High Volume Scanners

Bridge the digital and print world with a high volume scanner

Not too long ago, we were all supposed to give up on paper. The Internet was going to replace print. Even signatures went digital.

Well, somebody forget to tell the lawyers, because there's still a need to find fast, efficient ways to turn printed documents -- financial reports, contracts, human resources data -- into digital formats for use and for long-term storage. And professional production printers still need high volume scanners as well.

Thus high-volume scanners. Unlike the scanner you probably once had hooked to your PC for the occasional receipt or photo, high volume scanners feed dozens of pages a minute, flip images, darken light text and otherwise capture the ink, and fast.

Covered in this guide:

1. Key features of high volume scanners
2. When production high volume scanners makes sense
3. Using high volume scanners in a corporate setting
4. Flatbed high volume scanners for engineers and media production

What to look for in a high volume document scanner

High volume scanners come in a variety of speeds and sizes, but the entry level high volume scanner will be about the size of a printer and produce 10 to 30 pages per minute, known as ppm in the industry. High volume scanners capable of up to 60 ppm are known as departmental high volume scanners, since they can be networked and easily shared by people in a larger work area.
multifunction printers. See the Business.com listings page for high volume scanners for more choices.

High volume scanners beyond small office and desktop use

Once you get into serious budget, the features set on high volume scanners kicks into higher gear. You'll want to check resolution (known as DPI, for dots of ink per inch), duplex, or the ability to automatically copy a two-sided document, and various devices that control sheet feed and make corrections as needed, time and date stamp pages and otherwise automate the job on a high volume scanner.

High volume scanners can be a link in the productive chain

Network-attached high volume scanners are increasingly the first stop for reaching hundreds of people in a corporation. They can take a scanned document and turn into into a viewable image or PDF file which can be e-mailed straight from the high volume scanner itself, sent to a file or printed on the spot.

Flatbed and professional high volume scanners and large format scanners

For professional production work and specialized documents like blueprints, computer-aided design (CAD) engineering drawings, and high resolution geographic information service (GIS) maps, a flatbed high volume scanner -- usually at least 11'' by 17'' in size -- is a must.
large format scanner vendors at Business.com.
  • If you are buying a high volume scanner primarily to do lots of scans on a daily basis, better to buy a stand-alone high volume scanner than a combination printer-scanner-fax machine. Multifunction devices are great, but not best at heavy scanning use.
  • High volume scanner experts say if you think you need a format larger than 8.5'' by 11" (standard printer paper size), go ahead and buy big. You can't make your scans better by shrinking large images down.
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) -- which turns images of letters into editable words -- has vastly improved over the years. Look carefully at your high volume scanner choice to make sure it has the best OCR software included.