TWB Position Paper - Automotive Engineering

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Position Paper on Value of Technical Publications in Automotive Engineering Industry

Position Paper on Value of Technical Publications in Automotive Engineering Industry

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  • 1. Position Paper onValue of Technical Publications inAutomotive Engineering Industry
  • 2. Introduction This paper presents the value of and need for TWB – Leading Technical Documentation quality Technical Publications in the Automotive Outsourcing Company Engineering industry. TWB is a leading technical publisher with an Technical publications include a wide variety of excellent record of providing unmatched technical material such as design documents, analytical documentation to many major companies. reports, handbooks, technical specification documents, user manuals, requirement documents, technical reports, white papers, online help files, TWB is the ideal choice for leading manufacturers in classroom and web based training material, policy the automotive industry. TWB helps customers with manuals, lab reports, and case studies. all their technical documentation needs such as design documents, analytical reports, handbooks, technical specification documents, technical reports Modern automotive engineering is a complex and training materials. process, integrating elements of mechanical, electrical and electronic, software and safety engineering. The key concept behind the TWB works closely with client teams located globally, integration of multiple processes is to automate and assists them in meeting their worldwide product vehicle manufacture and increase efficiency. announcements and launch deadlines. TWB works round-the-clock with client teams and help them with quick responses that facilitate timely distribution of This has led to rapid innovation in the development documents around the globe. of automotive systems. Today, customers are offered highly customized products at low prices. “Knowledge is people, money, learning, flexibility This is achieved by configuring individual vehicles and competitive advantage. Knowledge is more from a large number of options. This necessitates relevant to sustained business than capital or the creation of highly accurate and specific product labor. And yet knowledge remains the most documentation. neglected asset of a business. TWB helps you unlock and share your technical knowledge with Further, the rapid technological progress in the the world.” automotive industry has led to increased complexity in technical products. Owner and user manuals have increased by over 100% in volume in the last decade. This has proven to be a challenge, since globalization has necessitated an increase in the number of languages into which a technical document is translated. With each additional language translation, costs increase, directly proportional to the size and complexity of the documentation. This makes the creation of simple, easily comprehensible documentation essential to the automotive industry. This, in turn, necessitates the involvement of Technical Documentation Specialists in the creation of these documents. In this paper we will discuss the importance of technical publications to the automotive industry, to facilitate the growth, and development of the industry. “TWB believes that technology cannot exist without being communicated effectively.”The Writers Block www.twb.in 1 1
  • 3. Automotive Industry – Technical Publications Growth of the automotive industry in Challenges and Solutions India th India is the 9 largest automobile industry in the Some of the greatest documentation challenges world, with a production of 2.3 million units in 2008 that most companies in the automotive industry th alone. In 2009, India became Asia’s 4 largest face today include: exporter of cars.  Increased complexity and diversity of products Automobile companies like Nissan, Volkswagen,  Increased competition with regard to Toyota and Hyundai have expanded manufacturing documentation quality and efficiency facilities to India. Nissan and Hyundai predict an  Stricter product liability regulations, placing export of over 250,000 vehicles by 2011. more importance on completeness and comprehensibility of documentation. Rapid technological advances in the automotive industry have resulted in complex and diverse technical products. The task of creating documentation for such a wide range of products may seem complex and daunting, since documentation has to be revised or updated to keep pace with advancements. Quality documentation is easy to update and maintain, reducing the cost involved despite the massive amounts of documentation required by the industry. “The automotive industry in India grew at a Differences in the functionality and quality of compounded annual growth rate of 11.5% over technical products are slowly reducing. However the past five years.” – The Economic Survey, the complexity of these products is increasing 2008 – 2009. correspondingly. As product complexity increases, the quality of the documentation is often the deciding factor in customer decision making. TWB Growth of the automotive industry provides documentation with professional quality. Globally Product liability regulations, like the EU product The recent economic crisis has created momentum liability directive, have impacted technical for a massive structural change in the auto industry, documentation enormously. Today, the demand for preparing the industry for growth for the next decade. experts in technical documentation is high to guarantee quality document creation, thus avoiding legal ramifications. “Mark Oline, a Fitch Ratings Analyst predicted that sales will rise to 11.1 million cars and trucks Benefits next year, a 7.8 percent increase over the 10.3 million he expects for 2009.” For a leading vendor in the automotive industry, association with TWB has benefited them China’s automobile market showed massive growth immensely in saving costs and producing in 2010, with output and sales for January continuing professional documentation along with services from the growth in December 2009, to reach 1.6148 such as: million and 1.6642 million units respectively.  Transferring complex technical data into easily Autofacts forecasts a 10% improvement in sales in understandable language the North America, predicting sales of 13.9 million  Protecting technical and commercial data of units with an assembly forecast of 10.4 million units. newly developed products  Creating, editing, reviewing, and maintaining In South America, the vehicle sales reached 3 million content units in 2009, a record-breaking 12.7% increase over sales in the 2008. This growth is expected to  Preparing training material, online Help, continue, both in sales and assembly. graphics and illustrationsThe Writers Block www.twb.in 2
  • 4. Value of Technical Publications Technical Publication for Transferring Publications for Different Levels of Product Knowledge Technical and Product Knowledge The purpose of technical publications is to transfer In the automotive industry, it is necessary to create product knowledge to the end user, in a several different types of documentation for comprehensible format. The strategies of different purposes: design documents, technical communication and levels of information vary reports, specification documents, user manuals and depending on the type of product. training material and so on. Each of these documents addresses a different audience, each of When delivering a product, whether a hardware whom has a specific role in the automotive product or a software application, it is equally industry. It is important that documents be created important to give the users information about the keeping in mind the role of the person who will use product’s operation and maintenance. the documentation. In the real world scenario, technical publications are For example, a technical analyst, who is often developed as an afterthought. This usually accustomed to reviewing satellite images on a results in inaccurate and hard-to-understand material. workstation, needs to learn how to use the system As a result, the users dislike these materials and and software to magnify the image, but not how to avoid using them. analyze the image. Inaccurate and hard-to-understand material also For users who start without technical or product results in the user’s inability to understand and knowledge, you need to provide instructions to use implement high-end technologies. The users might the product as well as information they need to look reject the product. for as a result of using the product. This presents a more difficult problem. Faulty Assumptions that Result in Problems in Documentation Different needs of the end users and the gap between their technical and product knowledge These faulty assumptions result in incomprehensible determines the amount of information that goes into documents: technical publications.  The developers know the product better than Attractive Publications as Useful anyone else: With time constraints and limited Marketing Tool resources, many companies are tempted to let the programmers do the documentation. The Providing useful and accurate documents is critical engineers and developers know the product very well. However, the developer is likely to provide to ensure that the user can easily find the required technology-centered information; where as the information. If the end users cannot find the answers to their problems, they assume that the end user requires task-centered information. documentation is useless. For engineers and developers it is almost impossible to step back and look at the To be useful, the documentation must be clear, application from the end users point of view. concise, and well designed. The documentation that is accurate and complete also needs to be well designed.  The application is complicated; having a writer learn about it will take too long: Learning the product should not be a major obstacle for the Accurate and easy-to-understand technical writers with the right technical background. documentation is the only way to provide information to the end user, and it is also cost- effective.The Writers Block www.twb.in 3 3
  • 5. Conclusion  The Importance of the Automotive Industry: The automotive industry is among the few that have shown steady growth during the last few years, particularly with the troubled economy. The automotive industry is important not just for its direct effects, but for its indirect effects as well. The industry has a large, complex supply chain, which draws from both specialized component suppliers and material suppliers. The automotive industry is one of the largest consumers of products of the aluminum, rubber, glass, plastics and steel industries. For many industries, the automotive industry is a leading consumer, whose requirements provide an impetus to innovations that benefit other sectors.  Value of Technical Publications: Technical Publications are very essential for transferring product knowledge to the end users. Providing proper material to use technology and products enables the user to accept and efficiently use the product. Frequently, the quality of documentation is a factor which directly contributes to a customer’s decision to purchase or reject a product. Faulty assumptions about documentation lead to inaccurate and hard-to-understand material which discourages end users from the product itself. This also decreases the changes of marketing the products in the global markets.  Role of Documentation Outsourcing: The complexity involved in automotive engineering, arising from the integration of electric, electronic, manufacturing, software, and hardware systems requires that vendors and purchasers look at outsourcing their documentation needs to well-established Technical Publications Solutions providers. This helps the company cut costs and at the same time deliver their products with quality documents.The Writers Block www.twb.in 4
  • 6. TWB Services TWB is India’s leader in technical communication outsourcing and education. TWB offers a complete suite of services that allow our customers to effectively publish their technical knowledge with their people and processes. TWB’s customers range from Global 500 – including Cisco, Accenture, McAfee, LG, Samsung, Citrix, SAP, Siemens, AOL, Intel; Indian technology majors – including Infosys, Wipro; Global defense majors - Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, DRDO, HAL; and exciting technology startups. TWBs expertise in technical communication ranges from IT Products and Outsourcing, ITES, Banking, Financial, Aerospace, Defense, Ship Building to Hi-tech Manufacturing, and Discrete and Process Manufacturing. TWB’s services include: Technical Marketing Technical Product Documentation Quality Solutions Documentation Management  Datasheets  Administrator’s Guide  Datasheets  Copy Editing and Proof Reading  API Document  Cheat sheets  Managing Writing  Configuration Guide  Solution Briefs/Solution Brochures  Editing Services  Functional Specifications Document  Presentations –  Layout and Design Products/Corporate Profile  Installation Manual  Creating SLAs  Brochures and marketing collateral  Interface Document  Web content  Interactive Electronic Technical Business Documentation Manual (IETM)  Audio and video scripts  Maintenance Manual  Business Proposals  Press releases  Online Help  Legal Disclaimers  Direct mail  Operation Manual  Policy Manuals  Newsletter design copy  Product Demo  Style Guide Design  Sales catalogues  Product Specifications Document  Template Design  Sales sheets  Product Overview Document  Quick Reference Guide Business Communication Content Management  Release Notes  Short Reports  Requirement Analysis Document  Single Sourcing  Proposals  SDK Document  File Version Control  Case Studies  Troubleshooting Manual  Document Naming Conventions  Lab Reports  User Manual  Consistent Document Formatting  Memos  Open Source Documentation  Data Transformation  Progress/Interim Reports  Programmers Guides  Writing for Electronic Media  Functional Specifications Document  Use Cases Web site Development Illustrations  Online Help /Context Sensitive Help  Web 2.0 development  Troubleshooting Guides  Graphic Designing  Web content   Info graphics  Web applications Qualitative Analytics for  2D & 3D animation Decision Support Translation and Localization  Line drawings and illustrations Services  Economic Business Research Process Documentation  Industry Analysis  Software Translation Services  Workflows  Market Opportunity Analysis  Document Translation Services  Standard Operating Procedures  Competitive Business Analysis  Localization (L10N) Testing  ISO Documentation  Company & Prospect Profiling  Internationalization (I18N) Testing  CMM Documentation  Reporting Solutions  Assessment of Unmet Market Needs Records Management Deployment and Support  Status and Potential of Technologies  Document Management Solutions  Benchmarking of Strategies Vs  Record Management Storage and  Installation and Configuration Competition Retrieval Guides  Forecasting  Operations Manual  Sales Force Effectiveness  Market Assessments  Competitive Intelligence  Opinion Leadership  Emerging Markets - evaluation and researchThe Writers Block www.twb.in 5 5
  • 7. TWB Software Tools Expertise Our technical proficiency in software and authoring tools includes: Unstructured Content XML Structured Editors Multimedia/Authoring Development  Epic  Adobe Flash®  Microsoft Word®  FrameMaker+SGML  Adobe Dreamweaver®  Adobe FrameMaker®  X-Metal®  Microsoft FrontPage®  Adobe InDesign®  Adobe Captivate®  QuarkXPress® Macromedia Captivate  Adobe PageMaker® Graphics/Animations  Multimedia/Authoring/ Illustrations  Adobe Flash® Supporting tools  Adobe Photoshop®  Adobe Flash CS4 Professional  Adobe Fireworks®  Adobe Flash®  Adobe Illustrator CS3  Adobe Flex®  CorelDRAW Online Help  Adobe AIR®  Microsoft-Expression Graphic  Adobe Dreamweaver® Designer  Adobe Acrobat®  Xara Xtreme (Windows & Linux)  JavaHelp  Microsoft Silverlight®  CuteDraw  Adobe RoboHelp 7.0  Adobe Authorware®  Publisher3D(for animation)  HelpScribble  Adobe Director®  Sketsa SVG Editor (for vector  WebWorks Publisher  Adobe Captivate® graphics)  PowerCHM  Trivantis Lectora®  Techsmith Camtasia  Doc-To-Help  ASP.NET  Adobe Flash CS4 Professional  WinCHM  JSP  Arbortext IsoDraw (technical  HelpSmith 2.1.1(Windows)  JAVA illustrations for 2D and 3D)  Fast-Help  MadCap Flare Standards Graphics/Animation  Help-Server  NVU Help  SCORM 1.2 / 2004  Adobe Flash®  AICC XML  Adobe Photoshop®  W3C  Adobe Illustrator®  Section 508  Adobe Fireworks®  XMetal®  QTI XML  Microsoft Silverlight®  Microsoft Word 2003®,  Microsoft Word 2007® Databases Development and Publishing tools CMS/ LMS  Microsoft Access  XSLT/XSL  Microsoft SQL Server  EDD  Sharepoint®  Moodle Flowcharting  Joomla,  WordPress  Microsoft Visio  Media Wiki  iGrafx  CMS Builder  EDraw  Author-it (formerly AuthorIT)  RFFlow  Alfresco  Flowbreeze  Smart DrawThe Writers Block www.twb.in 6
  • 8. Industries Served TWB services a wide range of technology and knowledge driven industries, helping them meet their markets better, these include:  Banking, Insurance and Financial Services  ITES/ KPO/ BPO  Consulting and Business Services  Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology  Defense, Aerospace and Hi-Tech Manufacturing  Process Manufacturing and Allied Industries  Education and Learning  Steel, Ship Building, Construction and Aviation  IT, ITES  Telecom and Digital Communications TWB has been the preferred technical documentation outsourcing company for: The TWB Building US Office: No: 4062, 19th Main Road, TWB HAL 2nd Stage, 11701 Norwegian Wood Drive Bangalore – 560008 Austin, TX 78758 India. Landmark: Behind Carlton Towers Telephone: Telephone: +91.80.40741400 / +1.512.586.8357 +91.80.41256367 Corporate Enquiries: corp@twb.inThe Writers Block www.twb.in 7 7