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Flatbed Scanners

Large format flatbed scanners are a great solution for fragile, uneven or textured documents. Materials of any thickness can be scanned on the bed of the device. Since documents are not fed through the scanner, fragile items like newspapers or historic documents will not be damaged. Another advantage of flatbed scanners is that they have a very wide color gamut and high optical resolution – perfect for scanning photos, graphics, artwork and other colorful documents. Please submit a Product Interest Form or Contact Us for equipment recommendations and pricing!

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  • Contex HD Apeiron/42

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  • Contex IQ Flex

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  • Epson Expression 13000XL

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  • Image Access WideTEK 12

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  • Image Access WideTEK 12 Spectrum

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  • Image Access WideTEK 24F

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  • Image Access WideTEK 25

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  • Image Access WideTEK 36ART

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  • Kurabo K-IS-A0FW

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  • Kurabo K-IS-A1FW

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  • Microtek LS-3800

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  • Microtek LS-4600

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  • SMA VersaScan 2550

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  • SMA VersaScan 36100

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  • SMA VersaScan 3650

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  • SMA VersaScan 48100

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  • SMA VersaScan 4870

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Learn More About Flatbed Scanners

How does a flatbed scanner work?

A flatbed scanner is a type of scanner commonly used for digitizing documents, artwork, photographs and other objects. Flatbeds are the best option for fragile, torn or textured materials that cannot be put through a rollfed scanner.

Here’s how a typical flatbed scanner works:

  1. A flatbed scanner has a flat, glass surface on which you place the document or object to be scanned.
  2. The scanner typically has a hinged lid that you can lift to place the document on the glass. The lid can be used to cover the document during the scanning process—helping to keep it flat and preventing ambient light from affecting the scan.
  3. Beneath the glass surface there is an illumination source, which shines light through the document onto a charged-coupled device (CCD) or a contact image sensor (CIS) array.
  4. In CCD flatbed scanners, a system of mirrors and lenses is used to direct the light to the CCD array. The mirrors and lenses help focus the light and create an accurate representation of the document.
  5. When you initiate the scanning process, the scanner moves a scanning head (which contains the CCD or CIS array) across the document. Alternatively, the document may move beneath a stationary scanning head. As the scanning head moves, it captures the reflected light from the document.
  6. The captured light information is converted into digital data that represents the colors and intensity of each point on the document.
  7. The digital data is then processed by the scanner’s electronics to create a digital image file. Image processing may involve color correction, contrast adjustment and other enhancements to improve the quality of the scanned image.
  8. The final digital image is saved in a file format (such as JPEG, TIFF or PDF) and can be stored on a computer or other storage devices.

Flatbed scanners are widely used in libraries, museums, archives and historical societies due to their ease of use and ability to handle a variety of materials.

Are there any overhead flatbed scanners?

Yes! The Image Access WideTEK 36ART and Contex HD Apeiron/42 are both touchless, overhead flatbed scanners. On these models, there is a scanning table that moves the materials underneath the scan head. These options are perfect for framed artwork, textured documents, fabric, flooring, tile and any originals that are best scanned face-up instead of face-down on glass.

The WideTEK 36ART has a scan area of 36″ x 60″, with an optional table extension up to 80″; the HD Apeiron/42 has a scan area of 42″ x 60″.

What is the difference between the WideTEK 24F and WideTEK 25 flatbed scanners?

Although both scanners have a similar scan area, there are several notable differences between these two flatbed scanners manufactured by Image Access. The WideTEK 24F is a CIS scanner, whereas the WideTEK 25 is a CCD scanner. The 24F features edge-to-edge scratch resistant glass that allows for easy scanning of oversized originals. The WideTEK 25 has the capability to capture 3D surfaces (such as Braille print, paintings, textiles, coins and circuit boards) and has an optional backlight unit to scan film, X-rays and other transparent material. It also comes with the upgraded Batch Scan Wizard Software.