Scanners & Software 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 and Extek Microsystems, 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 10 compatible?

    With the release of Windows 10 in 2015, a new era of PC standards began. As of this writing, all digitization products manufactured and represented by The Crowley Company are compatible with Windows 10. 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 technical support staff to install and provide 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, digitization services or a hybrid approach. For non-production volume scanning, The Crowley Company provides walk-up or on-demand patron 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.

  • Do all Zeutschel overhead scanners have book curve correction capability?

    Yes, all Zeutschel overhead book scanners include or have the option for book curve correction software. Curve correction analyzes the scanned images of bound materials and uses automated, intelligent processes to flatten and separate the pages while correcting text distortion and shadows caused by page curves without effecting scan cycle speeds.

  • Does Zeutschel have entry-level book scanners?

    In Zeutschel’s line of scanning equipment, the zeta and chrome book scanners are considered the most basic for walk-up patron use, while the 15000, 12002-series, 16000 and 12000 A1 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 not saved on the Zeutschel walk-up bookcopy systems (the zeta and the Chrome). Images are held in a temporary memory while the scan process is running and 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?

    Although the MACH6 microfiche scanner model is no longer manufactured, the major difference between the units is 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. Visit Crowley's equipment upgrades page for more information.

  • Are the Mekel Technology MACH7 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 MACH7 microfiche scanner also allows for easy manual load. Even when manually loaded, the Mekel MACH7 is still the fastest production microfiche scanner 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 105 mm (ie. 4 in x 6 in) microfiche on the Mekel MACH7 microfiche scanner?

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

  • Do the Mekel Technology MACH7 microfiche scanners come with the Quantum software package?

    Quantum software is currently a standard feature for the Mekel MACH7 microfiche scanner. 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 microfiche scanner 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. The MACH10 and the MACH12 microfilm scanners capture FADGI-rated images. All MACH roll film scanner models offer a range of output options including TIFF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, PDF and PDF/A.

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

    The Mekel MACH-series rollfilm scanners can scan the following as “standard:” 16 mm, 35 mm, 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 models?

    Both Crowley’s Wicks and Wilson C-series aperture card scanners scan 35 mm aperture cards and output in greyscale or bitonal. The main difference between the two series models is that the compact C-Drive X is a manual system which scans single aperture cards with manual hollerith entry and the C400 is an automated system which scans 150 cards in a batch feed with automatic hollerith entry.

  • What are universal film scanners?

    Universal film scanners, such as the Crowley UScan+ HD 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+ HD scanners produce multi-page searchable PDFs easily?

    Yes. With the UScan+ HD and UScan+ HD LTE scanners, 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+ HD scanners were also the first to support USB3.0 interface and scan microform in color in the U.S..

  • Is the UScan+ HD sold under other brand names?

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

  • 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 4.1-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 is set at optimum speed and pressure
    • Glass plate
      • Guarantees no curvature of the pages, both close to the spine and at the top of the book
      • 80° angle allows scanning the spine area, no text loss
    • Sole mechanical method which means it is not affected by dust and debris as in vacuum based systems
    • Double-page turning detection based on light sensor, assures only one page is turned at a time
    • Intelligent bionic finger mechanism, self-adapting pressure to assure only one page is turned at a time
    • 3 in 1: Fully automatic, semi-automatic and manual mode integrated – easy mode switch
    • Ability to easily scan front and back book covers
  • Is there a guarantee that the Qidenus automatic page-turning robotic scanner will only turn one page at a time?

    The Qidenus Robotic Book Scanner 4.0 series units have an integrated double-page-control system that measures the thickness of each page before turning. The value is always compared to a reference value. If the system detects that more than one page has been grabbed, it will self-retract and apply, by case, less or more pressure while flipping the page, until only one page is being turned. If a page cannot be turned, the system will stop after a designated number of tries. 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 are not as efficient. For more details, view the Qidenus robotoc book scan video.

  • Does Qidenus only provide robotic book scanners?

    Qidenus Technologies, and iGuana Company, manufactures the book scan 4.0-series consisting of a robotic, semi-robotic and manual model. The Mastered book scan is a semi-automatic system with a manual option, and the Smart book scan 4.0 is the more affordable manual-only system. All Qidenus 4.0-series book scanners come with proprietary QiCapture 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 product pages.