Bounce, Swiffer, Rainex - The latest in scanning technology.

By Lisa Desautels posted 05-02-2011 16:48


Last week I had the fortunate opportunity to work Fred Pagoni from Colortrac, a colleague for over 15 years.  We have both been involved in the “large format” industry.  It’s amazing that with so much experience how you can still teach each other about the tricks and tips. 

We all find better ways to do things; we just need to share them.  While training on the latest model of Colortrac Scanners, my staff asked Fred technical questions.  He gave us new insight to how to work faster and more efficiently while getting the best results.  I had to share these very obvious tips!

Large format scanning can be a challenge, especially if you have limited experience.  Learning what works, what doesn’t and the challenges of staying on top of technology are time consuming and don’t always get you the desired results.  Fred’s tips and trick were so obvious using the latest in “commercial products"  which have nothing to do with new software or hardware.

There are no sheet feeders for the large plans.  The sizes vary from 11 x 17 to 36 x 48 and of course, we also have the oversized sheets that can be anything 48 x 90.  Depending on where they were stored, how old the drawings are and the media they are on, you can have issues scanning.

Tip #1  Use a Swiffer pad and wipe it across the drawings to collect dirt off the paper drawing.  This will save you hours of cleaning your scanner.  Dirt can get on the rollers and end up inside the scanner on cameras, mirrors or even wear into the glass.  You will eliminate rescans if you have a clean scanner.

A few weeks ago, I had 100 mylars come in the office to be scanned.  They were nice clean drawings in terms of content but there was so much static electricity each time we scanned we were worried about frying a board on the scanner. 

Tip #2  Use a Bounce dryer sheet along the front tray of the scanner and possibly wipe across the mylar.  It removes the static electricity. 

Glass and hold downs on scanners can create lines in drawings if they are dirty.  Glass can be scratched after scanning a lot of mylar drawings. 

Tip #3  Consider using Rainex like you would on the windshield of your car to provide a protective layer on the glass.  It won’t compromise the integrity of the image and it will provide a barrier from scratches in the glass.

Duplicate Paper Files - We don’t know about them until they are in the system.  We don’t know if they are actually duplicates until we compare them. 

Tip #4  During the scanning process, I recommend a unique control number sticker applied to each drawing.  This way can distinguish the difference.  It also provides a good method for tracking quantities as well.

If you work with a clean scanner and have control of the drawings, you START with good data and reduce the cost of rework.  If you have other comments or suggestions, I would love to hear from you!

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