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Success story

Bayer CropScience relies on the ISO long-term archiving format PDF/A for archiving their PDF documents

Brief portrait of Bayer CropScience

Bayer CropScience is the subgroup within Bayer AG responsible for agribusiness. With annual sales of 7.255 billion euros in 2011, Bayer CropScience is one of the world´s leading crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company has around 21,000 employees and is represented in over 120 countries.

Customer requirements

More than 20,000 documents that are required by public authorities for regulatory reasons are created yearly within Bayer CropScience. These documents encompass more than 1.5 million pages, whereby the scope of these documents has greatly increased in recent years. Previously these documents were saved as TIFF-G4 in a document management system.
In order to deal with the complexity of the documents both now and in the future, all existing as well as all new documents should be saved as high-quality PDF documents in the document management system. They must be available in a long-term archiving format including bookmarks and full-text indexing. In order to implement these requirements, Bayer CropScience needed an “out-of-the-box” solution that converted PDF documents from various sources into PDF/A format, conducted an OCR text recognition, and extracted the bookmarks and hyperlinks contained in the documents. The wide product spectrum and the unique functionality convinced Bayer CropScience to select the products from PDF Tools AG.


Bayer CropScience initially used the individual API’s of the PDF tools to enhance their existing services. For the past three years the company has now been using the 3‑Heights™ Document Converter as a stand-alone service, which they access through the file system with PDF documents. The Document Converter receives the PDF files, performs OCR text recognition (if required) and verifies the PDF/A conformance of the output documents. Tables of content and hyperlinks within the document remain intact. In addition, comments that have been inserted in the document are retained with the document.

Customers benefit

The solution is used by over 1,000 employees in Bayer CropScience’s global regulatory affairs division. The people responsible for documentation in the different international locations ensure that every regulatory document is converted to the long-term archiving format PDF/A before it is submitted to the public authorities in their respective country.
The change to PDF/A has enabled the customer to profit from various advantages: the PDF documents, in contrast to TIFF pages, are searchable and the text can be reused through copy & paste. In addition, the tables of contents have retained their links, allowing users to quickly navigate through documents. Hyperlinks also permit users to rapidly jump to referenced documents. Aside from these advantages which are provided by the PDF/A format, the fonts and the number of bookmarks and/or hyperlinks provide information about the quality of the processed documents. During the project implementation, Bayer CropScience could rely on PDF Tools AG’s support department for help with problems caused by exotic PDF formats. The quick availability of product updates was also greatly appreciated.

Customer statement

Our longtime partner PDF Tools provided us with an important cornerstone for the long-term archiving of our regulatory documents. Today we are capable of handing over valuable documents in high quality to the authorities while at the same time guaranteeing the reproducibility of our documents for years to come.

Rainer Bornheim,
Project Leader Regulatory Document Management System

The 3‑Heights™ product family from PDF Tools AG stands for:

Customer: Bayer CropScience AG, Monheim, Germany

Products in use:
3‑Heights™ Document Converter,
3‑Heights™ PDF to PDF/A Converter,
3‑Heights™ PDF Extract,
3‑Heights™ PDF to Image Converter,
3‑Heights™ PDF Optimization,
3‑Heights™ PDF Validator,
3‑Heights™ OCR Enterprise Add-On,
PDF Prep Tool Suite

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