Scanning Example – Production Records to PDF


This parts manufacturing company relies on paper based job sheets that follow the manufacture of parts through each of the manufacturing processes. Each process is signed off when completed and the job sheets along with supporting documents (material tests etc.) create a record of manufacturing conformity. The increasing archive of job sheets in paper format were simply taking up too much space and it was proving inefficient to search for documents when the need arose. A solution was sought that would solve the issues and improve overall efficiency.


BCDM put forward a solution whereby the job sheet number and part number would be presented on the job sheet as a bar code as well as in human readable format:

Job Sheet

By placing this information within bar codes on the sheets, the scanning process is semi automated.

BCDM collects documents on a daily basis. On arrival at the BCDM scanning bureau, operators first prepare the documents, removing any staples, paper clips etc. and performing any repairs to damaged pages. During this process operators also check that each job sheet is in the correct order with the correct supporting documents following the job sheet ahead of the subsequent job sheet.

Job sheets are then scanned at 300dpi using automatic colour recognition. Colour is required due to the presence of photographs and colour coding in supporting documents.

Once scanned, the resulting images are processed automatically with the software detecting the presence of bar codes which are used to indicate the start of a document, as such, the job card and supporting documents are tagged as being one document. The automation also detects the content of the bar codes and this data is used to populate the index fields.

The final stage of the process is to export the images to PDF documents. The PDF’s are named according to the Job Number & Part Number (from the bar code data) along with the consignment number (this is the bar code number of the box in which they were transported within). An OCR (Optical Character Recognition) process is undertaken resulting in PDF’s that are text searchable.

A csv file is also produced with the Job Number, Part Number, Box Bar Code and file name for each PDF. This is delivered back the next day on a FIPS certified encrypted flash drive and enables the automatic import of the PDF’s to the manufacturing software enabling users to view the PDF’s from a single management system.