Q&A With Joe Odore, Panasonic

Panasonic recently announced the release of Image Capture Plus, an application that transfers image data scanned by Panasonic high-speed document scanners to a PC in the form of an image file. This software lets you edit scanned pages (switch pages, delete pages, etc.) using thumbnail images. It also allows you to make various settings to facilitate complex scanning processes and serves as a tool for processing routine business work.

But what makes Image Capture Plus different, and how can it be used to ease workload and improve processes in high-volume settings? Those are a few of the questions I asked Joe Odore, product manager at Panasonic recently. Joe has many years of experience working with production scanning systems as a product planning specialist for commercial multifunction office products and retail all-in-one multifunction products at Panasonic. I asked him to give us a rundown of the new application.

What makes Image Capture Plus different than other scanning software?

joe odoreThere are a number of unique features in Image Capture Plus since it has been optimized for Panasonic scanners only. For example, digital imprinting and imprinter software is combined and includes hardware image processing, dog ear detection, auto preview and auto rescan. While the TWAIN and ISIS drivers contain this functionality, many applications limit what capabilities are available and simply use the basic capture features found in the TWAIN spec or PixTools library. Image Capture Plus also offers the capability of creating scan jobs tied to the scanner’s one-touch keys, start key or job list if an LCD display is equipped.

How does your application perform in large volume settings?

The ability to create one-touch scan jobs from the scanner can really improve workflow, especially in high-speed, high-volume environments. ICP also has the ability to create document capture workflows. You can easily create a job with pre-determined image settings, and customize the output destination and file naming options. It also supports features like patch code recognition so you can feed multiple jobs, switch on blank pages, switch on barcodes, etc. You can even take a batch of documents with barcodes and ICP can easily sort all documents into batch files or create separate files out of each.

For repetitive and standard forms like invoices, you mentioned that the OCR Zone Function can be used to automate manual data entry. How does it work?

ICP only has single zone OCR or barcode support. So you can scan common invoice documents and have the zonal OCR output based on file name or barcode. It can also provide a CSV, TXT or XML file for the zonal OCR information which can be used in a back-end system.

Why do you feel the thumbnail and pre-scan functions are an important advantage?

Auto preview and rescan are a great combination of features. Users can choose to scan their batch of documents and with auto preview, see each page as it is scanned, and then adjust image quality setting via the thumbnail view for best quality. While it does have thumbnails, there is the ability to view the whole document. But with thumbnail view they have the choice of nine different settings. If all the document are the same, they can preview the first page, select the best option and then scan the rest of the batch with those revised settings. Eliminating the need to rescan.

While auto preview can be an extra step in the process, rescan is just as great because it allows you to adjust the raw scanned data using the same preview function. Choose the best settings and the changes are applied. In addition, there are four image error detection features part of rescan. So after the job is scanned ICP will flag any document which may be too light or dark, has questionable blank page, continuity detection and color/monochrome distinction.

Want to learn more?

Visit http://panasonic.net/pcc/products/scanner/image_capture_plus.

is president and senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 15 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community.