Canadian Packaging


Jeff Cottrill   

How Matrox Imaging helped a scanning-equipment manufacturer upgrade its vision system

Book printing has come a long way since the first printing press was invented in the 15th Century. Today, printed works are preserved via digitization – and the process keeps changing with the times.

Bookscanner SA is a company that produces scanning equipment, which employs state-of-the-art methods to reproduce printed pages precisely and reliably for private and national libraries. Founder George Pistikos says he created the company to “relieve humanity from repetitive and tedious jobs using cutting-edge robotics techniques.”

A recent case study on the Matrox Imaging website discusses how Bookscanner upgraded its technology with the former company’s products to enhance its services for its installation in Greece. Bookscanner needed software and hardware components that were compatible with its line-scan camera, a Teledyne e2v ELiiXA+. The company found that Matrox offered a plug-and-play solution, including a range of programming functions for image capture, display, and annotation. This solution, when blended with the Matrox Radient eV-CXP frame grabber, would work for Bookscanner’s machine vision infrastructure.

The Bookscanner system uses a metal enclosure with a glass surface, which moves along a horizontal axis and has pistons for the page’s elevation, as well as sensors that monitor the process. A metal rod stops the book from closing as it moves along the glass, while the Teledyne camera follows the book’s trajectory. A vertical pulley moves two metal sheets below the glass surface, and the Servo motors that power the equipment ensure that books are handled gently, with no damage. What Bookscanner needed was a solution that synchronized the motor movement with the image acquisition frequency rate, to prevent distortion of the final image.


Pistikos collaborated with several other computer, mechanical, and electrical engineers to design the new vision system, a task that took about four months.

“The I/O capabilities of the Matrox Radient frame grabber was absolutely necessary to our project,” says Antonios Arvanitidis, a member of this team, as quoted in the case study. “Synchronizing the movement of the servo motor and the image acquisition frequency rate was the biggest challenge of this system.

“We reached out to the Matrox Imaging technical support team via e-mail, receiving quick and accurate responses to our support needs,” adds Arvanitidis. “Matrox offers a friendly framework for integrating low-level servo encoder output signals with the input signals of the ELiiXA+ camera in order to trigger the image acquisition.”

Now that the new system is fully operational, Bookscanner’s research and development department is now working on a new release of the vision-system software, one that is capable of correcting image distortion with neural networks. Dr. Antonios Gasteratos, another member of Pistikos’ team, says that the new version will enable users to scan fragile books without stretching or damaging the paper. “This enhancement will help increase our customer base,” he says.

This upgrade of the Bookscanner system has changed and improved the overall system functionality, the company claims. Matrox Imaging products has reduced Bookscanner’s development time by almost six months and prevented unnecessary expense.

“We gained time, established the necessary communication, and successfully overcame this challenge of upgrading our vision system,” says Arvanitidis, “thanks to the plug-and-play nature of the MIL-Lite software.”

Image courtesy of Matrox Imaging


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