Large format and technical drawings are a form of art, as well as valuable archival or working documentation. The risk of damage, theft, or loss during storage or transportation is of great concern as most are irreplaceable, but there is a solution: digitization. The technology behind this process isn’t new as the first scanner was developed back in 1957, but it has evolved significantly since that time, increasing the ease of use and quality of scans. When it comes to learning how to digitize a drawing there are a number of factors to consider which can affect the integrity and usability of documents such as blueprints or engineering drawings, but although the learning curve may be steep the results are worth the effort.
What Is Digitization?
Digitization, or document scanning, is the process of turning hardcopy documents in to digital files, for ease of viewing, sharing, and editing from a device such as a tablet, laptop or PC. Smaller drawings such as children’s artwork can be digitized using a desktop scanner, but for large format drawings such as blueprints, maps, or engineering drawings it is recommended to use a high quality production scanner which in addition to being the safest way to digitize delicate or valuable drawings, allows the user to crop, despeckle, and straighten the image to enhance the quality. Resolution is measured in dots per inch (DPI) where a higher number provides more detail. Depending on the type of drawing and the application, dpi can range anywhere between 200 and 600 dpi.
The Benefits of Digitizing Your Drawings
The movement towards a more paperless office environment has spurred an increase in standard document scanning, but when it comes to large format drawings business owners may hesitate due to a lack of resources, or full understanding of the benefits of digitization, which include:
- Security – The historical and commercial value of drawings such as engineering drawings or blueprints can’t be measured—but loss due to fire, flood, theft, or damage can be prevented by creating a digital version of the image and storing it securely in the cloud.
- Accessibility – Provide easy access to all required parties regardless of their location with remote access to the cloud. Whereas a physical copy may be detained by one or more parties thereby stalling your project, a digitized drawing helps keep everything on schedule. In the event of an emergency drawings and schematics can be made readily available to emergency personnel to assist during a fire or natural disaster.
- Organization – Large and wide format documents are typically stored in large drawers, hanging files, or tubes and individual drawings can be time consuming or difficult to locate. Digitized documents can be stored and organized by any number of set criteria such as name, date, or number.
- Additional space – Onsite storage of large drawings can use valuable real estate which may be better utilized for additional workspace. By storing original copies at a secure, cost effective, offsite facility drawings are protected and preserved while freeing up additional room in your office.
Professional Scanning Services In DC, MD, NJ, PA, and VA
When it comes to large or wide format drawings such as architectural, circuit, or engineering drawings or blueprints, the best way to preserve their integrity while enhancing usability is with professional scanning services from QFI, Inc. Our state-of-the-art equipment is specially formatted to safely accommodate over-sized documents, and our highly trained, experienced personnel are familiar with the unique challenges associated with large scale drawings.
Ready to get started digitizing your drawings? Call QFI today at 301-284-8789 or contact us online!