Mr Gruber-Barowitsch, you are head of Technical Documentation at KOMPTECH. What type of products do you create the documentation for and what are the main challenges in doing this?
Komptech is a leading international technology provider of machines and systems for the mechanical and biological treatment of solid waste and for the preparation of woody biomass as a renewable energy source. The product range consists of more than 30 different types of machine that perform the essential modern waste-treatment processes, namely shredding, separation and biological treatment. The focus is always on innovative technology and solutions that guarantee maximum benefit for the customer.
Since the end of 2012, your team has been working with the SCHEMA ST4 Component Content Management System. What do you manage and publish with ST4?
During the introduction of Schema ST4, the Technical Documentation department took over the function of central information coordination from Development and Design. Alongside the typical documents, such as operating and maintenance instructions, service booklets and assembly instructions; product descriptions, reports, guides and servicing/training materials, etc. are also produced. This range of activities is continually expanding.
As well as ST4, you also use the CATALOGcreator® as a creation and publication platform for replacement parts. You want to combine both of these worlds – user documentation and replacement parts management. And this year you have started a pilot project with us at SCHEMA and TID Informatik. How did this happen and what was the idea behind it?
Up until now, static documents were stored and linked. However, conventional documentation structures and constant information growth make it difficult to provide information in a use-case-dependent and target-orientated manner.
If you consider the development and trends of the internet, only a dynamic, adaptable and platform-independent solution can fulfil our customers’ expectations, and of course exceed them too. CATALOGcreator® and Schema ST4 offer the cornerstones for “out of the box” ideas, which were presented by both companies (TID Informatik and Schema) during the partner days. We discussed possible concepts and solutions and then the joint project began at the end of July.
How exactly does the new workflow look?
Using functional modules, the necessary information types are first determined. When doing this, we differentiate between legal, descriptive and functional information, which we then categorise into information types in the next step (e.g. safety, operation, maintenance). All the necessary information is collated in Schema ST4 and the relevant metadata is added. This controls the context-dependent provision of information in the CATALOGcreator®.
The information is then processed further in an automated manner, but enough leeway is provided for additional ideas and innovations.
Going back to the benefits, what will your customers gain from this solution? And how about you as the creator of products and information?
My vision is to proactively provide the end user with information that is tailored to them and relevant to the context on the device of their choice. We are going to “spoil” our customers with information.
We are living in an age in which a product as a sales pitch alone is no longer sufficient. Free content and providing targeted information – the keyword here being “attention span” – are a given and act as marketing instruments; the “zero moment of truth” is already a hot topic in our sector.
As a manufacturer, we are seeing the main advantages in the interactive communication with our customers and partners, the reduced workload due to fewer queries and the possibility of developing ourselves further in this area.
CATALOGcreator® and Schema ST4 offer the best conditions for this and their constant developments guarantee that we will always be the “best in class”.
There is a lot of potential in the cooperation of expert systems. What is your dream, when you think of ST4 and your system environment? What else would you like to integrate and automate?
Expert systems offer many networking and automation possibilities. The more potential a system has, the more time is required for precise planning and process mapping. As the first step, I think of a completely automated publishing process. We would really like to integrate the Content Delivery Server so that we can provide information from our entire system environment.
About me: I have been head of the Technical Documentation department at the company Komptech since 2012. I have previously worked as a web developer and database programmer. I also teach at the Fachhochschule Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Styria and enjoy music in my spare time.