Category Archives: Microfiche scanning

Microfiche RFP Government Bids

What is a Microfiche RFP?


RFP is an abbreviation of “Request for Proposals”, or in layman’s terms: a bid for a contract. Government entities, such as cities, counties, states, and federal, in addition to education institutions seek proposals from qualified firms to provide services for microfiche conversion in accordance with the terms, conditions, and specifications contained within the bid document.

Microfiche is a analogue media which contains tiny documents. RFPs usually need the microfiche to be converted to digital image, such as TIFF or PDF. Many times they also require indexing by title bar or the fields within the actual documents. Other times, OCR searchable PDF images or text files are required. Some government offices have an existing database with the data already there, but it needs to be merged with the digital output. Images can be stored on hard drives, CDs, DVD, USB flash drives, transferred via FTP, or hosted.

microfiche RFP

Microfiche RFPs are rare compared to the larger universe of government RFPs, which have every category you could imagine, from healthcare to building walls. Sometimes they are only a small part of a government bid which has document scanning, cameras, data entry, microfilm scanning, or cloud server solutions. In addition to microfiche conversion bids, there are actually microfiche creation, microfiche duplication, and microfiche equipment and supplies RFPs.

Many RFPs have insurance, logistics, company standards,and experience requirements. Although much of it may seem like boiler plate legal templates, the government will hold you accountable for everything contained within your submitted, signed RFP document.

Major website with government RFPs are,,, and

Thousands of organizations or individuals keep track of RFPs. If you are one of them but do not have microfiche scanning capabilities (since they are rare skills), consider outsourcing to a microfiche subcontractor such as Generation Imaging. Subcontractors are not frowned up, and are even permitted in most RFPs nowadays. Generation Imaging’s microfiche scanning work is performed in the United States. Generation Imaging has the RFP experience and microfiche scanners to partner with you for a government bid contract. CONTACT US

Microfiche Scanning Costs: How much does converting microfiche cost?

How Much Does it Cost to Scan Microfiche?

The price of a microfiche scanning project varies from vendor to vendor, just like other free markets. However, you may be surprised just how much it varies and the reasons why they do.

Let us compare the public advertised prices from four microfiche conversion companies:

cost to scan microfiche

Company A’s microfiche scanning price


microfiche conversion quote

Company B’s microfiche scanning price


microfiche scanning cost

Company C’s microfiche scanning price


how much microfiche scan

Company D’s microfiche scanning price

Why Are There Price Differences in Microfiche Digitizing?

Let’s pretend you have a collection of 500 microfiche jackets, containing 45 images each, and want them to be scanned.

Company A: $600.75 to $1000 (says a card has 75 images, so looks like they could charge you price per card if you have 45 images)
Company B: $1,800
Company C: $3,000
Company D: $1,350

The sad part? Our company, Generation Imaging, is so much lower than these four prices that it makes us feel sad that so many people overpay. It makes us want to vomit.

Microfiche Scanner Speed

If a microfiche scanning service bureau has high-production scanners made by NextScan, Mekel, Sunrise, and a couple of others, they could convert more microfiche per hour than a cheaper scanner or reader printer. The high-end scanners cost tens of thousands of dollars and require expert technical skill to operate. The lower-end microfiche machines still could run you $10-$15,000 but the time it takes to scan one microfiche is time consuming. A microfiche machine like reader printer could be much slower, especially if you could only capture one frame at a time manually. There are also “mid-level” microfiche scanners which cost tends of thousands of dollars but do not have superior scanning speed like the above listed microfiche scanners.

Subcontracting or Commissions

Because microfiche scanning is such a niche market, many companies which advertise that service actually use a subcontractor to perform the work. There is nothing wrong with this, per se, however since the large company is the lead generator and assumes the risk of the transaction, they have to mark-up the microfiche scanning price, as capitalism dictates.

Similar to subcontracting, salespeople work on commissions. Whether it is an independent salesperson who sets up a website or one which works for a large company which advertises microfiche scanning but does not have microfiche scanners, they need to get their percentage.

Cost of Labor for a Microfiche Conversion

A microfiche scanner operator’s salary varies from state to state (and country to country) and varies on scanner operator experience and technical skill. Larger projects require more operators, supervisors, and managers.

Greed or Ignorance

It is very possible that a document scanning company simply does not know what the current microfiche scanning prices are. They may not have done their market analysis or due diligence. More insidious, is that they do know the market but continue to charge high prices simply because…they can. Most people looking for microfiche scanning prices online will click on the first ad or website that comes up via Google search and not even check out the other websites to compare prices.

Be sure to contact Generation Imaging for a free microfiche scanning quote.


COM Microfiche Scanning

What is COM Microfiche Scanning?

One of the most popular types of microfiche is COM (computer output microfiche). In fact many veterans in the microfiche conversion industry have the picture of a COM microfiche in their mind when they use the word “microfiche”.

Back in the day, the micrographic industry was all about creating microfiche and microfilm. Salespeople would sell COM machines, which would out the computer data to the microfiche cards. Accessories included COM duplicator machines. COM microfiche scanning is the process of converting those cards to digital images.

Scanning COM fiche is necessary if you are working with account records contained on the fiche and you grow weary of using a microfiche reader printer or EyeCOM fiche viewer. With the images digitized and indexed, you could search for specific accounts easier.

How Many Images are on a COM microfiche?

Generally there are 208 images (16 columns x 13 rows) or 270 images (18 columns x 15 rows) on COM fiche, with some variance in-between. For example some columns may not be filled with images and some people do not count the index frames. There is a special type of COM fiche called ultrafiche, which could have hundreds more of images!

microfiche scanning

The Microfiche Scanner

Most microfiche scanners must be set up to create a grid to line-up over the microfiche card. Other scanners can create image ribbons which can be broken down into individual images. Still other scanners could take a snapshot of the entire microfiche card, however you need special software to view that type.

For most microfiche scanners, the digital format received would be single page images or multi-page images. These types are usually PDF, PDF/A, JPEG. JPEG 2000, bi-tonal Group IV TIF, uncompressed greyscale TIF, and LZW TIFF.

There are many microfiche scanners sold online. These can be bought second hand from a microfiche equipment dealer, directly from a manufacturer, or from a reseller who makes a commission from the manufacturer. In addition to buying the microfiche scanner, you may have to get a license or maintenance plan. You must know how to operate the microfiche machine, and be able to train others.

Or, you could outsource your microfiche to a microfiche scanning company who will give you a price per image (or price per card). If you are on the fence about if you should purchase a microfiche scanner or have a company scan the microfiche for you, feel free to contact us for a free estimate and guidance to help you come to a decision.


Converting Microfiche to Digital Images

Microfiche Conversion Benefits

A microfiche scanning conversion has advantages. The resulting images can be indexed and searched easily so you can find the document you want, irregardless if you know what other files it is goes with. The images can be accessed by many people at the same time, whereas whoever has the microfiche card only has the file.

Using microfiche scanners, it is possible to transfer digital images to microfiche so in the future, someone could look all vital statistics up online. If you have microfiche, that ought to be your source for digital images, not going back to original paper documents, which can be hard to handle or may not exist.

Should You Convert All Your Microfiche?

It is easier if you image every document, and more complex if you specify which documents to image. You may do usage studies, and solicit opinions about which documents should or should not be retained. However, the safest answer is to “scan everything”.

If you decide to exclude microfiche from getting digitized, someone will think it was significant. With the cost of digital storage media and microfiche scanning at an all-time low (if you use Generation Imaging), it will cost you more to get a legal opinion to explain why. The same goes for the “How far back do I go?” question. If you have microfiche sitting around, get them scanned and out of your your way as soon as possible.

What are the Types of Microfiche Images?

We digitize microfiche to PDF, JPEG, TIFF, and their varied subtypes. They can be multipage or single page files, in folders or the root. They can be imported into any electronic document system.

scan microfiche CONTACT US

Scanning Microfiche Options

Scanning Microfiche

How to scan microfiche? Microfiche scanning is only possible with specialized equipment, such as NextScan microfiche scanners, Mekel scanners, Sunrise scanners, and others. Scanning microfiche on a flatbed scanner just won’t cut it. You can use a reader printer, but just keep in mind the time and labor it takes a while.

microfiche scanner

You can buy microfiche scanners online from resellers, salespeople, or try to go directly to manufacutrers, who will probably refer you to a reseller or salesperson. You can try to get a used microfiche scanner from auction websites or micrographics supply websites, but they do not come with warranties or training.

I guess you could try to run to a local library and see if they have some microfiche machine which could print out the images on your microfiche, but I would put that chance of happening at most 1%.

Converting microfiche to digital image is a great way to save space in your office. It speeds up record retrieval as well. In other words, it saves time and money. Thousands of companies, organizations, and individuals have had microfiche conversions.

If you need COM fiche, 16mm or 35mm jacket microfiche, step and repeat microfiche, rewritable microfiche converted to digital images, you could send your microfiche to a scanning company. In many ways, this is the most efficient option. You would not have to buy your own microfiche scanner, buy the software license, get trained, hire workers, create a production flow, set up an internal network, or maintain the microfiche machine. CONTACT US