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.