Fujitsu Scanner Technical Explanations of IPC and VRS

IPC is a Fujitsu hardware based image enhancement board that comes standard with the M4099D scanners. It is an option for the M4097D and the fi-4750C which may be purchased pre-configured in the scanner (additional price) or as a field upgrade after the scanner is originally purchased.
IPC is an Image Enhancement Technology installed within the scanner allowing it to run at rated speeds while processing the images. The concept of IPC is to enhance the images during production mode without stopping the scanning process. Simply select a setting that works best for your documents turn it on and leave it on IPC utilizes 16 various settings such as Background Removal, OCR Smoothing, Dynamic Thresholding etc.. which may be used with one another to automatically process the images so that the data is clear and easily read. (please see attached IPC document for a full description) IPC also has 5 presets designed for various types of popular documents such as NCR forms, magazines and brochures, etc.. This allows the user to quickly select a preset and scan all of their documents without stopping or having to make adjustments to the images. If the customer's documents do not happen to fall into one of the preset categories they may create their own custom preset by choosing from the 16 settings in the IPC menu.
IPC is extremely powerful and is capable of scanning mixed batches of documents with excellent results. However, although IPC can handle a wide variety of document types there will sometimes be exceptions that may need further adjustments which will require re-scanning. For example if you find a preset that works well with the majority of the documents you are scanning but then add a document that perhaps went through a bad copy machine and has an extremely black background or a document that has very light text because of a printer that needs a toner replacement you may have to make an adjustment to the scanners brightness or contrast levels for this exception document. Outside of those extreme cases IPC is capable of providing clear crisp images during the first scan with no re-scanning required.
Document types that work well with IPC:
  • NCR Forms
  • HCFA Forms
  • Colored Paper
  • Shaded areas on the documents
  • Dot Matrix Printing
  • Forms with colored background boxes or shaded boxes
  • Scantron type sheets
IPC is strictly image enhancement. It does not provide de-skewing and/or cropping and it will not stop the scanning process due to image quality issues. If the operator  would like de-skewing capabilities they will have to either use a Kofax Adrenaline board or Image Controls software or rely on the imaging application to offer de-skewing.
VRS is a product developed by Kofax and is available on most of the Fujitsu series as either a software based solution or as a software/hardware solution. VRS Software must be purchased as an accessory to the scanner. Hardware VRS is a product that is distributed by Fujitsu through our normal distribution channels and may be purchased pre-configured certain models
VRS was designed with the goal of eliminating re-scanning by allowing the scanner operator to intervene during the scanning process and make adjustments on the fly whether they be image quality or hardware errors. The user has the ability to create profiles based on image quality expectations and potential hardware errors such as paper feeding issues. These profiles are then used during the scanning process and based on the chosen profile the operator can actually have the scanner stop during the scanning process, report the error to the user, and allow the operator to make the necessary adjustments to continue scanning. Since the images are being buffered before being released to the application changes may be made during the scanning process to enhance the quality of the image.
Kofax VRS web site information
For example, if the operator is scanning a set of documents that are of similar nature but then has a document that has an extremely black background VRS has the power to stop the scanning process based on that images unacceptable quality. At that point the VRS interactive window would appear and allow the operator to adjust the image quality based on brightness/contrast control, either apply that new setting to the document or the remaining part of the batch, release the image to the application, and continue scanning. The adjustments regarding image quality are based on the brightness and contrast of the document being scanned. VRS allows the user to create a window or threshold that will stop the scanning process if the document being scanned falls out of the established range set by the user.
VRS scans documents using grayscale mode on the scanner delivering a very detailed image. Once scanned VRS processes the image and then provides a black & white image to the user's application. Therefore, VRS is very powerful regarding the manipulation of an image. For example, if you have documents that contain graphics in the background however they are interfering with the data on the image VRS can actually remove those graphics leaving only the desired text. This also works well with official documents such as Admission Records, Death Certificates, checks, etc.. that have official logos or complicated graphics in the background. Typically, image enhancement technology such as IPC will interpret those graphics as data and therefore allow them to remain within the image.
VRS also provides automatic De-Skew and Cropping available on the hardware version of VRS on-board the M4097D and M4099D. Since both scanners use a black background in VRS mode they can de-skew up to 45 degrees and crop the image to it's exact size even when scanning mixed lengths in the same batch.
(download the file ScanRight VRS.pdf)
VRS does extremely well in situations where the customer wants to eliminate the re-scanning process, allow the operator to be alerted to potential errors, make adjustments during the scanning process, and where documents have either extreme brightness/contrast issues or where the image needs to have either graphics or highlighting removed from the document.
IPC on the other hand is designed for the production environment customer that does not want to stop the scanning process and is willing to potentially have to do some re-scanning. Both technologies work extremely well and definitely have their place in the market. 
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