The USE* ISO Standard for Workshop Manual Creation

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Chris Thomas, ISO 9000 Consultant and Quality Engineer
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The Challenge

As automotive manufacturers look to find cost savings throughout their business operations, one area of significant expenditure in aftersales is the translation of workshop manual documentation.

In 2009 one of our clients asked for USE* Publications' support with plans translate all of their aftersales publications into a number of different languages. These included new workshop manuals for a range of vehicles that were being produced by USE* Publications.

The Solution

USE* support most our clients’ applications of structured text formats that simplify the task of language translation. Through 2009 USE* Publications’ had made it a priority to ensure that our team working with this particular client had been able to fully support a transition of workshop manual publications to a new structured language format implemented by them. We enhanced this support by creating and introducing an ISO-compliant standard defining how written content for our client’s workshop manuals should be structured to comply with the new format.

The new standard also provided the opportunity for USE* to introduce changes to the way in which graphics are presented, replacing photographs with colour-coded images sourced directly from our client’s CAD data, with different colours are used to represent types of actions: for example, if a component is shown in blue, it needs to be removed. In this way, the graphical representation of a repair action complements and explains the written text.

Its Benefits

By introducing the new standard to martial the application of the new structured language format, and to standardise and codify the application of CAD-derived graphics, USE* Publications has made a significant contribution to reducing our client’s translation costs for workshop manuals.

While applying the structured language format reduces translation costs, the new standard also makes the workshop manuals easier to understand and less text dependent. Because the new format graphics help to provide a clearer picture for the technician, they also reduce the amount of text required for each step. Less text in turn delivers a further reduction to translation costs.
Our Achievements

Structured language formats can often take years, rather than months, to master, but because the new standard document also comprises a tool to assist authors, USE* Publications' authors are providing all of the workshop manual procedures compliant with the required format.

For example, the new ISO9001 standard includes approved text strings. These can be selected and transposed directly into the USE* Service Repair Times Database (SRTD), deployed to support workshop manual authoring for our client, guaranteeing correctness and consistency across the authoring team. The standard even details image capture settings for capturing graphics in CAD to ensure that there is no variation in lighting, colour or shading from one graphic to the next.

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