Crowley Brings First Manufactured Flatbed Scanner to Market

Flatbed Scanner - ODS ScannerFrederick, Md.The Crowley Company owner and president, Christopher Crowley, announces the formal release of Crowley’s first self-manufactured flatbed scanner, the A3+-sized Overhead Document Scanner (ODS). The scanner boasts a 16.5 x 23.4 inch scanning bed and is ideal for quick, accurate digitization of bound and loose materials. It will be first available to Crowley’s worldwide network of resellers and then to the general public.

Filling a Niche

The inspiration for developing the ODS came directly from end-users – primarily libraries, museums and organizations that cater to students and researchers. Says Crowley, “For nearly four decades, Crowley has been a premier distributor of archival and walk-up flatbed scanners in North America. Customers have often told us exactly what they want from a patron or walk-up scanner: quality, ease-of-use and affordability. There is a certain niche in the market where customers often sacrifice quality for affordability or the reverse. Our aim was to create a scanner that would allow organizations to provide their patrons with a cutting-edge digitization tool at an affordable price.”

Crowley continues, “When scanner budgets are small or tight for a front-of-house [versus back office] scanner, the most available option is often a flatbed scanner with a hinged lid. These scanners, while they can provide good images, are damaging to bound materials and create an impossible challenge when trying to digitize oversized materials, the two most common forms of media in libraries. The ODS is designed to hit the price point of these traditional units while giving the user exponentially larger options for quality, scanning size and output preferences.  With the ODS, consumers can scan the materials they need and save them to USB or email with minimal – if any – staff input, additional consumables or damage to materials. It’s a win for both the patron and the institution.”

How the ODS Works

With a total footprint of just 34 x 21 inches and weighing less than 50 pounds, the Crowley ODS fits easily on a standard desk or table, eliminating the cost of a custom counter. From box to first scan, set-up takes place in just four simple steps. The Crowley ODS can operate via PC or an optional 15 inch touchpad panel (versus the standard 12 inch pad), further enhancing affordability.  A looping tutorial guides patrons through the scanning process.

Matt McCabe, vice president of sales and marketing, notes, “The ODS is a scanner for the people. It is designed to guide users through the process of capturing, editing and outputting images from beginning to end. This is important for scanners in public spaces such as libraries, historical societies and county offices where patrons of all ages and experience levels will use it to scan and save their research. Essentially, you lay the material you want to scan face up, hit a scan button, save the image to your cart, select one of several output options such as USB and walk away with your scanned information.” He adds that there is a host of image editing options for more advanced users.

The Crowley ODS is best-suited for digitizing documents, bound books, spiral notebooks, lab books, binders, photographs and other flat or bound media.  The modern design and wide angle LED light system ensure fast scan times with an output resolution of up to 2400 dpi in color, grayscale or black and white. File format options include, among others, multi-page PDF, JPEG and TIFF files. Add-ons include such features as: payment interface; optical character recognition (OCR); curve correction; thumb removal; auto frame detection; motion detection for automated scanning; and auto-crop and deskew. Voice recognition has also been incorporated for several of the basic commands.

Not New to Manufacturing

While the Crowley ODS is the first flatbed scanner that The Crowley Company has manufactured, the company has long been known for its Mekel Technology and Wicks and Wilson manufactured microform scanner lines, which include microfilm, microfiche and aperture card scanners. In recent years, the Crowley line of products has included a the UScan+ patron microform scanner, the  MACH7380 microfilm reference scanner and the 71MP MACHCAM machine vision camera.

As a distributor of the well-respected Zeutschel large-format and library overhead scanners for decades, as well as the Qidenus brand of manual and robotic brand overhead scanners, McCabe mentions that Zeutschel will be channel manager for distribution of the Crowley ODS in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “Zeutschel engineers some of the world’s best-known archival scanners and walk-up book copy systems. To have them distribute the Crowley ODS is a nod to the niche this scanner will fill.”


About The Crowley Company

The Crowley Company is a world-leader in digital and analog film technologies and provides an extensive number of digital document and film conversion services to the academic, publishing, commercial, government and archive sectors. The company manufactures, distributes and services high-speed microfilm, microfiche, aperture card, book and document scanners, microfilm duplicators, film processors and micrographics equipment. Manufactured brands include Crowley, Mekel Technology, Wicks and Wilson, HF Processors and Extek Microsystems.