Our microfilm aperture card scanning services have been designed to help you convert your engineering drawings to digital file formats at affordable prices.

We offer the following advantages over other providers:

  • Flexibility of aperture card conversion – We can deliver bitonal or grayscale scanning. The information will be supplied in various formats for digital images, such as PDF, Jpeg, Tiff and even with OCR recognition. The image quality is very high, and please test our service and you will be convinced.
  • Smaller or larger projects – It doesn’t matter if you have 10 or 1000 aperture cards. We will scan them either way and convert your aperture cards to digital.
  • Affordable prices – The aperture card scanning services we offer are fairly priced and can be adjusted to fit your budget. A lot of times this is cheaper than large format document scanning, so we encourage you to save the cost and send us aperture cards.

What is an aperture card

Aperture Card Scanning

A microfilm aperture card is a punch data card that includes a cut window where you usually insert a microfilm frame. The microfilm frame is most of the time a 35mm frame, and usually is a large format drawing or industrial sketch.

Aperture cards are mostly used for constructions and design engineering. You might find other uses for these cards, but this the main purpose, as it allows for easy duplication, transport and storage of engineering drawings.

Some cards have a hollerith punch for easier data indexation, but this is not mandatory in every conversion project. Hollerith punch works like a hole pattern that for example a universal microform scanner might recognize automatically. This isn’t the case with all product types and some microfilm or microfiche scanners might have it.

Aperture card scanning equipment

The equipment we use for scanning aperture cards is a special microfilm scanner. This is like an advanced card reader that can also capture,microfilms and will work just as well for microfiche scanning.

Unlike a document scanner or a book scanners, the device is dedicated to microform technology, which also includes the conversion of microfilm and microfiche cards to digital images. Microfiche scanners have special magnifying lenses which would not be useful for paper scanning or book scanning.

Currently, we are using 2 separate devices, one being a specialized aperture cards scanner, the other being a generic microfilm scanner that helps when aperture cards are damaged.

We are looking for the following things in this kind of aperture cards scanner:

  • Versatility – We want to be able to scan standard and non standard aperture cards, as well as damaged or non damaged cards. This helps us digitize your aperture cards, no matter their condition.
  • Quality – Just like with any scanner, there will be some documents that need rescanning. Newer scanners offer virtual rescan, which allow us to improve the productivity while maintaining the image quality level, and therefore reduce costs.
  • Running costs – Last but not least, we are focused on low running costs. The lower the running costs, the lower our prices will be. This way, our customers can convert more for less, making them more inclined to scan their aperture cards.

Aperture card scanning price

The aperture card scanning cost varies depending on a couple of aspects.

Probably the most important aspect of the price evaluation will be the quantity of cards you want to scan. Usually, the more you have, the lower your cost per card will be.

With current upgrades in software and equipment, the prices to scan aperture cards have gone down significantly.

The second aspect is the condition in which your aperture cards are. If they are damaged, the conversion cost will be significantly higher than for cards in proper condition. This is because damaged cards require more careful manipulation during scanning.

Last but not least, what post processing services will you require. For example, some images will have to be cleaned and enhanced. If you require OCR, this can increase the cost, especially in situations where the digital image needs post processing after scanning to achieve the desired accuracy.

Indexing is also a factor, and this is usually quite difficult to automate, especially when you consider large format drawings.

Microfiche scanning vs Aperture card digitization

While both of these are more or less microform based documents, in some cases microfiche scanning might be easier than converting aperture cards to digital.

The major advantage is that one microfiche can store a minimum of 48 drawings. So it allows for easier project and document management, as you can hold more drawings on the same sheet. This is a great selling point to any management team, as nobody wants a lot of documents.

Most aperture cards will only hold 1 drawing, therefore a larger project might require a larger number of cards. For smaller projects, a single microfiche will hold most of your sketches. But we have seen in the past that a lot of county governments only accepted aperture cards, therefore sometimes the microfiche might not be an option.

Microfiche is a bit more versatile, and it’s easier to integrate it into a workflow automation process. For example, newspaper digitization is done at large scale using microfilm and microfiche scanning.

Aperture Card Scanning vs Document Scanning

As you probably already know, aperture cards are used to store drawings. Therefore, when customers want their drawings into digital file formats, they should choose between the two.

Compared to document scanning, aperture cards are easier to ship around. Given that you can fit 5000 cards in relatively 2 normal boxes, this eases transport and reduces the overall cost.

Some cards contain a hollerith code, and special hollerith readers read these punched cards and retrieve the index based on this. This eases the data collection and improves the efficiency in the document management process, given that the data is extracted while you digitize your aperture cards.

The major downside is that through hollerith code you can only collect minimal quantities of data. Especially in a government contract you will have to deal with hollerith data aperture cards, but lately these don’t feature as often as they used to.

All in all, paper scanning is less of an option for large format then using small microfilm and microfiche scanners to digitize aperture cards. If you have this option, we suggest your document processing to be done from aperture cards. It’s easier, faster and it costs less.

Why choose our microfilm aperture cards scanning services?

Just like our service, there are many scanning services out there that will process your aperture cards.

The main positives of our microfilm aperture card scanning service are:

  • We can process cards that are in good or bad condition, with very good results. This includes both damaged aperture cards and faint microfilm frames.
  • Our team can provide post scanning services such as image enhancement and correction, OCR recognition and advanced indexing of aperture cards.
  • We offer competitive pricing, both for smaller projects and for larger projects. If you have a budget, we will make the necessary arrangements to match it.

We look forward to working with you! Just head to our request form and get your quote for aperture card conversion project.

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