Most of you, especially here in Europe would know about Beuth Verlag as one of Germany’s largest suppliers of specialist information and knowledge and a pioneer in the use of top-quality, long-lasting products and services. In 2019, the publisher adopted callas software’s solutions pdfaPilot and pdfToolbox to automatically process, convert and validate PDF/A and PDF/X files. So how did callas really help Beuth significantly reduce its manual workload?
“As a publisher of standards, norms and guidelines, it is essential that the work that we publish meet our high-quality standards and comply with all legal requirements,” says Mark Reuter, project manager for policy production at Beuth Verlag.
Beuth Verlag standardizes its files in line with the PDF/A-1b compliance level, which ensures consistent visual reproduction and guarantees that all fonts, formulas and symbols used in the documentation of standards can be displayed reliably worldwide. The files are also structured – a task that is no easy undertaking without some form of software-based support, since errors in this area are often hard to spot on-screen with the naked eye. For example, complex formulas with mathematical symbols, unusual integrals or units may look right within a PDF at first glance but then print incorrectly.
“If we had to go through all our standards manually to look for these errors and others, the amount of work involved would be very substantial”
Out of 40,000 DIN standards, 31,000 were processed and corrected entirely automatically using callas’ tools. Some basic manual steps were required for another 6,000, and the remaining 3,000 required Beuth Verlag employees to examine them manually. Those were mostly PDF files originating from the very earliest years of PDF, whose authors had naturally not enough experience with the format yet. These manual examinations were kept to a minimum thanks to pdfToolbox and pdfaPilot, which offer content-based searching that make it possible to validate and convert publications differently depending on their level of maturity (draft status). With callas’ 2020 releases, Beuth Verlag was also able to automatically generate ZUGFeRD-compliant digital invoices.
Wherever possible, pdfaPilot corrects any errors it may find, such as undefined symbols, CID sets or character widths. Using our technology, Beuth was also able to find an elegant solution to the transparency problem. If our software cannot make the correction automatically, it generates a report. This report attaches bookmarks to errors, allowing to go directly to the source of the issue and intervene manually. As a result, almost 100 percent of printing and download delivery problems can be prevented.
The new releases’ graphical editor also helps with creating Process Plans when documenting workflows, increasing the overall level of transparency.
As well as validating standards, Beuth Verlag started using pdfaPilot to split invoice files via robotic process automation (we wrote a blog about RPA). This typically involves a 500-page PDF that first needs to be divided into individual invoices. Down from an hour, now it takes just sixty seconds at Beuth, as pdfaPilot identifies text phrases and uses them to automatically separate PDF files. The PDFs’ prefixes and suffixes are easier to rename this way, too.
“This is particularly useful for our new PDF/X preflight process, to generate uniquely named file versions with varying resolutions and colors.”
Meanwhile, Beuth Verlag is also using pdfaPilot to convert certain standards into PDF/UA-compliant files.
“Without callas’ technology, we simply wouldn't have been able to do this efficiently enough. Now that we can guarantee PDF/A compliance thanks to callas software’s products, we can process 98% of the claims we receive using software alone. callas and its distributor Four Pees provide excellent support in this field.”
You can read more about Beuth Verlag here.