Customized RPM Produces PDFs for Cosmo Corporation

Summary:

  • Cosmo Corporation generates PDFs in English and Chinese
  • They have a tightly integrated IT system developed over decades
  • They contacted Brooks to customize the way RPM creates PDFs for their enterprise

Firm seeks customized document workflow

Since 1945, Cosmo Corporation has been on the cutting edge of advanced engineering, design, manufacture and distribution of precision engineered plastic components for the electrical and electronics industries. Specializing in the design and manufacture of coil forms (bobbins) and knobs and controls, the company’s products are used by over 3,500 OEM manufacturers serving more than 400 industries worldwide. Headquartered in Cleveland, with additional facilities in Wilmot, Ohio, and Tianjin, China, Cosmo is renowned for its precision – from the factory floor and the shipping dock, to its end products, to customer service, the company delivers standard and custom engineered plastic components at some of the lowest prices in the industry.

President Marc Gordon explained that precision extends to the company’s IT infrastructure. “We use the IBM AS/400 platform for detailed reports, invoices, shipping forms, packing lists, waybills, payroll and other documents in English and Chinese. Some of these are printed, but we also need digital versions so they can easily be emailed, archived and searched. Given the variety and complexity of these forms and that some are in different languages, we needed an efficient and automated way to digitize batch output from the AS/400.”

An MIT graduate and self-taught IT manager, Gordon prefers to develop and manage IT solutions in-house, allowing for more finely tuned customization and control, without requiring additional staff as IT systems and the company grow. “I’d developed a system to produce document PDFs from the AS/400, using a Form Magic application and its macro overlays, which we also use with HP LaserJet printers for hard copies when needed. But we also wanted the system to automatically name the PDFs, append to existing files, and handle Chinese fonts. I’d found RPM Remote Print Manager virtual printing server software from Brooks Internet Software a few years earlier through Google searches, but it didn’t look to do everything we wanted.

The Brooks team not only understood what I wanted to do, but also knew how to customize RPM to do it all.

Last year, Gordon connected with the support staff at Brooks, and explained his requirements. “The Brooks team not only understood what I wanted to do, but also knew how to customize RPM to do it all. I wish I’d known earlier that Brooks offers customized development of its applications.” Initial development and proof of concept took the Brooks team a few weeks, followed by another three months through deployment of the vastly improved and more automated system at Cosmo.

Brooks customizes PDF production

“Working with Brooks’ development team was great! Their follow up and follow through was fast – delayed only by the time it took me to get back to them during the process. Since we deployed the customized RPM system this year, we use it for daily and weekly reports, generating PDF invoices that we email automatically, appending reference and assembly documents with bar codes and other information, and archiving files to a FTP server. The system works exactly the way it’s supposed to, and RPM is the key – this customized application is the gateway to getting the AS/400 to produce PDFs exactly the way we need,” said Gordon.

“RPM also makes our PDFs look like the latest and most popular document formats, which greatly improved the happiness of people here using our system. This is a complete PDF system anyone can use. Sometimes the best technology is one that users don’t know they’re using. That’s the case with RPM,” he said.