Our company was involved a few years ago in 2 projects for a big mechanical group company with many factories all over the world. They needed us to come up with a WEB library of mechanical parts that could be accessed in any of their centers.

There were 2 source-types of input.

In the first project they provided us with  a big archive of microfilms (thousands of items) organized in a Punch-Card-library created in the ‘90s.


Using a special high-speed scanner we worked following the process below: scanned each microfilm as tif document B/W at 200 dpi , translated the punches and transferred the information into a text file with the same name as the tif file.

Then, all the image files and their attached text files were split in batches of 100 items and these batches were analyzed one by one with a special tool.

Using analyzing tools the following operations were done:

–        extraction of 11 fields from the bottom-right table of each drawing. Some of these fields were added by the punched-text files, other fields had a predefined value (size of the format) and other name fields were added by a German dictionary

–        replacing the old stamp of the company with the new one

–        arrangement of the image if skewed

–        renaming of each of the tif files according to the ID of the drawing.

The information provided consisted in  about 800,000 processed images (tif format) and an mdb file (linking each record with the respective tif file) easily accessed for the WEB data base.implementation.

In the second project the goal was to transfer a 2D paper archive of mechanical drawings (scanned in tif format) into a 3D Solid-Works library.

There were 2 teams, each of 10 Solid-Works operators, coordinated by a project manager. There was a project plan and teams were split in operators and check-operators.

The volume delivered was of about 4500 3D mechanical drawings in almost 3 months. The files resulted  from this process were included in a 3D WEB based library the client used to access all over the world,  where the company had branches.

Till next time,

Florian Nitu Sorel

Project Manager BD/GIS