OT: Mass scanning of old prints

Off topic here, but has anyone gone thru scanning old prints and micro-film and converting them to PDF (or any other format for that matter)?
We have tons of old drawings which exist solely in a stack of drawers here, and have sort of come to the realization that if this place goes up in smoke we're sorta screwed. And before you ask, yes, we still manufacture most of these parts. We also have a large number of microfilmed prints.
Anybody know of someplace reputable who would scan and convert all these things for us? Sizes range from smaller than A-size to D-dize.
All I can think of is Xerox, and that's only because of an ad campaign they ran a few years ago.
thx, john
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We went though this almost 10 years ago. Can't say the process was any where near smooth. I would estimate only 20% of the prints were readable when done. Now that may have been the company that scanned the paper. I don't know if they are still in business or not but would not send anyone there anyway.. Now so many years later.... we most likely only pull up a scanned print 5% of the time, having redrawn as time allowed and the parts were needed in production.. I mean we only had prints dating back to 1932 so how many could it be?? :)
I guess what I am trying to say is after all the cost and poor quality scans, I would just redraw as needed.
jb

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jb wrote:

Wow. You must have tons of free time. :-)
We have drawings from the early 1900s as well. We have TONS of paper prints, and no where near enough time to redraw them. Some are fairly complex, and it's really not worth spending two days on a new model/print when we can just fax out the existing print.
Part of the reason is disaster recovery too.
However, based on your other comments, I would have them do a representative sample of drawings and check their quality before giving them the whole she-bang.
-john
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If your primary concern is disaster recovery, why not just make paper copies and store them off site--one set locally for fire or equivalent, one at a great distance in case of Katrina....
High quality scans will use a TON of bits, which then introduces its own set of archive/backup/hardware issues... unless there's some compelling reason to do so I'd be reluctant to go down the electronic path.

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LOL, you cant be serious. Data storage is SO cheap these days, its more than worth it to scan old drawings to digital format. How much would storage cost be for a room full of drawings? Not to mention a disaster can happen at any given location (fire, tornado, theft, etc). So having your drawing in digital format allows you to have cheap, multisite backup solutions.
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SW Monkey wrote:

yeah. I was going to say the same thing.
Get the disks from the scanning vendor, copy them here and off site, do a quick rsync to get the times synced up, and never worry about it again. And save all the bandwidth costs.
Disk space is cheap.
-john
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data storage is cheap in the short run--not so much so over time.
reading a drawing from 20 years ago is easy, and will be easy 20 years from now. Digital formats change constantly, and the media is of significantly less than archival quality. Sure, you can buy a 200 gig HD for nearly nothing. Will you still be able to read anything from it in 5 years, let alone 20? What will it cost to keep migrating the data as the digital formats change?

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What will it cost to keep migrating the

I wouldn't think it would cost much at all, as long as you don't use a proprietary, lossy format.
The main problem is that you have to pay attention and keep up with it.
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Michael wrote:

well, when you buy a new server, you transfer everything over to the new one....not nearly enough data at this point to justify archival tapes.
besides, you run a bigger risk of not being able to open Sw98+ files 20 years from now (SW2026), than will you do of having corrupt data.
so save everything in PDF and OpenDocument format and you can read stuff forever.
-john

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www.cambric.com for conversion to CAD files

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Believe it or not, but if you go to the SW website and look under the MfgNetwork you will find a whole list of suppliers of this kind of service. Bet they know SW as well.
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We have had pretty decent results by just using a digital camera (ours is 7.2 MP) to simply take a picture of the old prints.
John J wrote:

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Rolta Intarnational has done this for me succsesfully
Cotact: Sanjay Bahtnagar 5865 North Point Parkway Alpharetta, GA 30022 (678) 942-5004
Tell him Rodney at MWH Inc. refered you to him.
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My company has done this with all our old drawings. We did it ourselves with a KIP scanner (www.kipamerica.com) and the quality is pretty good. It's the kind of task that you could probably hire a temp for (although we did not).
Jonathan Anderson
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