Computer Output Microfilm is a system that converts stored data directly to microfilm or microfiche. I know around ten people who used to sell Bell & Howell Computer Output Microfilm systems as far back as the 1960s to the 1980s. It almost seems to be a prerequisite for sales people in the micrographics industry from that era.
Computer Output Microfilm systems are still used today, mostly by organizations who need to store payroll, accounting, insurance, inventory, or employee data. Yet because most of these organizations have outputted the Computer Output Microfilm to microfiche, they have to manually search for a record and use a reader printer to save out a particular file.
A more feasible option is to convert Computer Output Microfilm to digital image via Generation Imaging’s microfiche scanning services. Generation Imaging specializes in microfiche to PDF, TIFF, or JPEG conversions.
Using high quality/high production microfiche scanners, we convert the COM microfiche to digital. Generation Imaging provides this COM fiche scanning service to end users as well as other service bureau’s. Clients can choose from Adobe PDF format, Group 4 TIFF (tagged image file format), or greyscale JPEGs. PDFs and TIFFs can be wrapped in a multi-page file. Generation Imaging offers an optional OCR (optical character recognition) image processing and other indexing services (by folder or filename).
The end result of this entire process is a digital image which you could easily search the file containing records by name, account number, date, and/or social security number. Obviously this saves time and efficiency. CONTACT US
Converting analog media to digital image (i.e. microfiche scanning) has many benefits. Here are three obvious microfiche scanning benefits:
Immediate retrieval of your documents on your computer. I mean, seriously, you can have a little contest with your co-worker to see who can bring up a fiche document the fastest; you just use your mouse and she has to go digging through filing cabinets and use a microfiche viewer/reader. Microfiche scanning allows this quick retrieval.
No more losing fiche – No longer will you be worried about your documents getting lost due to a misplaced fiche or small frame falling off. As someone who has working with microfiche for three decades I can attest to how one must pay close attention to where one leaves a microfiche card. With microfiche scanning, all of the images will be saved and you can make unlimited backups and copies, so you will never lose a card again.
Quick response to resolving issues. Imagine if you work at an insurance company or school and someone is requesting their records. In some cases your organization has been forced to give a 5-day turnaround time because someone has to find the fiche and use an old, faulty reader printer to print out on paper or create an image. With microfiche scanning all you would have to do is…use your mouse and keyboard to type the fiche ID or use your eyes to find a folder. Which method is more efficient?
OLD School is not FAST
When should one convert microfiche to digital images, such as PDFs, TIFFs, or JPGs? How about right now! Just recently the Mt. Vernon Clerk and Recorder office has suffered extensive water damage, and their microfiche machine no longer works. Generation Imaging (G.I. Partners) has received numerous inquires from many government entities, school systems, and insurance companies that were using reader printers or Canon scanners which broke down.
If they don’t convert microfiche before an accident or mechanical failure, they would be unable to service the public or digitize the data. The huge advantage of using a microfiche scanning service bureau is that a company like Generation Imaging can convert microfiche to digital images much more quick than a slow reader printer or Canon scanner.
G.I. uses NextScan high speed microfiche scanners to convert microfiche to PDF, TIFF, or JPG, at various DPI, bi-tonal (black and white) or grayscale. Images can be converted through OCR (proprietary software) or indexed by directory or at the filename level. In other words, G.I. can create an image retrieval format for you to match your existing organization or create an entire new way to organize your images.
The key to avoiding disasters and getting involved in the tricky business of disaster recovery is to be proactive. The first step is to convert microfiche to digital. You may be surprised just how affordable the cost of microfiche scanning is with Generation Imaging.
The benefits of digitizing fiche are numerous: increased productivity, easy file transfers via e-mail, internet, FTP, networks, and printing; and the ability to copy images quickly.
Governments, private organizations, and individuals (researchers, veterans, genealogists, hobbyists) that have fiche should convert microfiche to digital images as soon as possible. CONTACT US