Kodak Scanners and Kodak Capture Pro Software help COMPU-DATA International, LLC process 6 million images
COMPU-DATA International, LLC (CDI), a Reseller of Kodak Document Imaging Products and ISV, bids on outsourced projects to provide scanning services to various clients. In 2010, CDI won a bid for a large government project, initially requiring fast turnaround on millions of documents within a five-month window. CDI, located in Spring, TX near Houston, already utilized Kodak Scanners and Kodak Capture Pro Software in their inhouse operations and other projects.
However, a project of this magnitude required additional horsepower, so CDI obtained a Kodak i5600 Scanner, featuring an unlimited daily volume and speed of up to 170 pages per minute. Armed with the equipment and software deemed necessary, CDI prepared to take on the challenge and triumph over a mountain of boxes and documents.
Meeting the specs
Juan J. Celaya, President and CEO of CDI, understood what the firm would be receiving and what the client’s expectations were. “Their goal was to have us process as many boxes of documents as possible within the five months, while providing quality images and as close to 100% accuracy as possible, based on document specs for each document type, says Celaya.” Each document type specification called for blank page removal and page rotation, with some exceptions, based on page content.
The documents varied widely, from plane tickets and receipts to legal and A2 size forms. Paper types ranged from onion skin to card stock. “Each box really had no standardization,” Celaya notes. “Various sizes and types, with no standardization as to simplex, duplex, portrait or landscape scanning requirements". Because of the challenging nature of the project, Celaya and his team placed a great deal of faith in their Kodak Scanners to deliver streamlined throughput with minimal double feeds and jams.
“We really couldn’t control the document preparation, essentially scanning the materials as we received them, so we had some apprehension of how smoothly things would go as we began the process,” Celaya says.
Setting up the workflow
Celaya’s operation consisted of five scanning stations and two quality control stations, operating over two shifts. The scanning architecture consisted of three Kodak i4600 Scanners, one i620 Scanner, and the new i5600 Scanner. The network arrangement included a gigabit switch supporting one server, five scanning stations and two quality control stations. The scanning and quality control application was Kodak Capture Pro Software v3.1. The operational software was CDI’s own Scanning Services System, providing registration, synchronization with each workstation, and reporting capabilities to the operator, along with station and daily production levels.
The capture workflow followed this standard process:
• Registration of boxes.
• Job and page type selection, based on box content.
• Pages scanned using Kodak Capture Pro Software (300 dpi G4 TIFF).
• Kodak’s Perfect Page Image Processing Technology applied to each image.
• Visual QC applied during scanning to catch double and improper paper feeds.
• Automatic software rotation or fixed page rotation applied to each image, based on job/page type selected. Task implementation was hardware or software driven, depending on page type selection.
• Automatic blank image removal.
• QC station verification of each image; searches performed for image file sizes of up to 5,000 bytes; and images rotated as needed, based on job type.
• QC approval or rejection.
• Creation of searchable PDF files (in a distributed manner) using scanning and quality control workstations.
• Final approval of boxes and delivery to customer.
As the process began, Celaya and his operators quickly became impressed with the “work horse” capabilities of the Kodak i5600 Scanner. “It was quite amazing, the throughput very impressive,” Celaya recalls. “The volumes we could scan without issue really kept the operators hopping. They would load in a batch and the i5600 Scanner would have completed it before they had the next batch ready. It really kept everyone on their toes.”
Jams in both the i5600 and i4600 Scanners were few while image quality excelled. One of the requirements in the project guidelines was that images had to be equal to, or better than, the quality of the originals; and each Kodak Scanner fulfilled that goal. Little cleaning was required; and Celaya’s faith in his Kodak Scanners’ ongoing productivity was reinforced.
Great synergy with Capture Pro Software
Kodak Capture Pro Software provided an ideal complement, even in this somewhat “unconventional” environment. The installation process and configuration made it easy to create job and page types to support the different paper processing requirements. The communication between the Kodak Software and Scanners worked well, and improved as the PCs were updated and tuned to keep
up with volume requirements.
The output process was complicated due to the number of stations processing images, but after some changes to CDI’s Scanning Services System, these modifications made it easier to manage volume needs. Additionally, with some help from Kodak’s software support experts and minor tuning, OCR failure rates were reduced to a minimum, and CDI was able to quickly achieve a daily production volume ready for delivery. Weekly delivery rates reached over 750,000 images.
Using Kodak Capture Pro Software to manage the quality control requirements worked very well. Most of the desired functionalities existed, so operators were able to scan with exceptional accuracy. Using the standard Stratified Random Sampling method on a population of 6,176,566 images, CDI was able to calculate accuracy rates from 99.33% to 99.63%. These rates were achievable thanks to CDI’s personnel and the hard work they performed, combined with the on-board image enhancements provided by each Kodak Scanner. With quality image files, thanks to Kodak’s Perfect Page technology, it was easy to apply automated processes while Capture Pro Software also streamlined the QC step of the workflow process.
Let’s do it again!
“The bottom line is that integration with our processes was easy, image quality was outstanding, throughput exactly what we required, and the number of hassles really, really minimized,” Celaya summarizes. “Having now successfully captured over 6,000,000 images in such a short period of time, we know how to accomplish this type of project, and I am confident that we’ll be doing many more like it. That’s a tribute to our people and the hardware, software and support from Kodak that make it possible.”
View this article on the Alaris Website.