Top 7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Outsourcing a CAD Conversion Project
By Oxana Kislyh
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Since most designing today is done in a CAD System, it is advantageous for companies to convert their paper drawings to CAD drawings, so that the designs can be re-used, updated and permanently stored. Deciding whether to outsource a CAD conversion project or to do it in house can be confusing. Here are some questions to ask yourself that can help inform your decision.
- How many drawings do you have that require conversion?
As a general rule, when talking strictly about scanning the documents, if you have more than 5,000 documents, it may make sense to purchase a scanner and do the scanning portion of the conversion yourself; if you have fewer than 3,000 drawings, you should seriously consider outsourcing the scanning; between 3,000 and 5,000 drawings, you could go either way.
- Do you have scanning equipment, or will you need to purchase a large format scanner?
If you have the equipment, consider whether it is working properly and available for your scanning project. If you have to purchase new scanning equipment, is this the time to add a capital expenditure to your budget? Also consider space and office usage. Do you have room for a large format scanner?
- Do you have experienced staff that can do the scanning?
In addition to the number of drawings that need to be scanned and the equipment to do the scanning, you also need to think about the personnel you have who are qualified and available for the project. If you have to hire someone, even temporarily, that may skew your considerations toward outsourcing.
- Once the scanning is completed, how will you convert the scanned raster files to vector files for your CAD system?
This is probably the biggest consideration of all. You also need to consider what it takes to convert those drawings from the scanned raster files to the vector files required by your CAD system. While there are software programs that can help with this task by doing some of the raster to vector conversion automatically, there is also a great deal of human interaction required to create CAD perfect files. Often, this is the critical factor that really swings the decision in favor of outsourcing. A firm who does scanning and CAD conversion as a full-time job can almost always do the job better, faster and at a lower cost than you can do it yourself.
- If you decide to outsource, how can you make sure you choose the right CAD conversion service?
The firm you choose should be experienced and professional. The work they do should be high quality. Ask if they are qualified and certified for U.S. Department of Defense scanning and cad conversion work. U.S. Department of Defense certification is a sure sign that the work the firm does is high quality.
- You should check the turn-around time. Do they offer fast service?
Find out if the conversion shop has job-size limitations. A good firm should be able to handle all jobs, from the largest to the smallest with the same attention to detail and accuracy.
- What's it going to cost?
If you deal directly with the conversion shop that does the work, there will be no middle-man price mark-up. Find out if they guarantee their work. Ask if their raster to vector conversion work is guaranteed to be CAD Perfect. If you're not satisfied with their work, will they remedy it quickly and at no additional cost?
The author of the article is working with a CAD outsourcing company - CAD/CAM Services that provides CAD conversion services, CAD drafting services, large format scanning services and raster to vector (R2V) conversion.
Article Submitted On: April 12, 2010