Vancouver office: 1.604.872.6771 

Category Archive: Scanning Technology & Services

  1. Introducing the Contex HD5450 Scanner – Vancouver Document Scanning Company

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    For people who need to access and share documents on a regular basis, scanning and digitization just makes good sense.

    Of course, not all scanning companies are created equal. The storage and management of large format documents such as blueprints, plans, maps, and drawings can leave some businesses puzzling over a solution. But hey, those companies aren’t Micro Com Systems. With an average output of over one million pages per month, we are Vancouver’s scanning specialists.

  2. Micro Com Systems Breaks Hoarding Tradition

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    When you’re a business that scans and digitizes over one million pages every month, being surrounded by tech and paperwork just goes with the territory. However, after a recent move to Burnaby, the management at Micro Com Systems has some advice that other businesses might find valuable—beware of becoming an accidental hoarder.

    The relationship between tech and business is almost as natural as peanut butter and jelly. There’s an easy harmony between them—a synchronicity. One makes the other better.

    What We Offer – Vancouver Document Scanning Services and More

    As a company engaged in all forms of document digitization, image scanning, and data capture, part of the reason for the hoarding is understandable. There’s a lot of tech, and certain makes and models that still play a role in select operations have been retired, so older machines are kept around for parts. Micro Com also sells and services capture hardware and, once again, older machines were kept in case someone needed an elusive component.

    How We Tidy Up

    Other clutter, however, was less defensible. There were hundreds and hundreds of banker’s boxes packed to the brim with paper, drawings, and microfilm from long-completed jobs. When returns were not requested, many of the boxes were shunted into the corners of the 5000 sq. ft. warehouse—and forgotten. And things just went too far.

    When it finally came time to decide what to keep and what to discard, there were literally tons of waste. A junk-hauling company had to be called in—and it took six 5-ton trucks to haul away the incredible volume of garbage and recycling. In addition, seven 64 cubic foot (2 cubic metre) steel cages of paper were sent for shredding.

    To prevent this from happening again, the solution moving forward will be to implement a yearly spring cleanout—and it’s a lesson other businesses might take to heart. After all, if people regularly clean out their homes to keep them from getting cluttered, why should a business be any different?

    Digitizing Your Paperwork Solution – Contact Us For More Details

    The team members at Micro Com Systems look forward to serving you from their newer, tidier location in Burnaby. Ask them how digitizing your paperwork can cut costs and make your important paperwork more accessible and secure—and leave your office tidier. Call 604-872-6771 or reach out online.

  3. Sunrise Junction, Microfilm Scanners by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

    Leave a Comment All aboard! Micro Com Express now departing the station! Have your tickets out please. Next stop, Microfilm scanning at Sunrise Junction. On your left, Micro Com’s very own herd of Sunrise Scanners can be seen corralled and ready for action. It’s a heartwarming tale. Like a litter of puppies, these beautiful beasts were manufactured on the same assembly line, then ripped apart from the only family they ever knew when they were bought by independent sources. But don’t shed a tear. Reaching distances as far south as Mexico, Micro Com slowly gathered the litter and provided them with a good home and a solid purpose in life.

    Seven Sunrise Microfilm Scanners, One Site

    Welcome to Sunrise Junction, home to not just one, but seven magnificent Sunrise Microfilm scanners. But why has Micro Com taken the time to slowly gather the dream team? Simple. Decades of microfilm has accumulated. A 100 years of information from cities, municipalities, regional districts, the ministry of magic, and federal and provincial governments locked away deep underground in ancient vaults guarded by dragons. Information that desperately requires conversion in the digital age where availability and accessibility are key. A little known fact, but statutory obligation in Canada requires the ability to trace land back to the beginning of time, long before Link was frozen in ice for Dave and Stony to discover. But what happens when those records inevitably begin to deteriorate? Loss of crucial, historic information accompanied by a distinctive, and nose wrinkling vinegary scent.

    Fiche and film are going the way of the Dodo

    Fiche and film are going the way of the Dodo. Only to be seen in television and movies when the heroes finally discover that crucial piece of information to turn the tables. Film is no longer a viable technology, requiring specialized and bulky equipment to fully utilize, and manufacturers are slowly shutting down production and jumping ship. Big-wigs like Netflix haul in $5.5 billion annually as digital streaming conquers the globe while the skeletal remains of Blockbuster Videos are now Dollar Stores and Starbucks. Still a little Scully? Here’s the hard truth straight from the mouth of Mulder. Film is physical. Like almost all known matter in the insignificant fraction of our explored universe, microfilm occupies space. On Earth, that space is more pricey than the Bard’s signature.

    Stop storing microfilm

    The world doesn’t need another endless warehouse for the Arc of the Covenant to disappear into and never be seen again. Not only is storing microfilm costly with rent on prime real estate, administration fees, maintenance, and de-lousing tacked on top, but microfilm has to be physically retrieved. Based on individual circumstances, it may become the lengthy bureaucratic process Hermes Conrad lives for in order to requisition microfilm, or it could involve creeping down creaky stairs into the eerie basement with a single swinging lightbulb.

    Save space, instant access

    Digital information can be accessed with a few strokes of a key and easily distributed to all parties. No muss. No fuss. Granted, microfilm makes an excellent non-technological back-up for the day Croatoan engulfs humanity, but even naive, lovable Castiel has embraced the wonders of modern technology.

    The process of film to digital formats

    The process of film to digital isn’t all that different from document. Here in Sunrise Junction, sitting amongst the likes of the Waco Kid and Big Hoss – two of Micro Com’s prized beauties – our microfilm scanning technicians know how to coax out the perfect performance from the herd. Our Microfilm scanners are sturdier than a guild’s best tank, and even contain their own onboard computer that allows them to function independently, and possibly even navigate an asteroid belt with C3PO shrieking the odds in the background. Never tell our technicians the odds. They’ll beat them every time, even in the face of the impossible; create a dupe roll, drop the density, switch the polarity, or mask each individual frame for scanning with Monica Gellar precision.

    The digital era is upon us

    Far too often, history is lost. Hidden away in the dank and dark, and slowly forgotten like a lost city buried for centuries when it should be preserved for future generations. Everyday the world grows smaller with the rapid dissemination of Grumpy Cat’s latest meme, election controversies, and the never ending squabbles of countries’ unrest. The digital era is upon us. Whatever your needs, professional or personal, MCS Vancouver Scanning services aims to ease the transition, bringing images stored on deteriorating film into high definition and at your fingertips rather than on clunky old machines gathering dust in library basements. Time to crack open those X-Files.

    Go Paperless, Contact MCS Vancouver

    For any questions on our wide range of digitization and scanning services in Vancouver BC, contact MCS Vancouver today!
  4. Large Format Scanning – It’s Gonna be Huge! by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

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    Large Format Scanning

    One size fits all is a myth. Life exists beyond letter and legal. Course the paper pushers down the block beg to differ with their singular belief that the sun, moon, and stars revolve around them. Time to prove them wrong with the next stop on the whirlwind Micro Com Vancouver tour – Large Format. Please secure your table trays, stow your carry-on, and put your seat in an upright position. We’re cleared for takeoff.

    No challenge too big

    With large format, we’re talking BIG. Not Tom Hanks, but more life size, signed Andre the Giant poster big. Anybody want a peanut? Anything that measures in excess of 11×17 (inches) officially classifies, and wins a special trip. No challenge too big. We scan Engineering plans, building schematics, rollercoaster designs, “Just hang in there” motivational kitten posters, or Happy Birthday balloon banners.

    Large Format, Assemble!

    During the day to day, our large format technicians battle documents often taller than themselves. That’s saying something considering the rookie technician rivals Padalecki proportions. But Moose and Squirrel would be out of their element waging this war without the years of experience our large format scanning department boasts. So what happens when regular old document scanning meets large format? It’s as simple as a game of iSpy on the prairies. Large format is handed off and scanned separately. (Batteries not included.) What is included is proper indexing. Preppers leave little markers for ease of navigation, and images are inserted into their rightful place in the Dewey Decimal system – or which ever, possibly more logical, form of organization used.

    All scanning options are open

    Micro Com can handle all your scanning needs with the wide array of scanners and tools at their disposal. We’re not going to need a bigger boat. Documents are primped and pampered. More importantly, protected. Specially made acetate sleeves act as a protective forcefield that the rebel forces on Endor can’t destroy. Delicate materials are slipped in and sealed to safeguard against damage when fed through the capture path. And throughout MCS’s long history of document imaging, the team has tackled a few difficult and rare finds. Ancient Chinese scrolls and beautiful watercolours, authentic drafting linens from original settlements, and perhaps a treasure map or two that may lead to Atlantis or uncover Camelot. But Captain Jack Sparrow is suspiciously silent on the location with his compass that doesn’t point North. And Micro Com hereby solemnly swears not to upload Moloch the Defiler into the cloud when scanning ancient texts and renderings. This concludes this leg of the tour. Please remove your headphones in preparation for landing. Hope you enjoyed the brief introduction to the vast world of large format scanning and hope you fly with us again.

    Contact MCS Vancouver for your Scanning Services

    For any questions on our wide range of scanning services in Vancouver BC, contact MCS Vancouver today!
  5. Vancouver’s Microfilm & Document Imaging Senior Experts, by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

    Leave a Comment From scanners and imaging hardware to support and softwareMCS, Vancouver’s Document Scanning & Archive Records Management Service‘s Daring Dragoon tackles a staggering list of endless tasks on a daily basis. As the resident IT Manager extraordinaire, Mike tunes Micro Com’s engine with over 30 years experience that keeps operations running smooth.

    Vancouver’s Microfilm & Document Imaging Senior Experts

    This isn’t his first water cooler hoedown. He serves up sass with 26 years of dedicated microfilm experience with a side of 17 years of document imaging, which makes Mr. IT more than your outsourced 1-800-have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-on. Self taught in the ways of the geek, Mike spends his weekends pouring over dry technical blogs to gain EXP and level up. But it’s not all software upgrades and data encryption.
     Micro Com Systems, Vancouver Document Scanning & Archive Records Management Service

    Mr. IT

    Everyday Digitization Mastery

    Every summer will find Mike cruising the country in style with his kids piled into the family vehicle. Fingers crossed Wally World isn’t closed. At least the soundtrack rocks. It’s a running theme within the ranks of MCS Vancouver’s older generation. Wizen old men with graying hair hunched over their desks to a classic sound. Pink Floyd plays roulette in the CD changer, or better yet, spins on the turntable. In the distant future, Mike’s progeny might appreciate that their dad’s taste in tunes is as cool as the Dark Side of the Moon.
  6. Vancouver’s Document Scanning Expert, Shelley! by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

    Leave a Comment The inevitable daily commute: a monotonous necessity. Vancouver has their very own congestions issues of gridlocked highways, crowded routes, and confusing one-way streets that shames Coruscant’s diverse population. One single troubled driver causes a ripple in traffic that affects several kilometers of traffic on the highway, and affordable living in the city is becoming a dream. Every year, more families and young couples are pushed out into the boonies.
    Before the crack of dawn, at an hour that should be banned from existence, Micro Com’s public transit commuting veteran Shelley Vogt catches the West Coast Express on her daily commute from the Shire. Half-conscious and cranky, tales of the commuter train are as Groundhog Day as they come, and she has cars full. Everyday, the same people, the same seats, and the same friends – no Sonny and Cher.
    Still groggy? Try the quiet car. Just don’t make a peep or you’re liable to find a fist in your face. It’s an unspoken rule that daily commuters live by that one car is designated the ‘quiet’ car. Occasionally a loud-mouth construction workers with hangover cringing voices find their way on and are silenced with a chorus of ‘SHHHHH!’ And Shelley vehemently swears, that in that not quite lucid state of mind, discovering a stranger in the seat that carries your butt imprint completely throws off your day and leaves you a little dazed and confused.  

    Vancouver’s Document Scanning Expert with 23 Years Experience

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    Head of Digital Imaging for Microfilm, Scanning, & Every Imaging Department

    At the end of her epic journey through Middle Earth, Shelly runs the production floor and sends her minions scurrying as the Imaging Supervisor. It would make The Overlord proud. With a whopping 23 years experience from every department – microfilm, processing, and scanning, just to name a few – on all shifts, including the loathed graveyard shift, it’s no wonder Micro Com boosted her from the ranks to take command of her own platoon.  

    Cracking Her Whip

    When Shelley’s not riding the rails and cracking her whip, she’s studying to become the next Dr Eleanor Abernathy MD JD with her adorable Bengal cat Benson and Seena, her faithful German Shepherd. Hopefully, when she reaches year 25, Micro Com will award her a plaque in honour of her years of dedication and service as she continues to ride the rails to success.
  7. Meet MCS Vancouver Project Manager: Jeff Marceil, by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

    Leave a Comment Likely sitting in his Hobbit-sized office in the company of our favourite astronaut Buzz Lightyear, let’s drop in for a visit with MCS Vncouver Document Scanning resident dinosaur (not quite a fossil yet) Jeff Marceil, PMP. Hop in the Delorean. We’re going for a ride.

    Vancouver’s Document Management Project Guru

    An Airforce brat, Jeff and his family moved all over Canada throughout his childhood. As a result, he lays claim to an unique birthplace that turns heads and raises eyebrows: Whitehorse, Yukon. Yup, that’s right. The land of the dog sleds and gold. It wasn’t until he turned 11 that his family went all Beverly Hillbillies and drove through the Rockies with wide sparkly anime eyes and finally settled on a farm in British Columbia where he eventually met his lovely wife. Just last year, they celebrated their 30th anniversary.
    Jeff Marceil: Vancouver's Document Digitization Guru

    Scanning Conversion for 25 Years

    Loyal as a Gibbons, Jeff has been with the company since 1998, but he’s been in the business of scanning conversion for over a quarter of a century. Not as one-dimensional as a stock character, managing projects hasn’t always been his passion.
    Jeff’s a regular ‘Piano Man’. Over the last 30 plus years, he’s played in various classic rock and country bands, and even spearheaded his own solo project with influences from The Beatles, Elton John, Sting, and Pink Floyd. So generally, old fart music, but he gets points for Pink Floyd. It runs in the Marceil bloodline. The music will not be silenced. Just ask his three bratty offspring, all creative in their own right.

    MCS Project Manager

    When Jeff’s not onstage with his trusty Accordion or shaming his youngest (teenage) son into kayaking with him, he’s planning, executing, and closing large scale imaging projects as MCS Vancouver Document Scanning resident Project Manager. Remember those funny little letters after his name? Those are his professional initials. Several years ago, the decision came down that Jeff should have those funny little letters. After a six month course with UVic and an grueling three hour exam, he had his Rocky moment at the top when he became a certified Project Management Professional.
    Now Jeff works in terms of scope, and scope creep, and other alien terms that make your brain melt, but his knowledge gives projects structure and clients peace of mind that their document management & digitizing solution will run without a hitch, regardless of it’s scope! 
  8. Converting Microfilm to Online Digital Archives, by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

    Leave a Comment For generations, microform technology (such as Microfiche and Microfilm) ruled the world with an iron-fist, but like all tyrannical Empires, it fell to the Rebel scum. A Grand Canyon sized gap formed between micro and digital until digital conversion strolled along and a beautiful union, like chococolate and peanut butter, blossomed. But how microphotography maintained a stranglehold on compact document storage and long-term preservation can be summed up in two words: Cheap and Simple. 

    Vancouver’s Microphotography Archiving Solutions

    If you’re not a registered student in Professor McGonagall’s transfiguration class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the concept of converting microfilm to a digital form may escape you. Luckily, it can be taught. No expensive trip to London to catch the Hogwarts Express from platform 9 3/4 required.  

    Archiving Large Format to 16mm or 35mm Micro Film

    Let’s start at the beginning. How are giant documents such as maps and blueprints scaled down into itty-bitty living space for images imprinted on 16mm or 35mm film?
    First, a microfilm camera is required. These vary in size, from monstrous beasts 4m tall to a more manageable desk mate. Documents are laid out like cat in a sunny spot with lighting from above, and an image is captured. Often, larger models using 35mm film utilize back-lighting to emphasize light lines on large format drawings – like a Lite Brite in reverse. In many cases, the image produced proves easier to read than the faint original.  

    Microfilm Readers or Viewers Required

    Of course, special microfilm readers or viewers are required to view microfilm by magnifying the filmed images, and they are displayed on the screen of a machine that appears similar to a computer monitor. As unbelievable as it may seem, microfilm is still in use even today. In fact, many genealogy, real estate, and city plans are still stored on microfilm. Down in Salt Lake City, Utah, The LDS Church preserves a collection of over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical material for public use in their Family History Library. Scrolling through a roll of 2275 images is tedious. Tiny markings called a blip can be set below an image on the film for easy navigation. Want a particular property on image 942. Easy. Punch the number in and the microfilm reader sends the film zipping along until it counts blip 942 above the exact image needed.  

    Scan Microfilm to Digital

    To convert microfilm to a digital medium, ridiculously expensive, top of the line scanners with specialized lenses are required. Currently, MCS Vancouver Microfilm Scanning Services maintains a fleet of 6 Sunrise Scanners with a seventh on order.
    Microfilm is mounted on reels similar to a projector and slowly tracked under the high-end camera to be scanned and converted to a digital image on a computer. In the course of an hour, one scanner converts a roll of 2400 images with a scanning technician close by to monitor and assure the highest quality.

    Microfilm Online Archives – Document Management Solutions

    Once the microfilm digitization process is complete, the converted historical documents can join their newly reborn brothers and sisters in document management systems, online archives or “the cloud”.
  9. Microfilm vs Microfiche & Digitizing Film Archives in Vancouver, by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

    Leave a Comment Eons ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and long before Micro Com Systems, Vancouver’s Document Scanning & Archive Records Management Service very own Craig Hollingum danced the night away in his stylish bell bottoms to the funky tunes of The Bee Gees and Lipps Inc., microform technology (such as Microfiche and Microfilmruled the world for securing & archiving paper documents to a compact form. In other words, historical document imaging.

    Microfiche Archiving & Historical Document Imaging

    The first microphotographs were filmed in 1839, the same year Mende captives revolted against their captors aboard the La Amistad and the first Opium War began in China. Like any newfangled invention, most overlooked microphotography and classified it as a trifling, childish novelty. Until a Canadian engineer hauled the idea out of obscurity and gave microform technology practical use, microphotography lay by the wayside for decades before it gained momentum due to its inexpensive nature.
    Microfiche Archiving & Historical Document Imaging

    Microfiche & Film Digitization Process

    The two forms of microphotography are Microfiche and Microfilm. But which is it? Team microfilm (Edward) or Team microfiche (Jacob)? That particular question is asked more often than you think. Micro Com Systems has specialized divisions that handle the manufacture, and digitization of both microfilm and microfiche. So what’s the difference?

    Microfiche, Microfilm, & AP Aperture Card Differences

    Let’s start with microfiche. Remember back in the day, before the inventory of an entire library could be searched with a few strokes of a keyboard or swipes of a finger? Storage of microfiche closely resembles a card catalogue.
    Microfiche commonly contains images filmed with a 24x reduction ratio on silver 16mm film. Individual sections of film are then slipped into a thin, clear plastic multi-channelled 105 x 148 mm microfiche (about the size of a cue card), and a title that indicates the contents is printed along the top that barely peeks out of its new home. One piece of microfiche can hold up to 5 rows of reduced engineering plans/drawings or traditional letter/legal office files. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s compact. Perfect.
    So what’s microfilm? If microfiche is a slip of silver film, how does it differ from microfilm? Simple. Think movie projector. Most theatres nowadays are digital projection (in 3D), but before we possessed handheld devices that held the worlds knowledge and cat videos, they mounted huge reels of film to project the movie on the screen. Of course, using a film projector had risks, like melting the film.
    16_mm_roll  Microfilm

    16mm Microfilm

    In a sense, microfilm is the same concept, traditionally on smaller film (16mm or 35mm), without the perforated edges. Like microfiche, silver film is used in the manufacturing of microfilm, and images are filmed and reduced. The higher the reduction rate, the lower the quality. On average, each roll of 16mm microfilm holds 2400 – 4000 images and is stored on a reel, or occasionally a cassette – another archaic repository.

    Beyond Microfilm: Digitizing Film for Online Archiving

    So which are you? Microfiche or Microfilm? Or perhaps, you’d rather look to the future to digitizing film and join the ranks of the online digital archive solutions.

Micro Com Systems Ltd.

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Micro Com Systems LTD.
8527 Eastlake Drive Burnaby BC V5A4T7


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