Quality Process for Book Scanning

Quality Process for Book Scanning

High-volume historical book scanning at Crossroads Document Services is a multi-step process, requiring a scanning crew and a quality control team as well as indexers to rename the digital files before delivery.

While the specialized equipment necessary to scan bound books is “really cool”—especially our Bookeye 4 V1A-C35 that scans bound books up to 14-inches thick—the unsung heroes of our process are the QC techs. These hard-working individuals review every scanned image, comparing the actual book page to the scan to verify accurate capture and legibility.

In addition, QC techs straighten and crop the digital pages as needed to make the finished product look as much like the original document as possible. It is an exacting, time-consuming, and often challenging job that requires constant focus and attention to detail. While this type of work does not suit everyone, it’s a great fit for members of the CDS quality team. They take pride in producing digital images that preserve history and help make it accessible through the Indianapolis Public Library’s Digital Indy Project.

Check out their work at http://digitalindy.org and use the search term Crossroads Document Services to find some of the collections CDS has completed.

Experts in Historical Book Scanning

Experts in Historical Book Scanning

“You do realize no one else is doing anything like this…”

It was the first time Victoria Duncan, Digital Projects Coordinator for the Indianapolis Public Library, had visited CDS since we had installed three additional book scanning stations. The “this” to which she was referring was a huge 1920s scrapbook filled with nearly 600 fragile, deteriorated newspaper clippings glued in overlapping layers, sometimes a dozen or more per page.

employee scanning very old textbookBecause of its condition and complexity, the book presented major challenges to the scanning team. However, CDS employee Holly Fruin was up to the task. She took the initiative to purchase a sheet of Plexiglass and had it cut into nearly invisible strips she could use to hold back each layer as she imaged what lay beneath it. The resulting high-resolution color scans—sometimes ten or more per page—preserve the appearance of the original scrapbook while allowing each article to be clearly read. The process was tedious and time-consuming, but the results are worth it.

The scrapbook is just one of the hundreds of historical books Crossroads Document Services is scanning as the partner for the Indianapolis Public Library for a project funded by the Lilly Endowment. Under this project, CDS will spend the next three years digitizing early records from the Indianapolis Public Schools, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, and the Indianapolis Firefighters, to create a major historical archive documenting much of the early infrastructure of the City. Since February, CDS has scanned over 58,000 pages of IPS records, mostly historical bound books.

Learn more about our capabilities as they relate to document services

View our capability statement for document services

Document Scanning Solutions for Rexnord Corporation

Document Scanning Solutions for Rexnord Corporation

image of two workers scanning documents

Crossroads Document Services recently completed a huge assignment for Rexnord Corporation, a bearing manufacturer located in Indianapolis. In March 2014, Rexnord contracted with Crossroads Document Services to scan all of the equipment operations/maintenance and quality manuals, totaling several hundred volumes, from their Indianapolis and Tennessee facilities. Most of these manuals were originals for equipment that had been in use for years, and many volumes showed significant wear and tear.

CDS scanned the manuals into legible images, providing a digital archive that allows access by multiple personnel and ensures the books will not be lost or deteriorate any further. At Rexnord’s request, CDS also provided clean paper copies printed from the digital files.

That project was completed in batches over the course of a year and utilized up to five employees to prep, scan and index the manuals. The success and excellent results of that project prompted a recommendation from Rexnord’s Purchasing Dept. to their Design & Engineering Department to use CDS for another even bigger job.

In March 2015, Rexnord’s Indianapolis Design & Engineering Department was faced with the daunting task of ensuring the security and access of their entire collection of large format engineering and facilities drawings, dating back to the early 1900s when the company was owned by Link Belt. Those drawings, totaling over 60,000, were their only copies, stored in 13 cabinets in the Indianapolis facility, and many of the originals were deteriorating badly. Rexnord needed a document solution to preserve these drawings and their history.

An insurance auditor recommended they have the drawings scanned. As a result of the previous excellent work and results delivered by Crossroads Document Services on the Maintenance project, CDS was chosen by the Design & Engineering Dept. to provide Rexnord’s document solution.

Each cabinet was picked up and delivered to and from Crossroads by the Crossroads transportation team. Every large format drawing from every cabinet was handled by the Crossroads Document Services team in a multi-step process that required a high level of complex judgment at every step. Because the documents spanned nearly a hundred years, there was a wide range of drawing types and conditions, requiring a variety of scanner settings to ensure excellent image capture to create the digital drawing archive for future reference.

Each digital drawing file was reviewed for quality and named with multiple fields, including drawing number, title, part numbers, machine numbers, etc. This data was then entered into spreadsheets, along with additional information about each document.

Mary Jo Gremling, Manager of Crossroads Document Services, is very proud of her team and their excellent work. “I’ve been in the imaging business for over 13 years, and I know this job was technically difficult, but we have a highly-skilled crew that was up to the challenge. Special recognition goes to Sue Shinholt, who scanned most of the 60,000-plus drawings, and to Juanita Grant, who had to become very familiar with Rexnord’s machine and part numbers to enter most of the data over the course of the project.”

This job employed about six people at CDS, with two employees working exclusively on it for over a year and three to four others involved at various phases. The project was completed in June 2016 with excellent results and rave reviews from Rexnord’s Design & Engineering Department: “[We are] elated with the scans. This is going to really help us having these older drawings on file electronically, particularly with searchable data. Thank all of you for all your hard work.”

Caption left: Sue Shinholt became a large format scanning expert as she imaged most of the 60,000-plus Rexnord drawings. Caption right: Chrissy Shreves scanned many of the Rexnord maintenance manuals.

If your business is in need of Document Solutions, Crossroads Document Services can provide the following services with a great employment workforce at a fair cost in a reasonable amount of time:

  • High-speed production scanners with high output capacity
  • Large format production scanners with high volume capability
  • Book scanner capable of handling oversized ledgers
  • Professional imaging, OCR and indexing software
  • Microfilm / microfiche
  • Indexing / data entry
  • Conversion to multiple file formats
  • Secure, limited access to your information while in our possession

For more information, please contact us.

You can also email
John Nick, CDS Sales Manager

Mary Jo Gremling, CDS Production Manager

7 Ways to Identify a Good Document Scanning Company

Today’s post was written by Mary Jo Gremling, Manager of Crossroads Document Services.

Despite the popularity of desktop computers since the 1980s, most businesses still produce and handle mountains of paper. Even with good paper records storage, efficiently locating a specific document becomes more and more difficult as the volume of paper increases. That, coupled with the ever-rising cost of office space, often prompts a business or organization to seek the services of a document scanning company.

But how do you go about choosing a document scanning service? As a mother, I liken this process to selecting a good childcare provider. You wouldn’t hand your children over to just anyone who claimed to run a daycare. Neither should you choose a scanning service bureau without knowing it meets important criteria that insure your documents remain safe, secure, and protected.

1. Integrity—A good document scanning service should have an excellent reputation and be able to provide credible references. Contact these references and ask pertinent questions: What was it like to work with this company? What about the images they produced? Are they clear and legible? Do the file names make sense and help you find the information you need? Would you use this company again? Why or why not?

“Thank you for coming out to take a look at the work we have for scanning and shredding. We had such a good experience with your team last time, that there was no question as to who to contact for this project. Thank you again for your team’s excellent work!”

– City of Westfield, Crossroads Document Services customer reflection

2. Experience and Expertise—Can the scanning service handle your type of documents? Some imaging companies specialize in certain sectors, while others serve a broad range of organizations. Not all imaging services can scan fragile historical documents, large format prints and drawings, or bound books.

Crossroads Document Services scans for a variety of businesses and organizations. In the past two years, we have imaged historical property records, both large and small format, for the Indianapolis Airport Authority and the City of Westfield; an entire archive of engineering drawings and maintenance manuals for Rexnord Corporation; several special collections of photos, posters, programs, and scrapbooks for the Indianapolis Public Library; and a wide range of real estate, healthcare, personnel, education, financial, and automotive records. (And that’s not a complete list!) 

7 Ways to Identify a Good Document Scanning Company3. SecuritySecurity and confidentiality are of the utmost importance. Is the facility locked, with access limited only to employees during their scheduled shifts? Have criminal background checks been run on all employees? Is the facility alarmed and monitored by an outside service? Are 24-hour surveillance cameras in place? Are all employees who handle your documents formally trained to follow HIPAA and other privacy regulations and procedures?

All Crossroads Document Services employees are taught to respect the documents we handle as “sacred.” We have often recognized and returned originals that the client has not previously recognized as valuable (live checks, original student records of “celebrities,” etc.) so the originals could be retained by the customer instead of shredded upon completion of the project. 

4. Scanning Technology—Professional imaging hardware and software should be kept up to date. Does your service provider have the capacity to handle your job in a timely manner? Can they provide the file type you need (TIFF, PDF, JPEG, other)? How accurate is their OCR (optical character recognition) software? Can they provide cloud- or server-based solutions to help your company improve information access? How will they deliver your final electronic archive?

5. Quality—The object of every scanning project is to capture every image as legibly as possible to ensure the information on the page is readable and printable. Is your provider a “load and walk away” shop, or is the scanner operator visually verifying the capture of each image on the screen? In some industries, 99.9% accuracy is terrific, but in the document scanning world, that means one page of every 1,000 could be missing or unreadable! In image capture and data entry, your service provider should strive for zero defects.

As part of an ISO 9001:2015 certified business, Crossroads Document Services consistently upholds strict standards through our established process controls and quality systems.

6. Service—A good scanning company aims to make your job as easy as possible by offering a variety of services.

  • Consultation—Whether you have a complete vision for your project or are just beginning to discuss it, you should be able to count on your imaging service to help you plan a logical process and file-naming structure to make your project as pain-free as possible. Seek a scanning partner, not just a vendor.
  • Document Preparation—Don’t settle for a provider that makes you take out all staples, paperclips, etc. That’s their job!
  • Scanning—What do you need? Large format, small format, black and white, color, grayscale, high-resolution, fine art, bound books, ledgers, microfilm, aperture cards… Ask about capabilities.
  • Access—Worried about needing your records while they’re not in your office? A good service bureau can track your documents throughout the entire process and should be able to scan and upload requested documents quickly, usually the same day they receive your request.
  • Document destruction or return—Your documents should be handled securely all the way through the process. Make sure you have ample time to approve the final output before your provider has a certified shredding service dispose of the paper documents. Paper documents on hold for approval should be maintained in a securely locked area until they are shredded. Make arrangements with your provider if you want your paper records to be returned or put into long-term record storage.

7. Site Visit—Although they will have some restrictions in place because of confidentiality policies, a good scanning company will welcome a request for a tour of their production facility. Inspecting the facility where your critical business information is to be handled is an excellent way to check out all the points we’ve covered here.

Crossroads Document Services offers experienced, quality scanning for your personal and professional needs. To receive a quote, call Mary Jo Gremling at 317-897-7320, ext. 4230.

Mary Jo owned and operated eLucida Imaging from 2003 to 2013, when her Indianapolis-based company was purchased by Crossroads Industrial Services. She now manages Crossroads Document Services, located at 8302 E. 33rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46226.