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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

Turell also points to scanning as a tool in the move to a paperless future. "With all the talk of environmental and green issues, the discussion of going paperless has been a major topic. A lot of offices want to clean up space and get rid of paper. The challenge here, though, is getting someone to spend dollars scanning a project that’s been completed."

Growing into all the markets
In Lansing, Michigan, Capital Imaging (, offers an array of services, including wide-format printing, document design and scanning, copying, binding and finishing, mounting and laminating, and vector conversion. It has found a consistent customer base for large-format scanning, a service that was added shortly after the shop opened in 1995.

"We saw that with the advent of digital technology, many architects were coming back to ask us to scan plans and drawings of old buildings or existing floor plans," says Bo Noles, president of Capital Imaging. With requests for color scans, the shop invested in a 54-inch Vidar scanner. Says Noles, "The scanner requests really started there and have grown into all the markets."

Noles says that the shop receives business from law firms needing documents or images reproduced for court. In addition, fine artists bring in their originals to be scanned into a digital file or to be digitally printed. However, says Noles, the shop gets most of its business from the construction industry. "We’re finding more and more plans need to be reproduced in color. A manufacturing facility might bring in 200 or 300 sheets of drawings on a set of plans and they might need 30 of those sheets to be scanned and printed in color."

The shop also gets business from people who have oversized archived blueprints. "Typical black-and-white scanners which are part of a plotter or print system are just 36-inches wide," Noles explains. "We’re finding many of these warehouses out there contain documents that are 48-, 50-, 54-inches wide. We’re able to capture that work with our scanner."

Recently, the shop replaced the original Vidar with a 54-inch Vidar TruScan Atlas scanner to fulfill the shop’s scanning orders. Noles says that the Atlas scanner is sufficient to handle the shop’s workload at this time. "It offered everything we were looking for as far as the widest capacity and most accurate color. Plus, it’s a workhorse."