Prospex hosts workshops for mentally disabled persons, in the region of Aachen, with more than 300 workers and about 70 fully employed staff in different business ranges.
Since 20 years, Prospex gGmbH is active in processing paper documents. After they started with micrographics, their activities ware widened by the ranges archiving and digitizing, in 2008. These became to be the core business. About 70 persons and ten employees are busily archiving, indexing, digitizing, and microfilming the customers‘ documents. They also process OCR reading, and finally scrap the paper files.
„Caused by the expansion, we searched for a high volume scanner“, says Friedhelm Bongartz, head of the scanning department at the Prospex gGmbH. The company had already microfilming units from Agfa in use which had been supplied by the Microform GmbH, nowadays Janich & Klass Computertechnik GmbH, who continues their maintenance. Therefore, Prospex addressed themselves to Janich & Klass. At the right moment, because Janich & Klass had just introduced their XINO scanner to the market. Prospex arranged an in-house text, and afterwards purchased the machine. „Certainly, we also had a look on machines from other manufacturers, but the excellent processing of our paper documents clearly hinted to the XINO“, says Friedhelm Bongartz. This fact is caused to the fact that, among others, the processing know-how which Janich & Klass has assembled during a long time, was entered in the development of this scanner type. This mainly concerns the unique transport system with smooth paper guidance across the entire paper width. It serves for uninterrupted operation and thus assures the high productivity. Furthermore, the system features a dynamically variable speed concept in order to meet the demands of most different kinds of originals. This is advantageous mainly for delicate documents, small paper documents, or overlong documents. „We digitize lots of patient files which partly contain paper documents as small as a receipt, or 80 cm long“, explains Friedhelm Bongartz. On top come different paper qualities, like thick, strong photo material, or thin, lightweight EKG or EEG reports.
The business expansion soon proved to bring good results. Numerous healthcare institutions, public administrations, and industrial companies used the available service. Among them is the Komatsu Mining Germany GmbH, Procar Automobile AG, the city region of Aachen, several hospitals, and many other clients.
Meanwhile, the paper archive hosted at Prospex comprises more than 25 km. Paper files are physically stored and administered. When a client queries a file from the paper archive, Prospex will provide the original within 24 hours, or put it available in digitized form within a few hours. Prospex gGmbH collects patient files from some clients several times a week and scans them immediately after their arrival. Other clients want that the documents are first archived just in paper form, to be digitized only on demand. The staff initially checks the paper files and copies the registration structure so that the digital pendant has the same structure. Bookmarks are included in the PDF file or PDF/A file, for every register. As per customers demand, the file can allow full text OCR search. The recognition rate reaches about 90 percent for machine-produced documents.
The core of digitalizing is the XINO scanner with the flexible and user-friendly software DpuScan, also developed by Janich & Klass. It allows Single-, Dual- or Multistream-processing and offers all necessary functions for scanner control, image enhancement, and storage of the scanned images. Moreover, images can be post-processed, data can be entered by keying, and the integrated OCR allows to recognize scanned texts, and to save them. Specific Jobs were defined in the software for every client, for the relative demands. „They are most different“, explains Friedhelm Bongartz. One client, for example, has queried that all comments and replies can be detected directly in the document. For fulfilling this demand, the scan operator inserts a separator sheet in the paper stack before these specific types. DpuScan then sets a bookmark in the PDF file with the hint that this page is an official notification, or a comment. Every digitizing process is completed by a quality assurance inspection. Then, as per demand, the files are either put available on removable media, or they are handed over to the Prospex-owned archive servers which can be accessed via secure VPN line.
Disregarding the progressive digitalizing, some specific market segments still have a high demand to saving documents on microfiche. So, Prospex stores about half of all paper documents which they digitize additionally on microfiche. Again, they rely on the competence of Janich & Klass and their machines. Among them is the Archive Recorder AR 1000, a unit that transforms digital paper documents to analog microfilm images. „Patient files must usually be stored for 30 years what we can assure by microfiche, as revision-safe media“, Friedhelm Bongartz says.
„Besides the high quality of the XINO scanner, another fact was decisive for the collaboration with Janich & Klass: We always have a direct contact at the manufacturer“, says Friedhelm Bongartz. „This is something you hardly pay with money. Eventually occurring problems are solved immediately. “So, for example, Prospex had to cope with digitizing overlong documents which could not simply be laid in the scanned paper tray of the XINO scanner. Janich & Klass provided a solution and built a special tray module for Prospex to handle also paper documents up to 80cm long.