone, tablet or computer from anywhere in the world. To print or scan, users can simply email their document from any device to the printer’s own email address or upload them on online storage accounts supported by Epson printers. As an added layer of security for its email print feature, users can also change the device’s email address and turn on the Approved Senders List function to make printing more secure.
With today’s advances in technology, business owners now have the best options to tackle their scanning needs. Epson has focused on the details in incorporating its innovative technologies, featured in its WorkForce sheetfed scanners, to give the right quality, speed, and agility that can help automate processes, as well as to boost productivity and operations.