What Is an ADF Scanner?

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An automatic document feed (ADF) scanner has the ability to scan large volumes of documents in a short amount of time. The scanner reads each document and creates a digital image in a format that can be saved on a personal computer, shared on a network or sent in an email. The ADF scanner is a valuable tool for businesses that want to work in a paperless environment.

Automation

The automation feature of an ADF scanner differentiates it from a standard flatbed scanner. A regular flatbed scanner requires each document to be placed on the scanner one sheet at a time. With an ADF scanner, the input tray holds the stack of documents ready for scanning and zips each one through without oversight.

Media Types

An ADF scanner accommodates a variety of paper sizes, including cards, receipts and letter-sized documents. In addition, certain models scan textured paper, thick paper and two-sided documents.

Speed

The brand and style of automatic document feed scanner purchased will determine the exact speed of the scanning process. ADF scanners fall into three speed categories. The low-volume category offers speeds that scan 10 to 25 pages per minute; the scanners in the mid-volume category scan 26 to 40 pages per minute; and the high-volume models scan documents with rates reaching approximately 80 pages per minute.

Scanner Options

The automatic document feed scanner comes in a standalone unit used only for digital images, and certain styles of copy machines also offer the ADF scanning feature. A copy machine ADF scanner functions in the same manner as the standalone unit, but instead of creating digital images, it provides copies of the documents.

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