Moving on Up: Four Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your Mekel Scanner

As a consumer, I’m weary of constantly evolving technology. Keeping up with “state-of-the-art” is frustrating, particularly when you invest in a purchase only to find a newer model is instantly available, making your “new” technology old. This leads to significant “tech-FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out). Fortunately, if you own a Mekel Technology brand scanner I’m here to give you a little “tech-POMO” (Peace Of Mind, Obviously).

During my time in the tech service department – where many of the book, document and microform scanners that Crowley offers are evaluated, repaired and updated – I witnessed the alleviation of “tech-FOMO” through scanner upgrades. Crowley upgrades involve taking the scanner one already owns and incorporating advanced internal hardware and software, allowing an owner to keep their trusted scanner while enhancing its functionality to that of the latest technology. Voila, the best of both worlds!

No upgrades have proven more popular or easier to accomplish than those of the Mekel Technology MACH-series microfilm and microfiche scanners. Already hailed as fast-paced, workhorse production scanners, the MACH-series has further proven itself the fountain of youth by rarely changing looks or needing repairs. The proof is in the operation; customers worldwide have run their Mekels for decades.

Here are some important questions to ask when considering a Mekel scanner upgrade:

1.What results do you seek?

Most scanners have two elements which can be upgraded: hardware and software. Updating hardware enables faster scanning and better image quality while updating software offers enhanced editing features and automated processing tools. If you’re happy with your speed and resolution, just updating the software will give more options for post-processing functionality. Software-only upgrades can occur remotely.

All Mekel hardware upgrades take place on-site at our California facility (typically a one-to-two week turnaround during which a loaner scanner can be used. We know how precious time is in the scanning business!).

Within the Mekel MACH-series there are several possibilities for upgrades and trade-ins (to see if your current scanner is eligible, contact your Crowley representative). Our two most popular scanner upgrades are: MACH5 to MACH10 (microfilm) and MACH6 to MACH7 (microfiche). Each upgrade includes the following advancements:

MACH-Series Microfilm

Scanner Upgrades



     Upgrade includes: 

  • Full refurbishment
  • New CCD camera*
  • Upgrade of the internal parts
  • Upgraded PC workstation with trade-in of existing PC
  • Latest software versions of QuantumScan and QuantumProcess

*MACH5 serial numbers starting with 14xxxx were built with the MACH10 CCD line camera and do not receive the new camera as part of an upgrade.

     Upgrade includes: 

  • Full refurbishment
  • Removable loading arm added*
  • Upgrade of the internal parts
  • Upgraded PC workstation with trade-in of existing PC
  • Latest software versions of FastFiche and QuantumScan
  • QuantumProcess software added (not currently available on MACH6 models)

*Added to models built before 2011.

2. Are your throughput numbers working for you or are you working for them?

Upgrading your MACH-series scanner is a sure-fire way to increase your scanning productivity. This can allow one to undertake more projects, reduce staff time and ultimately make better use of precious funding. The upgraded CCD camera in the roll film scanner allows the MACH10 to reach 700 images/1400 files per minute at 200 dpi using speed mode, nearly double the MACH5 numbers. Similarly, the added removable loading arm on the MACH7 allows improved microfiche pick up, providing larger quantities of fiche to be scanned per minute with less operator intervention.

3. Is your software offering you what you need? 

While Mekel’s Quantum software already offers some of the most comprehensive features available in microfilm scanning, Crowley software engineers are developing new advancements, features and processes every day. Crowley Imaging – one of the nation’s largest service bureaus – utilizes MACH-series microfilm and microfiche scanners and software for high-volume digitization projects. In doing so, Crowley has become its own client which allows us to constantly adapt the Quantum software for the most comprehensive field use by our hardware clients.

These real-world software updates can enhance digitization, indexing, quality assurance and processing. The upgrade to a MACH7 includes QuantumProcess abilities, not currently available on MACH6 scanners, which offer editing, quality assurance and metadata features for post-scanning image refining and organizing. With QuantumProcess, large amounts of images can be batch processed or edited at once resulting in decreased staff time and increased image output.

In the case of one Ohio County Recorder, the additional quantum software increased throughput capabilities. “For the County Recorder, [Crowley] upgraded an older MACH7 system with the removable loading arm assembly, square rails, firmware and Quantum software functionality, which older MACH7s did not have,” says Crowley rep, Sean McCabe. “This has greatly increased his daily throughput and efficiency.”

“The Mekel workflows are much improved…the upgrade was very successful and we are glad that we did it.”  – Ohio County Recorder

4. How do you see your needs growing in the next few years? 

Anticipating a growth-spurt in your scanning department? More customers = more images. Does more images = more problems? Not with a Mekel upgrade! Preparing your scanning department for a boost in job volume with heightened technology will ease the growing pains.

Not in the financial position to purchase a new scanner? Consider that upgrades provide a “like new” unit at around 70% less than the cost of a new scanner while software upgrades cost nearly 93% less than the cost of a new scanner. Both options provide a huge improvement to a scanner’s productivity and offer valuable ROI. 

Find out more 

In reality, no one knows your scanning department better than you do and no one knows scanners better than Crowley. Call us at 240-215-0224 and our scanner experts will be happy to review the most reasonable solution for your Mekel’s future. If an upgrade isn’t the right step for you, there are other solutions Crowley can offer such as leasing, rentals, technical support, and scanning services. Let’s talk possibilities and eliminate “tech-FOMO” and increase “tech-POMO!”

Notes: Software versions and operating systems are tricky business as some versions of software are not compatible with older Windows operating systems. Consult with a Crowley representative before upgrading software on your own.

Earlier or discontinued models of Mekel scanners (MACH 3, 3Q and 4) are not eligible for upgrades but can be considered for trade-ins on a case-by-case basis.


For more information on Mekel and other scanner upgrades, call (240) 215-0224. General inquiries can be emailed to [email protected]. Stay connected and follow The Crowley Company on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterest and YouTube.



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