London: 0207 183 1885   |   Manchester: 0161 832 7991   |   Birmingham: 0121 285 1900   |    Nationwide: 0845 225 5923          

Do You Really Need a Microfiche Machine?

User Rating: 3 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


If you're amongst the thousands of individuals or, more likely, organisations that find themselves with hundreds or thousands of microfiche but have nothing to use them with, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is to find out more about a microfiche machine, a machine that offers you the chance to view the microfiche, not dissimilar to those you see in large libraries. But is it really necessary?

The Microfiche Machine


A typical microfiche machine

Microfiche machines, or microfiche readers / microfiche viewers as they are more commonly known, used to be very easy to get hold of since, at the time, microfiche were amongst the most popular ways of storing a significant amount of files in a small area. As we've mentioned in previous posts about the history of the microfiche, microfiche were in effect the external hard drives of their day, allowing you to store away hundreds of files and documents without having to use the space that they would take in their full physical form.

However as time and innovation rolls on as frantically as it has over the last 100 years, microfiche were replaced over a short period of time as people started to rely on computers more and use the links of floppy disks, then CDs, then flash memory etc. This obviously left the microfiche market, such as it was, in ruins and microfiche machines were all but stopped being made with the exception of a few select companies that still make them to this day as niche items. As with most specialist niches, there isn't a huge deal of demand so the cost of the microfiche reader rises. Microfiche machines now sell for anything between £3,000-10,000, which is an astonishing amount of money for a machine of its type and, to pour salt into the wounds, most readers are simply limited to just viewing images unlike modern counterparts like computer systems which allow you to view, edit, print and email images and documents with ease.


Microfiche Machine vs Microfiche Scanning

These days, a lot of document scanning companies tend to offer microfiche scanning on top of regular document conversion. These companies normally have a number of microfiche scanners which can take the negative image and convert it into a digital one which is then exported as PDF. JPEG, TIFF or any other fairly popular image / document formats. On top of this after the scanning is completed, if the microfiche consist of documents, the documents can be put through OCR. OCR, or optical character recognition makes your flat documents into a fully text-searchable file which makes it very useful for searching for particular references or names.

Once a microfiche image is made digital, the rest is pretty much history since a standard microfiche machine simply cannot keep up with what is offered such as the ability to view the images with better clarity, the previously mentioned OCR, sharing the documents, emailing them, printing them and basically doing anything with them that you can do with any type of document you use on a computer.

The costs of a microfiche machine compared to scanning

On top of all this, you don't have to pay for a rather large piece of equipment that is, essentially, already obsolete. As mentioned before they can upwards of £10,000 for a very good one and £3,000 for a relatively basic one.

Talking of costs, microfiche scanning is relatively cheap to make things a little better. Microfiche are typically scanned here in the UK for between 10p to £1 per image from our research, but the £1 is a high end price. So you can see that it simply makes sense to go with microfiche scanning above a machine.

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

Accreditations and certifications

Newest Articles

Increase Accessibility of Files Stored on Microfiche

Microfiche have been used for space saving document storage for years but one thing they don't offer is a great Read More

All You Need To Know About Microfiche/Film Scanning

Over the past decade or so, the world's focus has been on making everything smaller, more compact and easier to Read More

Why Going Digital Is Superior to Microfilming

Below is a video we discovered recently which shows the process of how the State Library of South Australia archives Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21

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.
  • 1