I have done some limited consulting in utilities, not an expert though.  One issue to consider is whether your state regulations require that you have the original blueprints with the PE Signature (and stamp).  I know some states (and it's been a while for me) used to require the PE sig to be original.

Past that, if your internal clients are satisfied with your scanning quality and consent to destroying the paper originals and relying on the electronic image, you should be OK.  As always, ensure your scanning and QC processes are documented and followed.  Documenting your QC error rates is a good idea.

Hope this helps a little

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Janet L Nelson
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:12 PM
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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