Form scanning and document capture

Once paper forms have been completed and returned to you by respondents, they need to be converted into an electronic image. This is achieved by scanning forms into automated data capture software which automatically receives the form images direct from a high speed document scanner.

With the system installed on-site, you can begin scanning immediately rather than send forms and surveys to a scanning bureau.

If web-based distributed scanning is required, we have several options including eScan.

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ePC have developed eScan to allow remote sites to scan forms into a central TeleForm system over the Internet. It is a .NET based application, deployed through a web browser for simple installation on any modern Windows PC.

The central system can deploy and enforce scanner settings to ensure constancy and check the image quality as well as the presence and readability of page objects, such as cornerstones and barcodes.

Once logged in, users can scan pages continuously while a background process uploads the images as they are ready. This is crucial as it allows the users to utilise the scanners at their maximum throughput without being delayed by slow or intermittent Internet connections.

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How automated data capture works

  • Step 1

    Survey and form design

    Build new structured form templates optimised for accurate recognition in an easy-to-use interface.

    Print-merge variable information to forms and distribute to recipients.

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  • Step 2

    Scan paper surveys

    Load the document scanner with returned paper surveys and commence scanning.

    Automated data capture (ADC) software will automatically receive the images directly from the high-speed scanner and begin classification.

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  • Step 3

    Document recognition and data extraction

    ADC software automatically identifies scanned images and extracts handwritten (ICR), machine print (OCR), optical marks (OMR) and barcode data.

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  • Step 4

    Data verification

    If ADC software is unable to evaluate a data entry field with sufficient confidence, it is highlighted to a user for manual confirmation or correction.

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  • Step 5

    Data export and archive

    Once verified, ADC software automatically exports data and images directly to third-party databases or common file formats (e.g., Excel, CSV, XML).

    eStore, our document storage and retrieval system, is available for organisations seeking to archive data/scanned images for regulatory compliance.

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    Intelligent document scanning

    Once the documents have been captured directly from the scanner, document classification and data extraction is performed with powerful recognition technology including:

    • ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) to read and convert hand-printed text from a graphical image format to an editable text format.
    • OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) to detect non-text responses on forms. OMR is used to evaluate choice fields and entry fields.
    • OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to read and convert machine-printed text from a graphical image format to an editable text format. Constrained print fields and image zones can collect OCR data.
    • Barcode recognition to capture all standard barcode types, including two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes.
    • Signature detection to ensure forms have been authorised.
    • Page structure, graphic or logo detection for page classification.

    High volume document scanners

    ePC can provide recommendations and supply a range of hardware, including high throughput document scanners and servers, to support our data capture solutions.

    Our high volume document scanners (see below) start at 30 pages per minute and go up to over 200 pages per minute. This means the data capture software will scan paper forms in minutes – even data from large projects will be captured quickly. There is no need for manual sorting – the system will do it for you, saving you even more time.

    Our recommended scanners can scan in duplex and colour while supporting automatic sheet feeders with a capacity from 50 pages to several hundred. We also have specialist solutions for drop-out inks, special paper and endorsement (printing scan dates or references on the page as it scans) if required.

    Canon DR-C240

    Canon DR-C240

    Max page size: A4
    Pages per minute: 45
    Feeder capacity: 60 pages
    Max daily throughput: 2,000 pages
    RRP*: £650

    Kodak Alaris S2070

    Kodak Alaris S2070

    Max page size: A4
    Pages per minute: 70
    Feeder capacity: 80 pages
    Max daily throughput: 5,000 pages
    RRP*: £800

    Kodak Alaris S2085F

    Kodak Alaris S2085F

    Max page size: A4
    Pages per minute: 85
    Feeder capacity: 300 pages
    Max daily throughput: 20,000 pages
    RRP*: £2,500

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    Canon DR-6030C

    Canon DR-6030C

    Max page size: A3
    Pages per minute: 80
    Feeder capacity: 100 pages
    Max daily throughput: 10,000 pages
    RRP*: £3,800

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    Kodak Alaris S3120 MAX

    Kodak Alaris S3120 MAX

    Max page size: A3
    Pages per minute: 120
    Feeder capacity: 500 pages
    Max daily throughput: 60,000 pages
    RRP*: £6,500

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    Kodak Alaris i4850

    Kodak Alaris i4850

    Max page size: A3
    Pages per minute: 160
    Feeder capacity: 500 pages
    Max daily throughput: 125,000 pages
    RRP*: £22,000

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    * Prices subject to change and exclude VAT.

    Scanner maintenance

    A technical support package is available, including telephone and eMail assistance, to help set up and maintain your scanner.

    Additionally, we can offer maintenance cover for your scanner. This option provides peace of mind that, in the event of a hardware malfunction, loan equipment of equivalent or higher specification will be supplied until repairs on your scanner are complete.

    Form scanning benefits

    Eliminate errors

    Form scanning eliminates the need for manual data entry. It also eradicates typographical errors by employees demotivated by the repetitive nature of the work.

    Improve productivity

    Allow your employees to focus on more productive tasks rather than time-consuming document sorting and manual data entry.

    More space

    No need to store physical files with floor space used for other tasks or office space downsized.

    Cost savings

    Save money on postage, transportation to scanning bureau and end reliance on expensive third-party storage contracts.

    Secure scanning services

    With the data capture solution installed on-premise, you keep sensitive information in-house, increasing visibility and transparency and retaining control of the process.

    Archive forms for online retrieval

    Our web-based repository eStore provides indexing, storage, and retrieval of scanned images and metadata for future reference as well as legal and regulatory obligations.

    On-site scanning

    Immediately commence scanning documents once the forms are returned rather than forwarding them to a scanning bureau.

    Learn more about our scanning bureau services.

    Remote web capture

    If web-based distributed scanning is required, we have several options including eScan. Remote scanning software allows sites to scan forms into a central data capture system over the Internet.

    Web Scanning Station

    A Web Scanning Station is available in ABBYY FlexiCapture for remote scanning of paper documents and sending them to the server for additional form processing.

    TeleForm Web Capture Option (WCO)

    TeleForm Web Capture Option (WCO) is deployed via a webserver to allow remote connection through a web browser.

    Upon connection, it automatically downloads ActiveX to control your scanner before displaying a customisable TeleForm scanning interface. You can create new batches, capture data, and submit batches to the Web Capture Server for processing.

    TeleForm will read the batch files and run the standard identification, evaluation, verification, and export process on the data.

    No installation is required and the solution uses SSL for guaranteed security.

    Remote Capture Station (RCS)

    For remote sites with high volume throughput, TeleForm Remote Capture Station (RCS) is the ideal tool. Installed on a client PC as a Windows application, it is configured to your TeleForm system through a shared folder, UNC path or FTP site.

    RCS can be used with TeleForm Workgroup or TeleForm Enterprise to scan forms and questionnaires from distributed locations. RCS operators can create batches of images, perform quality control on them, then transfer the batch to the main TeleForm system for evaluation, verification, and data export.

    More feature-rich than the Web Capture Option, RCS provides scheduled uploading of scanned batches, a useable interface and access to job settings.

    Faxed forms

    ePC can provide systems that connect directly to your incoming fax line, eliminating the need for paper faxes. This speeds up and improves the image quality by which completed forms are entered into the system ready for data extraction.

    Electronic forms

    With the optional eForm Suite you also have the option of data capture via electronic forms (i.e. HTML or PDF) completed and submitted over the Internet.

    The module is directly integrated into TeleForm Designer and allows you to export a paper template as an electronic form in Acrobat PDF or HTML format.

    All fields created in the TeleForm Designer are converted to electronic fill-in fields with business rules automatically applied. Once published, the forms are completed by your end-users in a web browser and submitted to the TeleForm Verifier module before validated data is exported.

    For stand-alone electronic forms software, please click here.

    Intelligent data capture software

    We select the best data capture systems to meet your requirements.

    OpenText TeleForm

    OpenText TeleForm

    TeleForm automatically captures and indexes data and images from any form type, using handprint (ICR), machine print (OCR) and checkbox (OMR) recognition technology, ready for export to a database.

    It aims to reduce manual data entry time by 90% or more and can eliminate hundreds of operator keystrokes.

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    ABBYY FlexiCapture

    ABBYY FlexiCapture

    ABBYY FlexiCapture is a highly scalable forms processing solution for intelligent and accurate extraction of data from structured, semi-structured and unstructured forms and documents for input into backend applications for further processing and archiving.

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    Case studies

    • University of Bristol

      University of Bristol

      Based at the University of Bristol, the ‘Children of the 90s’ study uses TeleForm to capture data from the paper versions of their questionnaires.

    • Civica


      Following a OJEU tender process, the British Council commissioned Civica as the prime contractor to deliver an on-screen marking (OSM) solution to mark up to 2.25 million ‘pen and paper’ IELTS tests each year.

      As part of the agreement, Civica appointed ePC as its sub-contractor for the script capture, processing and verification work.

    • Keele University

      Keele University

      Keele CTU saves time by capturing data from paper-based clinical trials with TeleForm.

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