“Zeutschel remains the innovation leader in the book scanner market”
Mr. Vogler, a Google search for “Zeutschel” brings up “OS Q: The new generation of Zeutschel book scanners” as the first hit. Is Zeutschel placing the company or sales focus on book scanners once again – as in, going “back to the roots”?
Jörg Vogler: Our core competency is the development, production and sales of book scanners that are “Made in Germany”. This has never changed and we consistently adhere to this. Zeutschel has been global market leader in book scanners since the mid-1990s and considers itself innovation engine of the sector. We are now reinforcing this claim with the new OS Q series. The new generation of book scanners from Zeutschel surpasses all its predecessors in terms of image quality and process efficiency. Based on our success in book scanners, we have, on the one hand, expanded our solutions business and, on the other hand, established the principle of top-view scanners in the office area in recent years.
In the new generation of book scanners, you are now also using cameras and are changing from the previously used line sensor to surface sensor technology. One of your competitors has been applying this principle right from the start. What caused you to make this change?
Jörg Vogler: Even if the devices visually convey a different impression: The new generation of book scanners uses line sensor technology. To do this, we use a newly developed CMOS sensor with unique scanning quality. Using the Zeutschel OS Q, we achieve image results which fulfill and in some cases even exceed the highest quality level of the current digitalization standard FADGI, Metamorfoze and ISO 19264. However, through the ScanStudio introduced two years ago, Zeutschel’s offering also includes a digitization system with surface sensor. For us, the customers’ needs are decisive. In the repro technology market, when it comes to the digitization of film and slide materials, high-resolution surface sensors are the first choice. This is different in the digitization of bound and especially large-format templates. Compared to the surface chip, with its real RGB capture on each pixel, i.e. no color interpolation, the line offers the best-quality solution.
Is the new generation of scanners an “only child” from Zeutschel or the fruit of a development collaboration
We work with selected partners in developing our scanners. These partners need to be capable of fulfilling our strict demands in imaging quality. In the new generation of scanners, we even go one step further. The new generation of scanners exclusively comprises a renowned image processing specialist’s camera technology.
Where were the new scanners produced and how does globalization influence production and sales?
Jörg Vogler: The new generation of book scanners is fully produced at the company headquarters in Tübingen-Hirschau. Zeutschel has a firm commitment to the location of “Germany”. Sales is carried out via partners in over 100 countries worldwide. Zeutschel successfully counts on trusted distribution partnerships that have been growing for many years.
How do you absorb the fluctuating purchase prices of the hardware components (scanner parts and scanner accessories) in order to ensure a stable price policy?
Jörg Vogler: At the moment, the fluctuating purchase prices still cause us the slightest headaches. What poses a far greater challenge for the sector currently is the unnecessary price wars that are initiated by competitors. This damages all of us.
Which target group gains from the improvement of image quality and where or in which application scenarios do you see your scanners being used in the future?
Jörg Vogler: Libraries and archives in the digitization of cultural assets primarily benefit from the improved image quality. The goal of scanning originals only once can now be achieved thanks to the new Zeutschel scanners. Re-digitization due to quality problems is thus a thing of the past.
Zeutschel has become significantly engaged in the kitodo community as development partner of the synonymous software package for digitization projects and as system integrator. Will you continue and, as appropriate, expand this commitment?
Jörg Vogler: For Zeutschel, kitodo is a growth market and an important building block in order to offer our customers comprehensive solutions for digitization projects. Therefore we will also continue our commitment in the future. Thus, we are already providing the community with resources to enhance the software free of charge.
What do you recommend to the sector in times of a shortage of experts and do you consider research and development cooperations between companies, and even competitors, achievable in practical terms?
Jörg Vogler: By providing innovative scanning technologies, Zeutschel promotes digitization in libraries, archives and companies. Thus, we offer engineers and software developers an attractive field in which to work. What is decisive is that the experts incorporate their knowledge into interesting development projects and can thereby make a difference. Continuous training of the company employees is also important. Since its founding, Zeutschel has held a very positive view towards research and development cooperations with other companies. We have shown in may cases that these are achievable and beneficial to both sides. Therefore, we are also always open for cooperations of any kind, even with competitors of the sector.
Zeutschel is an established, owner-operated company that has been in existence for 58 years. What strategy do you pursue in order to give your customers future security in the “Zeutschel investment”?
Jörg Vogler: Our customers trust Zeutschel, because the company stands for quality, innovation and continuity. We nurture close contact and intensive interaction with our customers. Accordingly, we know their needs and take these into account consistently in the development of new products. In addition, through their robustness and their high-quality components, the scanners themselves are equipped for a long service life. Working preventively and helping quickly in the event of a disruption, our efficient global Service & Support ensures that the devices are available for use for a high proportion of time. Additionally, in production, we place significant emphasis on strict quality control at all times. All of this together ensures future security in the “Zeutschel investment”.
What can we look forward to – what ideas do you have and what developments are you planning over the next two to five… years?
Jörg Vogler: We are working on enhancing our scanners all the time. This takes in both our customers’ needs and the results of strategy meetings with our partners. In the future also, Zeutschel solutions will also support libraries and archives in making knowledge available to a wider audience and preserving and maintaining valuable cultural assets.
Mr. Vogler, many thanks for this in-depth interview and we wish you every success in the implementation of your plans!
The interview with Jörg Vogler was carried out by Ulrike Holtkamp, member of the editorial team at b.i.t.-online.
About the person: Jörg Vogler
Jörg Vogler has been working for Zeutschel since 1982. As Head of Sales for the international market, he successfully opened up sales in over 100 countries around the globe. As joint owner, he took over business responsibility for this Tübingen-based company in 1996. Jörg Vogler has been sole owner and managing director of Zeutschel GmbH since 2010.