Zeutschel: World market leader in book scanners is 60

What do the manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach, the written correspondence of Abraham Lincoln and the Cuban diary entries of Alexander von Humboldt have in common? They were all digitized with Zeutschel’s scanning solutions. 

Now the Tübingen-based company is celebrating its 60th birthday and is pleased about the largest order intake in the company’s history. The growth drivers are new high-performance scanners for newspapers, plans and other historical large formats. 

Founded in 1961 as a supplier of microfilm systems, the Tübingen-based company is now a “hidden champion”, a secret world market leader, in digital scanning technology.

“Zeutschel makes more turnover than the number 2 and 3 together,” explains Jörg Vogler, Managing Director of Zeutschel GmbH, adding: “Almost every national library and archive in the world has at least one Zeutschel system in use.”

The customers are at home on all continents and range from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the British Library in Europe to the National Library in China and the National Archives of the USA to the national libraries of Brazil and South Africa.

Zeutschel on course for growth

From an engineering office with two employees, Zeutschel has developed into a “global player” with around 60 employees. Jörg Vogler: “Our strategy is geared towards long-term, organic growth.”

Since the mid-90s, turnover has quadrupled and is now around 12 million euros. And in the current 2021/22 financial year, Zeutschel can look forward to the highest order intake in the company’s history. “Within the first six months from July to December, orders have increased by 50 percent compared to the previous year,” reports Jörg Vogler.

High innovative strength

The dynamic business development is the result of continuous product innovations. The company developed the first book scanner and, with the 12002 model, the best-selling A2 book scanner on the market.

The latest product highlights are the OS Q and HQ scanner series, which are designed for digitising historical documents up to A0 format. With these scanners, the image quality of digital images is raised to an unprecedented level.

Compared to its predecessor, the OS Q achieves twice the image quality. And the new top model even goes one step further: thanks to a camera developed in-house, the OS HQ achieves the highest resolution on the market to date – even in A0+ format.

Zeutschel with several business pillars

In addition to high-performance scanners for large formats, there are two other business pillars. Zeutschel has a strong market position in all-round scanning systems for A2 formats. The OS 12002 has become the best-selling A2 book scanner worldwide.

The third business pillar is the zeta scanning system, which is placed in the open access area of libraries as a self-service scanner. There, library staff and students can make digital copies of books, journals and other bound documents up to A3 format. In addition, the zeta serves as an office copier in law firms as well as banks and insurance companies.

In addition to hardware, Zeutschel also supplies software solutions developed in-house for a simple and efficient scanning process. They facilitate working with the devices, support quality assurance and control the complete digitization workflow. “Our software applications are an important argument for many of our customers to use Zeutschel scanners,” explains Jörg Vogler.

Sustainability is part of the company DNA

Zeutschel does not pay lip service to sustainability, but lives it every day. All product development and manufacturing takes place at the Tübingen site in accordance with the legal requirements for environmental and health protection. “It is important to us that the device components largely come from suppliers in the region,” adds Jörg Vogler.

Zeutschel has also been working in a climate-neutral manner since 2021 and has had itself certified according to DIN ISO 14001, the standard for the introduction of an environmental management system.

For Zeutschel, sustainability also means a strong social commitment. The company pays fair wages, offers a secure workplace and has been providing apprenticeships for young people since 2004. Zeutschel is currently training more young people than ever before: two industrial clerks and three mechatronics engineers.

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