MIND THE GAP: The MACH Mini Scanner fills a Void in Microfilm Capture
“Please mind the gap.”
If you’ve ever been to London and taken the Tube – England’s version of New York’s Subway, Chicago’s “L” or Washington, DC’s and Los Angeles’ Metro – you’ve heard this quintessential phrase. It’s repeated in a (most civilised!) British accent at every stop upon every door open and close.
On the surface, it’s a safety warning to mind the space between the train and the platform. Heard repeatedly, it doesn’t take much for one to jump to “the gap” of personal and professional voids that can either trip us up or which need to be filled. As I worked with our R&D, manufacturing and sales teams over the past year to bring Crowley’s MACH Mini microfilm scanner to release, I’ve been continually thinking of the MACH Mini as an important “gap-filler.”
Admittedly, technology and standards change so quickly that there will always be gaps to fill for accurate, affordable cultural heritage and records management digitization. Specific to the digitization of microfilm, one of the largest gaps to date has been the distance between a microfilm reader printer – designed for single-roll viewing and image capture versus batch digitization – and a production (high volume, high image quality, high speed) scanner.
In addition to image quality, efficiency and the accompanying ability to scan differing types and conditions of microfilm (skipping the fine points for simplicity), production microfilm scanner offerings differ greatly in footprint, scope, weight and affordability. The big leap from one scanner class to the next has excluded many archive and records management operations from taking the next step in their digitization efforts.
The MACH Mini bridges the gap.
Proven Power in a Compact Case
The MACH Mini is designed and manufactured by the talented Mekel Technology engineering team that produced the world’s first production microfilm and microfiche scanners in the late ‘80s. Today, under the Crowley umbrella, they continue to produce the high-end, reliable MACH-series scanners used by notable archive, educational, corporate and government organizations around the world.
Utilizing the same base power and capture technologies, the Crowley MACH Mini is delivered with the smallest footprint in its scanner class at 17” x 16” x 7.5” and weighs under 30 pounds. The compact microfilm scanners are designed to stack so that productivity can increase without taking up additional physical space.
The MACH Mini operates using the Quantum software suite, well-known for its capture accuracy and enhanced processing features. For current owners of Mekel Technology scanners, this means a zero learning curve and a seamless integration with their existing system. New users will appreciate the ease and many nuances of the scanning and processing advantages offered by Quantum.
As Pat Crowley, company owner and president, describes, “The MACH Mini captures up to a fast 350 images per minute at high image quality. It’s not a replacement for those needing the speed, 1,000’ roll capabilities and other key features of the MACH 5 or 10, but the MACH Mini provides a much-needed option for high throughput at one-third of the physical space and less than half the cost.”
One third of the space and half the cost. That’s a gap filler.
Made to Travel
As digitization strategies expand, there is an increasing need for a production microfilm scanner on the go. Whether it’s for a service bureau needing to scan on-site, a corporate or government records manager having to digitize records across multiple departments, a library system that supports several locations of special collections or a genealogical society that digitizes microfilm found across the world, the portability of the MACH Mini offers a cost-effective production-level digitization option not previously available. The portable scanner size, paired with laptop compatibility and a molded case, makes for easy car transport and reduced shipping fees.
Made to Share
One of the major challenges many archivists and records managers face is what to do with their digital images once they’ve been scanned. How does one keep them from becoming just another collection to maintain? Many don’t have the extended and expensive IT infrastructure needed to host the images for sharing in-house or with patrons.
Filling one more gap, the MACH Mini comes with a 30-day free trial of Crowley’s cloud-hosted IMAGEhost microfilm and microfiche hosting platform. Using IMAGEhost, password-protected digitized images can be seen in their original format (ie: as a full microfilm ribbon or microfiche jacket). The images can be viewed, saved, edited, exported, printed and shared for easy access and research.
There’s much more to discover about how the MACH Mini can help to fill the microfilm scanning gaps. Click here for the technical specifications and competitive advantages of the MACH Mini, here to view a short video intro or here to request an on-site or web demo.
Modular. Mobile. Miniature. Affordable. I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by the MACH Mini.
Cheri Baker, Crowley’s former Director of Communications, has retired but retains her love for writing and all things Crowley. With a career that spans newspaper, agency and corporate communications, her goal remains to dig behind the scenes and tell the story - whatever it may be. Find Cheri Baker on LinkedIn+