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Why Outsource Aperture Card Scanning Services?

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Before making an investment, every company needs to feel safe in the knowledge that they are doing the right thing so today we'll look at why it's a sound investment to outsource aperture card scanning services.

Aperture cards were once the perfect solution to document storage, mainly used by engineers, architects and manufacturers, but since the introduction of reliable digital technology aperture cards have been dropped in favour of electronic storage methods.

Since the downfall of aperture card storage, a lot of companies have been digitising the files they once stored on the cards to reap a number of benefits. This is when they have to make the decision;

Should I outsource or complete the project in-house?

As a scanning service, we are slightly biased here but the answer is most definitely to outsource the project. Let me explain...


While it's true that outsourcing will involve an investment from your company, it's not as much as you'll be anticipating and certainly not as much as you'll end up spending if you do the scanning yourself. You would need to buy a scanner with the ability to scan aperture cards, pay a member of staff to do the work and designate valuable office space to the scanning. All of this doesn't come cheap.

Outsourcing the work will mean you won't need to spend all of those costs, just a one off payment which will be generated back from abolishing costs of storing aperture cards in hard copy as well as the money you will gain from the efficiency boosts going digital brings.

Timeaperture card scanner

Completing an aperture card scanning project within the company will also take a great deal of time. Whether the work is completed by a member of staff currently employed with you or if you hire a new member of staff to work on it, it could mean days (or even weeks) of focussing on that and nothing else.

Outsourcing the work will mean you won't need to waste valuable time as you can let the professionals handle it. Scanning services can also usually have your aperture cards scanned and the digital files delivered to you in no time.


Depending on the budget you have for the scanning, you may be able to buy a decent scanner but without the professional experience to scan the cards, the quality won't be what you're expecting. Sometimes images need correcting or enhancing to ensure you get the best possible digital image and that can only be provided by people with experience of scanning aperture cards.


The cost, time and quality benefits you gain from outsourcing to aperture card scanning services all come as a result of the equipment and experience they have.They will have specialist scanners and software to enable a high quality scan of each card which you can't get from a cheap and cheerful scanner. The staff will also have years of experience to ensure your scans are the best they can possibly be.

Who to outsource the scanning to...

Now that the benefits above have convinced you to outsource your scanning project, you're probably wondering where you can find a scanning service, right? Well look no further because here at Pearl Scan we provide a bespoke yet affordable aperture card scanning solution for businesses and organisations wanting to manage their files digitally.

We can scan aperture cards in high quality with a quick turnaround and we can even OCR process the images and set up a document management system with our image management software, Halogen.

If you are interested in finding out more, check out our website and blogs or contact us for a free, no obligation quote.

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Document Scanning by Pearl Scan

The Scan-do Peopletm

For more information feel free to give us a call: 
Nationwide: 0845 22 55 923         London: 0207 183 1885
Manchester: 0161 832 7991         Birmingham: 0121 285 1900

3 Ways to Digitise Slides

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Looking to digitise your slides? Here's three of the most common methods used to bring your images into the digital age.


The first thing you need to remember when digitising slides yourself is that it's important to clean the slides before you attempt to create digital images. Even if you don't notice it, your slides will be holding tiny specks of dust and dirt which will show up on digital images and potentially ruin the quality of the image. You will need to use a non static cloth or air compressor to remove the dust beforehand.

Once the image is cleaned, there are two common methods for digitising the slides. The first, and most common, method is to use a flat-bed scanner. Most offices have a flat-bed scanner so this can often seem like the most convenient solution but you will need to ensure that the scanner you want to use has 'film capability' otherwise it won't be able to recognise materials like slides and negatives. As PC advisor states;

"Scanners will cope with most slides but the automatic exposure could be fooled with scenes containing lots of white (e.g. a snowy scene) or lots of black. If, as a result, your whites or blacks come out as grey you'll need to override the automatic exposure."

This method is suitable for a small volume of slides but once you get into bigger volumes, it can be incredibly time consuming and is not advisable if you can't dedicate the time to it.

The second method is to use a digital camera to take a high quality picture of the slide. This is where things can get pretty technical if you're not used to using anything more than a 'point and shoot' camera. You'll have to put your camera into 'macro' mode, ensure you have optimum focus on the slide and let the slide take up as much of the shot as possible to avoid the need to crop as cropping will decrease the resolution of the digital image. Backlighting the image will also ensure a crisp image is captured.

This method is commonly used but can be even more time consuming than the flatbed scanner method and you will definitely need to know your way around a good quality digital camera.

Outsourceslides scanning

If you know you don't have a great deal of time to put aside for the project, it is advisable not to attempt it yourself. Instead, the third method is to seek a professional scanning service and there are plenty who can do the work for you.

When outsourcing the work, it is important to take some factors into consideration before deciding on a company to complete the work for you.

1. Is the cost reasonable for the service you are expecting?
While a lot of us will automatically search for the cheapest service, you also need to check that the scans you will receive will be of the quality you are expecting. Sometimes a cheap service will give you a cheap looking outcome.

2. How will you get your slides to them?
This may not have been something you had already thought about but it is important. If your first thought was "I'll just box them up and send them in the post" then you might want to think again. I'm assuming that since you are digitising the images, they are important to you in some way so why do you want to risk the loss or damage or them by sending them in the post? It is highly advisable to choose scanning services that offer collection services or ones close enough for you to be able to drop them off.

3. Could I do this work quicker and cheaper myself?
For very small volume scanning projects, it can sometimes be cheaper to do the digitising yourself but with large scale projects, many companies will offer significant discounts the more you scan.

The main draw of professional scanning companies is that they will do the work for you (usually using much better equipment than you can get your hands on) so you don't have to worry.

Pearl Scan Solutions

We are a scanning company that specialises in the scanning of slides, photos and negatives and we offer a bespoke scanning service which can be tailored to suit the needs of each individual client.

Our process is simple; we collect your slides from anywhere in the UK using our secure nationwide collection services. Once your slides are at our scanning bureau they will be scanned in the highest quality available using our super-fast scanners. The digital images will then be checked for quality and re-touched if needed. Finally, you files will be fully indexed and placed onto the medium of your choice (CD, DVD, USB etc.). The digital images will then be delivered to you in a quick turnaround time.

If you would like some more information about how we scan negatives and what benefits you can gain from it, check out our website or give us a call to discuss your requirements.

Request a Quote  |   Contact Us   |    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Document Scanning by Pearl Scan

The Scan-do Peopletm

For more information feel free to give us a call: 
Nationwide: 0845 22 55 923         London: 0207 183 1885
Manchester: 0161 832 7991         Birmingham: 0121 285 1900

Portable Microfiche Reader vs Going Digital

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Portable or digital? It's a choice which has been offered to us in all areas of life from music players to maps but which is the best option for your microfiche?

Over the years we have seen the evolution of life from the portable to the digital. Remember when you used to listen to music on portable CD players, or even cassette players? Now, you're probably listening to MP3 formatted music through your smartphone. Remember when you used to find where you were going with small 'portable' map books? Now you can get a GPS signal to your SatNav or smartphone to tell you where you are instantly.

The same can be said for document management with a large number of companies now adopting the digital approach where they would once have used 'portable', space saving microfiche to store files on. So, was this the right move or were portable devices the way to go? Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages each method brings.

Portable Microfiche Readers

Aside from the standard microfiche readers that can only really be used on a desktop, there were two other kinds of readers released; the portable microfiche reader and the handheld reader. Similar to the progression of the mobile phone, these each offer a little more accessibility than the previous model.

"The Hand-Held Viewer provides instant access to information anywhere . . . at home, the office or in the field"


  • As the quote above states, the handheld reader provides access to files wherever you are as long as you have the microfiche with you.microfiche conversion
  • Their portable nature means they can be packed away to reclaim desk and office space.


  • Microfiche (and the files stored on them) are susceptible to loss, theft and damage.
  • Storing large numbers of microfiche can become costly and space consuming.
  • Files can only be viewed, not edited or duplicated.

Scanned Microfiche

Scanning microfiche is the new way for people to gain better access and flexibility with their documents.


  • Having digital files means you don't need to store the hard copy so space can be saved.
  • Digital files storage is much more cost effective than buying equipment solely for use with microfiche.
  • Digitised microfiche can prevent file deterioration to future-proof your documents.
  • You can access files at the click of a button and also edit and share them too.


  • Scanning and digital file management with need to be done correctly for you to be able to benefit from the advantages.
  • If the microfiche are damaged, regardless of how high quality the scan, you may not get a perfect image.

So what do you think? Have we moved forwards? Is going digital the best solution?

Microfiche Scanning Services

If you have microfiche that you would like to be digitised, we at Pearl Scan can do it for you. We have the latest microfiche scanning technology so we can produce high quality scans of your microfiche in a quick turnaround for an affordable price. We can also OCR process your digital images to enable quick and easy file retrieval through simple searches of content.

If you would like some more information about how microfiche scanning can help you, get in touch and we can provide you with a free, no obligation quote for your project.

Request a Quote  |   Contact Us   |    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Document Scanning by Pearl Scan

The Scan-do Peopletm

For more information feel free to give us a call: 
Nationwide: 0845 22 55 923         London: 0207 183 1885
Manchester: 0161 832 7991         Birmingham: 0121 285 1900

Accreditations and Certifications

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Why choose us

  • Experience >

    We have over a decade of experience providing scanning services for some of the most reputable companies in the UK including blue chip companies and organisations as well as small businesses and private individuals. Some of our past clients have included NHS, local government, Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Manchester, Aviva, BBC, Sky, Metropolitan Police, Environment Agency and many more.
  • Scalability >

    We have the infrastructure to support small-to-large, quick-to-long term scanning projects and with a capacity to scan 10 million images per month. This scalability provides a great deal of flexibility with the services we offer meaning we can tailor all of our services to suit the needs of each client and we will always try our best to accommodate any request.
  • Audited >

    We are backed up by external quality and security audits. Our operations have been audited and approved by many NHS, Local Authorities, Private blue chip companies and we pride ourselves on the high levels of quality and security we provide to each and every one of our clients.
  • Accreditations >

    We hold a number of ISO accreditations including ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 27001 (Information Management System) and EMS 14001 (Environment Management System) and Data Protection 1998. We are also a member of the Information and Records Management Society as well as being supporters of Investors in People and a member of The Skills Pledge.
  • Innovation >

    Our scanning bureau is fully equipped with state-of-the-art dedicated scanning hardware catering for a wide range of document types and sizes making us a one-stop service for your scanning and digital conversion cycle. We upgrade our scanners to keep in line with the latest scanning technology and ensure we are providing the best possible scanning service at all times.
  • Security >

    We operate from a custom built scanning bureau focussed on security, safety, confidentiality and scalability. The main building is monitored by Red Care security systems and has 24 hours internal and external CCTV. We are more than happy for you to come and visit our premises so we can show you how safe your documents are with us.
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