Martin-Baker finds the precision way to manage its archive of ejection seat drawings

Martin-Baker finds the precision way to manage its archive of ejection seat drawings


Martin-Baker Aircraft Company is the world's longest established and most experienced manufacturer of ejection seats and related escape and survival equipment. Over 7,100 lives have been saved by Martin-Baker seats since the first ejection seats were introduced in the late 1940’s.

Detailed technical illustrations of all Martin-Baker ejection seats are maintained at the company’s main facility in Denham, Near Uxbridge.

Paul Bird, Chief Technical Illustrator at Martin-Baker commented, "The original legacy illustrations were drawn to a very high level of detail - even down to the specification of the stitching on the seat fabric - and for durability they were mounted on A2 size mounting board.

"Over the years we had built up a large archive of technical illustrations and handling them was beginning to become an issue. When we decided to digitise the drawings so that we could access them via our electronic database we needed to find a scanning bureau that could offer us the desired quality.

The Martin-Baker Mk.16A seat as used in Eurofighter
"The challenge was that we had upwards of 4,000 large format drawings on mounting board and there are very few bureaux that can scan such drawings to the required level of precision. We approached ADEC Preview and, to give them credit, they were prepared to run off a number of samples and fine tune the process until we were happy with the result."

The drawings were scanned in batches of 500 over a 4-5 month period. They were scanned, cropped and copied to CD for delivery. The resulting TIFF images were output at 600dpi cross-referenced to a spreadsheet with drawing number and description. The digitised images were delivered back to Martin-Baker’s Denham facility where the ejection seats are designed and manufactured.

Paul Bird concluded, "ADEC Preview’s attention to detail was im-pressive. It is good to find a scanning bureau that could match our requirements for accuracy, quality and customer service.

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