The digitalization of paper blueprints makes a lot of sense for all businesses. Sketches and other blueprint images may be required for reference in the future but the problem with traditional archives is that they may deteriorate with the passage of time.
A few specifics have to be kept in mind when attempting to turn paper blueprints into digital files. Here are a few of the essentials to keep in mind.
When in Doubt, Choose a Professional Blueprint Scanning Service
This is the first and probably the most important tip to keep in mind. There are so many professional solutions out there that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to attempt completing blueprint scanning and digitalization on your own.
Reputable blueprint scanning service providers will transform the traditional archive that you already have, helping you build a digital archive.
Blueprint scanning isn’t an easy task because of the size and the complexity of the images. This is the main reason why you should choose a service provider that specializes in the field. A blueprint scanner will also need to be used because standard equipment will often be insufficient to capture blueprints.
Once the Documents are Scanned, Convert Them
Choosing the right format for your now digitalized blueprints is the next important step.
Many businesses think that keeping blueprints as digital images is a good idea. While such an approach is definitely a viable one, it has a number of shortcomings. The biggest one is that an image file is much bigger than another document like a PDF, for example.
If you don’t know which format is the right one, you may want to do a bit of research. Compare the most popular formats side by side, assess their pros and cons. Based on this information, you can decide whether to keep the digital blueprints as images or convert them to another format.
Finally, know that you don’t have to store all of your blueprints in the same format. Some of them will need to maintain exceptional quality. In such instances, a format like TIFF may be desirable. Less important blueprints don’t need to have as many details, which is why they can be stored as PDFs.
Choose the Right Digital Storage Solution
The creation of a digital blueprint archive isn’t just about scanning your paper documents. You will also have to choose the right digital storage solution.
Online document storage appeals to many businesses because it comes with multiple perks.
For a start, your blueprints will be available anywhere, any time. You can share files effortlessly, sync folders and get a version history. You’ll know who has accessed the blueprints, when and whether they’ve done any changes.
Onsite storage is usually more expensive and it requires maintenance. Few companies own their servers and these companies pay professionals for server upgrades, maintenance and security enhancement.
When online document storage is chosen, the business will have to pay solely for the service being used. This solution makes much more sense both in practical and financial terms.
Think about a Backup
While a digital blueprint archive is highly convenient, it may potentially be lost in an emergency. This is why you have to back up the data.
Most online document storage options come with regularly scheduled backups. Still, some business owners prefer to keep the original blueprints or they create a separate digital archive.
Whichever option you choose, make sure that the archive is created in a secure location and that it gets updated on a regular basis.
Give Each Document the Appropriate Tags
A digital archive makes it very easy to retrieve the blueprints that you need. For the purpose, however, you’ll have to add tags to every single one.
Some of the most important tags that you need to create for digital blueprints include the job name, the completion date, the name of the client, the location and the team that worked on the execution. Based on these keywords, you’ll find it a whole lot easier to retrieve a blueprint that you need from the digital archive.
Good online storage systems make it possible for users to create custom tags. Based on the specifics of your business, you may want to add a few other key phrases to find blueprints effortlessly.
To sum it up, digitalization of blueprints is all about picking the right service provider and the right format. Next, you’ll be responsible for ensuring the order of the archive and making sure that blueprints are easily findable. You may want to sit down and create a preliminary action plan before getting started with the digitalization. Such a plan will save you a lot of time and effort later on.