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Profiting with Large-Format Scanning

(September 2008) posted on Thu Sep 11, 2008

Five shops share their viewpoints on digitizing on a large scale.

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By Clare Baker

"We don’t do much blueprinting anymore," says Jeffrey Turell, the shop’s owner. "As technology progressed over the last several years, we’ve realized our volume of copying and duplicating had decreased. We still offer those services, but scanning has become a major aspect of our business."

Using its Vidar and Contex large-format scanners, AZ Overland ( scans a significant number of architectural and engineering plans, says Turell. "We’ll do maps and architectural drawings. We have clients that are in tooling and they’ll have huge drawings outlining where they’ll be cutting and they’ll have us scan it."

While the majority of the shop’s scanning is black-and-white, Turell says they also do some color scanning. He says the shop scans a wide variety of color work, including posters, architectural drawings that are colored in, art projects, and graphics for displays. "Color scanning is a lot trickier than black-and-white scanning. With color scans, you usually have to go in and color-correct the image."

For AZ Overland, Turell explains, the scanning process begins with a customer requesting a scanning quote. Since the shop is also a courier service, it arranges for packaging and pickup of the scanning materials anywhere in the US. Once the job arrives, management evaluates the work and contacts the clients with any clarifications or questions. The job is passed to the scanner operator who runs the job and sends it to the quality-assurance department, which utilizes XN View software to check the job. Turell points out the importance of this part of the process. "We’ve progressed over the years from just opening up the images and checking them with whatever software came with the computer. We now have the software that allows us to check the jobs faster and more accurately." If necessary, re-scans are run. The job is then packed up, sent to management for review, and dispatched for delivery.