Myth about Duty Cycle on document scanner productivity

I don’t know if it is problem with you, but this was my problem back in 2004, when I got a project to scan 2 million pages of OMR forms in ten days. I was looking for scanner that has higher duty cycle per day to do the job. I was calculate the productivity just based on duty cycle per day, which is very wrong in calculating productivity of a scanner based on duty cycle for a project, but the method is right thing to do when you are planning to scan document on daily basis throughout the years.

 

In 2006 I was trained in Singapore and asked about the duty cycle calculation with Fujitsu people. The calculation is basis on MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) of scanner in 5 years, so I figure duty cycle is a suggestion of how much you can scan in a day on daily basis so the scanner can survive in 5 years. So when I got project only for 10 days, I don’t have to follow this rule.
After I understand the concept of duty cycle , I began to try some of document scanners for project scanning (1-30 days scanning) and this is the maximum productivity I got for the scanner :
Fujitsu Fi 4120, Fi 5120, Fi 6130 can be use more than 6000 pages per day in extreme cases is 12,000 pages (continuous scanning non-stop for every 4 hours in 24 hours) .Fi 5530 C/C2 can scan more than 10,000 pages per day. Fi 5650 C/Fi 6670 can scan more than 20,000 pages per day ( 10 hours a day). Fi 5900 C can scan more than 100,000 pages per day (10 hours per day). (yes, I got most types of Fujitsu scanner in my office).
Scansnap S500, S510 extreme cases in my customers premise was 100,000 pages in one week to process OMR forms using Digital Mark Reader scanner. We were able to create TWAIN interface for Scansnap S500 and S510 back in 2006-2007. The original scansnap series doesnot have any TWAIN drivers.
Avision AV 121 and AV 122 can processed more than 4000-5000 pages per day but it you must stop every 4 hours and let the machine cooling down for 15 minutes. This is the same with Kodak I 1120 and I found out the product is very identical with Avision.
Miru scanners from Korea MDS 2500 CV can process 150,000 pages per day. (yes the scanner speed is 120 ppm for A4, 200 dpi, BW).
Canon DR 5010 is my favorite Canon scanner, it can process more than 20,000 per day without any complaints.

The titan is Bowe Bell and Howell Spectrum Series Scanner that can process 120,000 pages in a day without any rest. The performance was stable.

For the other scanners I have not try yet. But in my opinion you should also look the reputation of scanner or the look of the scanner before you try. Sometimes the specs also help with your decision say a scanner that has speed 80 ppm but duty cycle only 1000 per day that will be unreasonable to be tried ( the scanner will be failure in : 360 days x 1000 x 5 years = 1,8 million pages and you scan daily = 80 ppm x 60 minutes x 8 hours = 38,400 pages/day, and scanner will be last in 46 days  )

 

But however if you plan to do crazy things I have done you must consider following issues:
1. Please let your scanner rest every 4 hours at least for 15-20 minutes by shutting down the power.
2. Clean up your scanner after use. Especially the sensor and lens (easy so you do not create scratch on the lens)
3. Prepare scanner consumables (pick roller, brake roller, pad assy).
4. Remember that the operator still a human who need rest.
5. Learn your scanners utility (reset the roller counter or cleaning counter)- so if the scanners suddenly stop and create message like “please clean the scanner” or “please change roller”, you will need to reset the settings and if required, change the consumables.

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