Scanning & Conversion Services for Aperture Cards

We scan and convert aperture cards into high-quality digital images. Whether your aperture cards contain engineering drawings, construction plans, building plans, architectural renderings, manufacturing designs, technical drawings, schematics, diagrams or other documents, we can convert and digitize them all. Our sophisticated equipment can read Hollerith data (code in the form of punched holes that is used for indexing) off your aperture cards and provide back valuable information about your documents. In the absence of Hollerith data, we are able to identify printed or handwritten information on the cards and index them manually.

You can easily preserve your valuable documents, improve access, retrieval and readability, and save significant amount of time and money simply by converting your aperture cards to digital format. With over 30 years of experience in scanning, indexing and archiving massive volumes of documents, we know everything there is to know about digital conversion of aperture cards. Our conversion services are delivered through our ScanFactory division by qualified, security-cleared personnel that are dedicated to quality aperture card scanning.

Superior Equipment & Technology

We use highly sophisticated aperture card scanners that provide exceptional image quality and accurate index data even from cards that are in poor condition or low contrast. The latest digital imaging technology can create significantly enhanced, clean digital images at full resolution (quality is often much better than the original). Our scanners are also capable of automatically extracting Hollerith data (punch data) and automtically indexing aperture card scans. In addition, we use our own proprietary technology to control, streamline and automate all our scanning operations, from A to Z – ScanFactory Resource Planning (SRP). It was developed entirely in-house by our expert personnel. Its main purpose is to reduce human intervention to an absolute minimum and remove the risk of human error. This highly sophisticated, one-of-a-kind technology offers complete traceability and provides full real-time reporting functionality.

Customer Portal

The Customer Portal allows you to search for and consult the status of aperture cards processed by ScanFactory at any point in time (e.g. In Transport, in Scanning, etc.). The Portal also makes it possible to make requests for on-demand or urgent scanning or physical delivery of your aperture cards, and view full history of such requests. All information and metadata about your aperture cards, including their exact physical location, are stored in the SRP database and can be retrieved on-demand.

Aperture Card Scanning & Conversion Process

A set of clearly defined procedures governs every single step of our scanning / conversion process: Pick-up of your aperture cards, Transport & Intake at our facilities, Preparation, Scanning, Indexing, Quality Control, Metadata & Image Delivery. Our experienced consultants will work with your staff to determine the special requirements of your project. All of our procedures are designed to maintain a high degree of quality and accuracy to guarantee your satisfaction.

Our ScanFactory operators are highly trained professionals equipped to handle aperture cards with care.

A typical conversion project involves the following steps:

  • One of our consultants meets with your staff to determine your project requirements
  • A secure and sealed iGuana vehicle comes and picks up your aperture cards and delivers them to our conversion facility
  • Our expert ScanFactory operators prepare, scan and index your aperture cards to your specifications
  • Digital images and metadata are delivered to you securely via VPN or on an encrypted drive in your preferred format

Quality Control & Image Enhancement

Our operators spend the majority of their time on quality control and tweaking images before they are output (not after), so there are no mistakes to correct in the final images. Typically, aperture cards contain large format (wide format) documents such as engineering drawings. However, in some cases, instead of one large image, the aperture cards might contain two, four or more separate images. We have developed methods to efficiently separate multiple images and ensure that they are correctly identified on the card. We audit the quality of separate images and, if corrections are needed, they are done immediately. Final quality control confirms that all the above steps have been correctly implemented. In addition, our SRP system has built-in quality control features (as do all scanners used at ScanFactory). Our Quality Supervisor is automatically notified by the SRP of any quality issues.

In our experience it is not unusual that aperture cards are filmed in a variety of different ways. Some aperture cards are inside out, upside down, positive or inverted. We can address all these issues. We perform a number of automated and manual image enhancement functions, such as manual or automatic image rotation, white balancing, cropping, deskewing, etc. Importantly, the SRP Image Enhancement module utilizes a 16-core server dedicated exclusively to post-scan image processing and performs a series of complex algorithmic image enhancement tasks.

Last but not least, our employees are trained to apply ISO 9001 Quality Management principles in all their work.


We can index your documents by automatically extracting Hollerith data (punch data) from your aperture cards. If no Hollerith data are available (simply because not all aperture cards contain punched images), we can identify handwritten or printed information on the cards and index the images manually. Additional services include OCR for text searchable PDF files, unitizing images into documents, and preparing images and index information for import into your back-end databases and systems, such as your DMS, or any other applications.

Metadata & Image Delivery

Delivery of images and metadata can be done via a Direct File Transfer method (VPN) or External Storage Device method (e.g. encrypted Hard Disk, USB sticks, etc.). You decide which option suits you best. Delivery is a fully automated process governed entirely by SRP. During scanning, all scanned images and metadata are stored directly in the SRP database. These images and metadata are automatically exported from SRP without any human intervention whatsoever. As a result, you have virtually unlimited flexibility in choosing your preferred image and metadata file formats.

Image & Metadata File Format

Here are just a few examples of the possible formats:

  • PDF & PDF/A
  • Image-only or searchable OCR with invisible text under the image
  • Multipage or one file per image
  • JPEG & JPEG2000
  • Uncompressed lossless 8-bit TIFF
  • TIFF Group IV bitonal
  • Structural metadata XML file or CSV file

Other Scanning Options

Here are a few additional options available to you:

  • Bitonal format (black and white)
  • Grayscale with 256 level output (best results for poor quality cards)
  • Resolution: 100 – 600 dpi

Return, Storage, Destruction

What would you like us to do with your aperture cards once scanned?

  • Return your aperture cards to you
  • Store them in our secure Aperture Card Vault (long term storage)
  • Securely destroy your aperture cards and provide you with a confidential destruction certificate

Privacy & Security

iGuana takes matters of privacy, security and data protection very seriously. We have an in-house Data Protection Officer (DPO) on staff who is responsible for ensuring compliance with internal privacy & security policies and implementing procedures in line with GDPR and with the ISO 27001 standard for information security.

  • In-house DPO on staff
  • Strict access controls; 24/7 monitoring
  • Ban on Wi-Fi & mobile phones
  • Background checks & confidentiality agreements
  • Secure transportation & sealed storage
  • Secure image & metadata delivery
  • Confidential certified destruction

Aperture Card Vault

Aperture Card Vault is a specialized service package that we offer to customers who wish to outsource long term storage of their aperture card archive and have it converted to digital format on-demand. Aperture cards are subject to specific storage requirements. Depending on the type of film mounted in a punch card, it can be susceptible to humidity, dryness, vinegar syndrome, redox blemishes, tears, etc. Special equipment is also required to read data off of them.

We will store your aperture card archive in our safe and secure Aperture Card Vault. We will give you access to our Customer Portal where you can search through your entire archive and request particular aperture cards to be scanned, indexed and delivered to you securely in digital format.

Let us take care of your aperture cards for you, they are safe with us! 

Request Information

We would love to hear from you. One of our specialists will contact you as soon as possible.