Latest Software Innovations from nextScan

As technology evolves and changes rapidly every day (think about the cell phone you had 10 years ago), it is interesting to reflect on how far the industry has progressed and what the future of Microfilm Scanning holds. At nextScan, we firmly believe and are committed to continual advances in software development coupled with continuous hardware enhancements to lead the way to solutions that guarantee time efficiencies and cost savings for conversion of the still billions of images on Microfilm, Microfiche and Aperture cards in the world that are in need of being digitally preserved.

This blog highlights two of the most recent and innovative Software products developed by nextScan. They are setting the new standard  for customers around the world on how to preserve their film and fiche libraries while reducing considerably the conversion and maintenance costs.

~FicheStar and Virtual Film~


Many organizations have delayed the conversion of critical COM Fiche film libraries because the conversion process was very labor intensive, cost prohibitive, and difficult to implement. Another new industry breaking software solution developed by nextScan, FicheStar, now provides an option that is ten times faster and much more economical than traditional COM Fiche conversion solutions. nextScan’s new FicheStar software product for COM Fiche  accurately finds every image without the need for a grid setup or grid alignment. This detection software works even with skewed fiche, individually skewed rows, or even rows with twisted images. In addition to removing the reliance on, and inconvenience of a grid setup or film alignment during scanning, FicheStar has added many time saving features such as auto-add of index pages, optional saving of the title bar for indexing, and handling partially filled fiche intuitively. The result is a ninety percent time savings vs. traditional auditing methods.

nextScan’s mission is to provide customers with leading edge solutions  to quickly, efficiently and economically complete their digitization requirements. nextScan’s new FicheStar COM Fiche software technology is fully integrated with NextStar PLUS Workflow Software and Virtual Film. FicheStar includes an option for re-mastering of COM Fiche Ribbons to remove over-scan and make them accessible via Virtual Film. This software suite provides a very cost-effective alternative with exceptional value to ECM systems for customers not ready to commit to a ECM investment at this point. This software suite can very easily be used as a step towards the full implementation of an ECM system later on when the time and budget permits.

Virtual Film is the easiest, least expensive, film scanning/retrieval solution in Micrographics today.

If you are familiar with microfilm and microfiche at all, you know about how long it can  take to retrieve the correct images requested if you have patrons or employees who regularly access your film libraries. After a request is received, an employee has to search and search for the proper microfilm or microfiche. Next, the film has to be mounted to a reader/printer and scrolled through to find the correct image to print. At the end, the film must be transported and stored back in its proper location. This process is not only tedious and lengthy, but it implies a degradation of the film as any time the film is used to retrieve images.

Now with nextScan’s new Virtual Film solution, the process of retrieval is shortened by more than half.  Using nextScan’s high speed production scanners, Virtual Film software scans and stores the entire roll or fiche as one image, eliminating rescans and protecting the film from the damage caused by repetitive retrievals. Virtual Film then allows you to easily navigate thru the scanned images using the Virtual Film Viewer to find the correct image as you would on an old style reader/printer, but all from your PC. Virtual Film also offers the option to not just print the image, but to save it to a PC, flash drive or email it. Virtual Film also gives the customer the option to access  images remotely in real time, a great advantage over any reader/printer.

Without converting microfilm archives to a digital format, there are many problems with using microfilm. Older microfilm is vulnerable to damaging vinegar syndrome which can degrade image quality. Each time a film roll is viewed there can be degradation of image quality and damage to the film. There is also the chance that when the film or fiche is returned to the storage area, it is put in the wrong location making it difficult to find again. Problems like these can lead to slow response times to customers. Extra expenses occur with microfilm storage, labor to locate and transport film, and maintenance on reader/printers.  Most old style reader printers are becoming obsolete and parts and support are no longer available.

Virtual Film delivers better image quality while minimizing the cost to your organization and the time required for training.

nextScan’s new Virtual Film software solution allows organizations to say goodbye to old technology by eliminating their film collection and migrating to a permanent digital format.   Because Virtual Film creates an exact digital duplicate, film can be preserved from future damage and multiple copies can be saved.  The cost of conversion is considerably lower than conventional scanning and organizations can output individual images in the future based on budget and workflow requirements.  nextScan also offers project management and consultation for complex scanning projects and works closely to design software features to meet customer workflow parameters and indexing processes with training and support offered throughout your project.

– Doreen Compton- Breish

  V.P. Sales and Marketing


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