Microfilm or Bust

As a company engaged in all forms of document digitization, image scanning & data capture, Micro Com has been a part of the BC market since 1975. During that time, they have assisted many businesses, organization, and individuals with data capture, digitization, and archiving. This included transferring old and precious documents to microfilm, which is 100% archival if processed to stringent standards.

When Micro Com moved from out from their old facility and relocated  to Burnaby, it was decided that the antiquated microfilm cameras, which ranged from old to ridiculously old, would be left behind.

After years of self-servicing and extending the life of these relics by cannibalizing the oldest machines for parts, it was time to lay the cameras to rest. There was simply no way to obtain the necessary components   anymore. Loyal customers were given 18 months’ notice that the microfilm capture services were on their way to extinction. However, one customer was having none of it. For them, it was microfilm or bust.

This client already had thousands of rolls of microfilm in their archives and felt extremely comfortable with the long-term stability microfilm affords. To help them out, the Micro Com team implemented a multi-step process that incorporated scanning digital files and ultimately transferring these digital images to archival microfilm.

This involved preparing the client’s documents exactly as they would have if they were being microfilmed. Staples were removed, torn corners repaired, creases alleviated. Paper files were then scanned at 300 DPI.

The first page of each file, a transcript in most cases, was used as a separator. Using OCR (optical character recognition), key fields were read from the transcript and then manually verified. These were then used to confirm and match other fields from the client’s supplied database. In files where the first page was not a transcript, the fields had to be keyed manually.

Once file separation, indexing, and quality control phases were complete, the resulting image and data files were released. The next step involved using the Kodak Imagelink Digital Archive Writer 4800 to transfer the digital images to 16mm rolls of microfilm. Each 30.5-meter roll holds as many as 2900 letter or legal sized pages of paper.

The final step involved a proprietary process whereby the image address (location of a particular file on a particular roll of microfilm) was added to the data file. Everything was then returned to the client, along with their brand new microfilm.

It’s not as simple as the microfilm production of yesteryear, but the end result was a happy client, who didn’t care how the work was processed as long as it got done. Chalk another one up to the problem solvers at Micro Com Systems.