News | August 8, 2011

ibml Scanners Support Scottish Census

ibml, a leading provider of scanning and document capture solutions and services, today announced that its ImageTrac high-speed scanners were selected by CACI, a UK IT solutions provider, to support the processing of documents for the Scottish Census.

"We needed a robust and reliable high-volume scanning solution for the Scottish Census, which involved capturing uniform paper-based documents," explained CACI Director Mathew Cooper. He added that CACI also will use the ImageTrac scanners to support mixed-document scanning for applications such as digital mailroom, medical records and financial application processing.

CACI selected the ImageTrac after an extensive evaluation that included rigorous trials to test the scanner platform's accuracy, performance, security, data integrity, reliability, ease-of-use, and integration capabilities. Cooper noted that the ImageTrac scanners passed these tests "effortlessly." He added that the ImageTrac's built-in barcode technology and integrated capture software — which eliminates the need for third-party software — also helped the devices stand apart from competitors.

CACI purchased four ImageTrac scanners, which process between 240 and 480 pages per minute. CACI uses one operator per scanner, with a single supervisor ensuring smooth operation.

As part of its system deployment, CACI initially took delivery of two ImageTrac scanners for pilot testing. During this time, a sample Census form was printed and scanned to validate the quality of the barcode data captured. In 2010, CACI took delivery of the remaining ImageTrac scanners.

With the Scottish Census now underway, completed forms are delivered to a processing center and allocated a unique physical location in the document warehouse. To ensure tracking, questionnaires remain in boxes as they are moved around the scanning center. All of the forms are then guillotined to create stacks of loose-leaf pages which are scanned on the ImageTrac devices. Each Census form bears a unique barcode. ibml's capture software reads data from the barcode and the image, performs verification checks, and submits any exceptions for manual review and repair. Once extracted, data is sent to the General Register Office of Scotland for statistical analysis. Exceptions handling is very low; if a form is scanned twice, the ImageTrac scanners detect that the incorrect number of pages have been captured or that a document type is unrecognized the documents are flagged for review.

Every Census page is tracked at every stage of the process for anomalies or inaccuracies. For example, if a box of Census forms is dropped after the forms have been guillotined, staff ensure that no forms are missing or presented in the wrong order. It is essential that this is done at the point of scan, rather than downstream, to reduce the cost of identifying and investigating exceptions.

"ibml's ImageTrac has performed exceptionally well throughout the 2011 Census process," said Cooper. "Scanning started in May, is due for completion by the end of October, and results will be published in 2012. We are on schedule and there have been no significant technological issues."

"Processing a Census is one of the biggest projects a government will ever undertake," said ibml President and CEO Derrick Murphy. "One of the most challenging aspects is the capture of Census forms for which speed, accuracy, and security are paramount. It speaks volumes that organizations in the United States and Europe have selected ibml's scanners for their Census processing."

Currently, CACI's ImageTrac devices are used solely for scanning Census forms. Once the Census project is complete, CACI plans to re-purpose the scanners for a full-service high-volume scanning center providing intelligent capture services to organizations in a variety of sectors.


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