Sanwa Bank California: Making the Case for CD-R

Back in 1995, Sanwa Bank California was an early customer for CheckVision, a check imaging system by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). In the Sanwa Bank system, check images were written to CD-R via an MPS system from Young Minds, Inc. The MPS system used a 6x speed Kodak PCD 600 Writer and a Kodak Disc Transporter (disc autoloader). At the time of purchase, this system represented the state-of-the-art in automated, high-speed CD-Recording.

Last year, when it became apparent that their legacy equipment was nearing the end of its ability to serve their disc-making requirements, Sanwa Bank contacted CSC to upgrade the MPS system. Not surprisingly, they selected a Young Minds' MPS4+ system, a fourth generation successor to that original MPS system.

"While we were happy with the reliability of the MPS - the system had been working without a problem for over five years - and overall capabilities of the system, we were concerned with the slow data download speed and dated robotics of the MPS," relates Ken Mosbergen, Sanwa's IS Manager. "The volume of CDs that we had to produce was getting very close to the limitations of the system."

That original MPS system was capable of processing about 45GB per day, or about 70 full 650MB discs - the equivalent of about 4-1/2 million check images. However, that capacity could not be achieved as the system was used, primarily because three copies of each disc had to be made (one for archive, one for the branch, and one for the customer). "Since the original MPS system only had a single writer, the number of images we could process was immediately cut by one third. Also, we were typically not cutting full discs - the average disc has less than 100 MB." This added additional robotic disc transfer and labeling time to each batch of images, further cutting overall capacity.

Tony Silva of CSC handled the upgrade. "We inherited a large number of Young Minds' customers when we bought CheckVision, and like Sanwa, we had complete confidence in the MPS system. In fact, we had already ported CheckVision to support the MPS4+. The legacy system had a number of limitations, including slow download time from the host, slow write speed, and capacity for only one writer. The MPS4+ eliminates the CD-R bottleneck by supporting two 12x writers and downloads files about ten times faster." Silva points out that the new system can be upgraded to support four writers. With only two writers, it is capable of processing up to 250 GB per day (25 million check images), providing more than five times the capacity of the original system. Upgrading to four writers (MPS4+ now ships with 16x drives) would more than double capacity again.

Owing in large part to the work CSC had already done in previous upgrades, changing to the MPS4+ was painless, according to Mosbergen. "Installation went very quickly, there were no unpleasant surprises, and the MPS4+ system works just as advertised."



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