OCR & How they relate to MFPs (MultiFunctional Peripheral devices)
MFPs, short for Multifunctional Peripheral and also known as multifunction printers, are devices that provide several functions including printing. Multifunction printers can act as printers, scanners, fax machines, and photocopiers.
Benefits of MFPThese devices are becoming a popular option because they’re less expensive than buying three or four separate devices.
Disadvantages of MFPThe downsides to combining all these functions in one device are:
- If the device breaks, you may lose all of its functions at the same time
- You can only do one operation at a time. For example, you can’t print a document and receive a fax simultaneously;
As many companies integrate MFPs into their workflow, the notion of document capture is changing. Whereas documents might have been sent to a scanning center in the past, with MFPs a company can capture documents and optionally insert them into a database in a totally distributed environment. This has the benefit of making document capture much more routine at the corporate level, but also requires that any document capture process be as foolproof as possible.
Many MFPs have support for OCR in some form. This support may be directly on the MFP device, but more likely it is actually on a nearby server that can communicate with the MFP. For example, CVISION’s PdfCompressor handles MFP files through its watched folder mechanism.
MFP and Document Modification
What is desired generally at the MFP level is a simple way to allow the user to route, name, and modify a document, with possible insertion into a database. Modification of the document might include OCR and metadata insertion into the scanned PDF file. These functions are often controlled at the MFP, either using the MFP control panel or via a cover sheet. The cover sheet has the advantage of also serving as a file delimiter, allowing many files to be processed at the same time. It also has the advantage that a complete specification, including routing the document, and emailing to a group of people, can be specified on the cover page. The control panel, on the other hand, requires no advance preparation, no stops at the printer, and is easy to use.