Technical manuals are made to give operators instruction on the safe and correct operation of equipment and for technicians to know how to maintain and repair it. Manuals are available in various sizes, shapes, and levels of complexity. They include user manuals, maintenance manuals, installation manuals, and others. However, no matter the kind of manual, there are complaints about them. These include the lack of good content, poor writing style, inconsistent technology, poor illustrations, and more. Ideally, support manuals must be as good as the product they accompany; however, factors such as the cost, time, and the level of importance attached to them don’t make this happen.
Why Manuals Should be Created by Experts
A lot of organizations get their engineers to write their manuals. However, while engineers and designers have the best knowledge of the product, they usually do not consider the skill levels, capabilities, training, and home language of the end-user. Meanwhile, technical publication experts from Sonovision USA take all these into account. Also, they consider inputs from a logistic support analysis and/or manufacturer in terms of the supportability level, the use of in-text warnings and cautions, maintenance activities, and more. By having manuals prepared by professionals, operators are properly trained in the use of equipment and technical staff can maintain the equipment throughout its life cycle. This results in cost savings and availability for the end-user as well as reputation improvement and repeat sales.
Benefits of Computer-Based Technical Manuals
While paper-based manuals are still available these days, on-screen manuals provide many benefits to both the organization and the end-user. From simple portable document format (PDF) documents to full interactive electronic technical publications (IETPs), computer-based manuals make it possible to interlink or hyperlink separate manuals. Also, they allow the use of active content like video and animated material in training and maintenance manuals.
With IETPs, manuals don’t have to be in the workshop environment, letting technicians take an entire suite of equipment manuals in the field through laptop computers, tablets, and hand-held devices. This step has been taken by the military to support their wide range of complex equipment. Military technical manuals are kept up-to-date by giving globally-dispersed forces to access a cloud-based portal where they can download or directly access the latest amendments and revisions.
As equipment in different industries is becoming more and more advanced, safe and correct operation of equipment has never been more important. Also, organizations must implement cost-effective maintenance to guarantee the dependability of equipment. Because of this, technical manuals must be seen as a vital part of the design, manufacturing, and support process.