There are a few reasons to keep the drawings:

1) Professional engineer's stamp and signatures.  Scanned versions may not be acceptable.
2) Their utility in the field and during an emergency.

Neither of these require the paper original to be kept on-site.

For one utility client, we generated PDFs from the CAD package, and then created a CD set of the actuals (drawings that represented reality, versus those that showed planned changes) every month, for distribution to field offices.

Bernard Chester, CDIA+, ICP, EDP
Principal Consultant
IMERGE Consulting, Pacific Northwest Office
7683 SE 27 Street, #316
Mercer Island, WA, 98040
Office: 206-230-9253; Mobile: 206-979-7389

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Janet L Nelson
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 9:12 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Scanning drawings - best practices

This is mainly directed to people from the utility industry, but comments 
from others will be appreciated.  I would like to find out what other 
utilities are doing with their drawings. I have been asked to attend a 
meeting where there will be a discussion on getting rid of hardcopy 
drawings.  It would be very helpful to me to be able to go into this 
meeting with some best practices and benchmark information. 

Prior to being asked to this meeting and since, I have been asked what my 
position is on saving scanned hardcopies.  (My opinion is once a drawing 
has been scanned, QC has been done and the image is usable, the hardcopy 
can be purged.)   I was also asked if I know of any regulations which 
require us to make hardcopies of our electronic drawings as a backup. (I’m 
not aware of any, but as we all know it is possible to miss something.) 
Someone from IT will be at the meeting to handle the questions about the 
backup processes for our ECM system.

Also, for those who scan old drawings or other documents which have a lot 
of background noise or are on blue paper, what is the quality of the 
scanned images?  I have to admit I am not real knowledgeable in what can 
and can’t be done in this area.  I do know when there is a lot of 
background noise it takes more time to clean up the image.  With today’s 
technologies do these poor copies produce good images? 

The group which handles the drawings is not part of my department and is 
feeling threatened, which makes it difficult for me to get information 
from them. 



Janet Nelson CRM
Manager Records
Dairyland Power Cooperative
3200 East Avenue South
PO Box 817
La Crosse WI 54602-0817

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