We make it a must for the human eye to check because our customers are also human.
Each and every product has passed strict quality standards.

Every Factor on the Check List is Vital:
Providing Reassurance through Comprehensive Inspection

Getting Close to 100% Reliability

Satoshi Sakai,
a manager of our imaging quality assurance department

Our promise to customers is to deliver trustworthy and safe products that they can rely on. However convenient and sophisticated its functions may be, a product is not a good one if it has problems with its operation or durability. To get close to 100% reliability, we conduct a huge range of both software and hardware inspections that cover all aspects of each product.

This rigorous approach to quality control is such that people still talk about an episode that sounds like a joke in which a newly developed product was put on a plane and taken around the world. It is still the ongoing practice to test new products by sending them overseas by air and transporting them over land by truck for demonstration experiments.

Satoshi Sakai, manager of the Imaging Quality Assurance Department at headquarters, emphasizes that quality control is a matter of attack rather than defense, explaining that, "Our inspections are so exhaustive that other departments are surprised when they see them done. We cannot allow even the smallest slip up."

Robust Enough to Work Anywhere

There are parts of the world where road conditions are not very good. In places where the roads are dirt or gravel-covered and throw up dust or grit whenever people or vehicles pass over them, there is a risk that such particles will get into the scanner mechanisms and cause fatal faults. Accordingly, we use a dust test system to check how dust-tight the products are.

This test was introduced from around 2000 when the expansion of the scanner business into Southeast Asia was underway. The problem of malfunctions due to dust and grit emerged rapidly just as opportunities expanded for use in places like China, Thailand, and India. As a result, dust testing was added to the check list. Reliable operation is maintained by confirming that product dust-tightness satisfies criteria even more stringent than the criteria of the JIS standard.

Replicating Air Pressure at 3,000m

To achieve reliable operation, testing anticipates that the products will be used in a wide variety of locations and in many different ways. A pressure drop test system was introduced after an instance of image blurring at high altitudes due to the degradation of lens resolution at low air pressure. By replicating the environment at altitudes of 3,000m or more, the system confirms that the products can be reliably operated throughout the world.

Testing of mobile scanners such as the conveniently portable ScanSnap iX100 includes carrying them around in a bag, subjecting them to greater than expected pressures, and dropping them from a height. Safety checks, too, are not overlooked. These include fire testing, whereby the plastics and circuit boards used in products are set alight to verify that, should a fire break out, they don’t contribute to spreading it, and verifying that there is no risk of electric shock if the product is dropped in water.

Measurement of Electromagnetic Emissions at Large Test Facilities

We have constructed our own on-site 10m radio-frequency anechoic chamber facility to comply with the standards set by different countries around the world.

Along with products under development, the facility is also used periodically to confirm that production models meet these standards.

Products are also tested in a shielded room that is isolated from external electromagnetic noise to ensure that they are not affected by and in turn, do not affect other electronic devices such as smartphones or PCs. The facilities also include an acoustic anechoic chamber that is completely isolated from external sound. In addition to making accurate measurements of the sound levels produced by the scanners, the chamber is also used to inspect if there are any emissions of sound that are harsh to the human ear. Inspection is performed from a customer’s perspective to ensure that people can use the products comfortably in quiet places such as offices, reception counters, or living spaces without any distraction from noise.

High Durability to Withstand Long-term Use and Shipment by Land, Sea, or Air

To ensure that products can remain in use for a long time without performance loss, a continuous paper feed test is performed in which sheets of paper are scanned continuously for 24 hours under camera surveillance to confirm the limits within which feed rollers function correctly. Similarly, testing of the scan and other buttons is implemented to confirm that they are not damaged even when pressed with force more than several times that of the typical human user.

A variety of different forms of transportation is used to get products to customers. Cargo may also be reloaded numerous times during transportation, subjecting the products to a variety of vibrations and shocks. To cover a wide range of possibilities, inspections include verifying that the product is not damaged by vibration testing, in which the product is subjected to intense shaking, and drop testing, in which the packaging containing the product is dropped. In this way, products that pass these numerous quality checks can be supplied to customers safely and reliably.

Development of Factories for "Made in Japan" Quality

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