Skantek Announces SK-401, An OCR Software Technology Breakthrough

—Literature Available After a year of intensive development, Skantek Corporation, Warren, N.J. has announced the SK- 401, the first commercially available optical character recognition (OCR) software to decipher and reproduce hand-lettered characters on engineering drawings.

The first step in the development was to build a "knowledge base" of individual draftsmen's block lettering styles and machine printed characters. The SK-401 software refers to this knowledge base to identify hand lettering styles and common drafting typefaces.

The result was a cross section of more than 60 personal lettering styles. Combined with the two most common block lettering styles, Leroy~ Modern and VarityperB, a knowledge base was assembled that could correlate block machine lettering as well as standard drafting letter styles.

The next step was to speed up the three algorithms at the heart of the OCR software. Skantek engineers integrated the algorithms for locating and converting the text allowing the software to process 2,000 characters in 15 minutes. The result was the SK-401^ OCR package which enables the SK-1010 automatic digitizing scanner to recognize and convert alphanumerics and many other symbols frequently used on engineering drawings.

The SK-401 OCR software classifies characters by assigning a unique code to each character or symbol.

The receiving CAD/CAE system can then immediately recognize and handle the data. This automatic coding of characters by the scanner reduces the editing time required on each scanned drawing file transferred to the CAD/CAE system therefore operator productivity during the drawing conversion process is increased. In addition, the space required within the CAD/CAE system's memory for storage of text can be reduced.

For complete information on the SK-401 from Skantek, Circle 36 on Reader Service Card

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