Technical documentation made by professionals
Do you need machine, system or software documentation? Then let LinoPro do it for you. We look forward to your inquiry!
Our Technical Writing
All design managers know this: You can only deliver your product to your customer when the prescribed technical documentation is available. Time is short and the responsible designer is moderately motivated to deal with "paperwork" beyond his core competence. In the end, he does the job on the side while he is already designing on another model or planning the next construction site. The result is not infrequently technical documentation that
- the user does not understand,
- the supervisory authorities would not accept it (a court would have to deal with it in a liability case),
- annoys the marketing department because the technical documentation ignores the corporate design of your company or customer,
- is not completed on time and therefore costs a penalty.
This is where we come in. Take care of your core competence. Our technical editors take care of the paperwork from the operating instructions to the CE marking [link to CE marking]. As a design office, we have ten years of experience in the field of technical documentation in a large number of industries. These include mechanical and plant engineering, automotive engineering, measurement technology, sensor technology, software development and technical building equipment. From tekom-certified technical editors to electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, technicians and journalists, our editors know what they are doing. We can understand your product and make it understandable to your customers. The Gesellschaft für Technische Kommunikation (tekom e.V.) is the largest European trade and professional association for technical communication. We are guided by their standards. In this way we ensure that your technical documentation contributes to the success of your product. We ensure that it complies with both the rules of the legislator and the quality requirements of the relevant norms and standards.
Are you looking for a long-term partner? With pleasure. If you outsource all of your technical documentation to us, you will no longer have to spend any time on familiarizing yourself with the system in the medium term. And we grant you a 20 percent discount on our standard hourly rate from the seventh man-month.
Your internal technical documentation
Your machine or installation can be functional and safe. In case of doubt, a customer or a supervisory authority will only believe this when they can submit the corresponding internal technical documentation. On request, you must be able to prove the correct design, risk assessment and quality assurance of your product. The technical editors in our design office will assist you in drawing up a documentation concept. In addition, we advise you on the choice of the right software for the creation, maintenance and archiving of internal technical documentation and support you in creating these documents. If you find all the necessary documents over the entire product life cycle of your product, you simply have the better cards in case of liability! LinoPro's design office will create technical drawings, exploded views, test calculations, diagrams, parts lists and specifications as well as templates for test reports for you on request. In cooperation with your development engineers, we will prepare the risk assessment according to EN ISO 12100:2010.
Your external technical documentation
"The product is great - hopefully nobody ever looks at the manual." If you are familiar with this concern, we can take it off your hands. An instruction manual that goes better with a cheap imitation from the Far East than with your product could blur the important difference between perfection and junk for the potential buyer.
We create operating manuals, installation manuals, software manuals, technical data sheets, safety data sheets, quick start manuals, maintenance manuals, training material, catalogues, tutorials and online help for you. The external technical documentation must be tailored to the user group in order to be understood and the product used safely. Technical operators and maintenance personnel need different details than users of consumer products. In technical documentation, we meet the language and comprehension of your customers. After all, they should spend more time with your product than with your operating manual.
Of course you can choose between our standard manual layout, your corporate design or a free design according to your wishes. On request, our design office can produce technical illustrations of your 2D drawings and 3D models or edit CAD models for inclusion in technical documentation. Only the relevant processes and characteristics should be presented to the customer. When we create your external technical documentation, it will convey the quality your product already has!
In any case, it is important to us that all documents and descriptions are as easy to maintain as possible. In this way, the costs for maintaining the technical documentation are kept under control in the event of changes and further developments to your product.
If you commission us, one of our technical editors will first check the existing technical documentation, including risk assessment, drawings and supplier documents. You will then receive a detailed quotation from us for the preparation or revision of your technical documentation. It is up to you whether you opt for the cost-effective, but complete, or for the complex, but particularly valuable variant.
Machinery Directive & Co: Guide to the regulatory jungle
The essential requirements for the content and scope of technical documentation are contained in the European Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), which has been in force for ten years. Accordingly, a so-called complete machine, which has at least one moving part and is moved with force other than that of a human being, must be accompanied by operating instructions. In addition, it may only be placed on the market in the European Union with a declaration of conformity [link to CE marking].
In addition, the Machinery Directive defines so-called incomplete machinery. These machines cannot fulfil a specific function on their own. They are intended to be assembled with other partly completed machinery or to be incorporated into a complete machine. Incomplete machines may only be distributed in this country with assembly instructions and a declaration of incorporation [link to CE marking].
If you leave your technical documentation to us, you effectively reduce your product liability risk! We prepare your operating and assembly instructions for complete and incomplete machines in accordance with the requirements of the Machinery Directive. The structure of the instructions follows the standards of DIN EN 82079. Of course, our operating instructions contain safety instructions according to the SAFE structure: The signal word is followed by the type of hazard, the possible consequence of the hazard situation and an indication of how to escape the hazard. We use safety symbols and colours in accordance with DIN ISO 3864.
In addition, we have many years of experience in the preparation of technical documentation for systems and buildings in accordance with equipment or documentation regulations. Your employees have their hands full to complete the project successfully. But the customer demands comprehensive technical documentation according to his rules on time? No problem for us. We implement the wishes of your customers without charging you for golden taps. Often such documentation tasks can be partially automated, so that we can save money and time with our experience compared to your in-house solutions. In any case, you will always be informed about the status of your technical documentation. This enables you to take countermeasures when volume and costs get out of hand.
Risk assessment: Avoiding liabilities
Risk assessment is indispensable for technical documentation. According to the Machinery Directive, it should already be part of the design and development of a machine. In this way, hazards emanating from the product can be identified. By adapting the design of the product, the hazards discovered can then be eliminated as far as possible. At the end of the development process, the risk assessment identifies the residual hazards that cannot be excluded constructively. The operating instructions must warn against these residual risks. A risk assessment is of course also required for products developed outside the European Union. In this case, the person placing the product on the market must take the preparation of the risk assessment into his own hands.
If you wish, the LinoPro design office can help you to prepare a risk assessment in accordance with DIN EN ISO 12100:2010. We use a standardised procedure to take all required aspects into account. We ask the right questions - all your development engineers have to do is answer them. We take care of the documentation of the risk assessment, including compliance with established terminology. The risk assessment remains part of the internal technical documentation throughout the entire life cycle of your product.
There is hardly an everyday product where you don't come across the CE mark. A manufacturer who awards it declares that his product "complies with the harmonisation legislation of the [European] Community" (EU Regulation 765/2008). He must therefore comply with all European directives and regulations relating to his product and, best of all (facilitates the conformity assessment process!) the harmonized standards. Harmonized standards are those standards that have been developed on behalf of the European Commission. This applies to many, but not all EN standards. CE marking is mandatory for the vast majority of products placed on the EU market. It is part of the standard repertoire of technical documentation.
The CE marking is affixed to the product at the end of the conformity assessment procedure. How the conformity assessment has to look like is regulated in several EC and EU directives: first and foremost in the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. Furthermore, among others, the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU and the EMC Directive 2014/30/EU. The EU member states must convert the European directives into national laws. In Germany, for example, these include the Product Safety Act (ProdSG) and the Machinery Ordinance (9th ProdSV). Our technical documentation experts will guide you through the regulatory jungle. Together with you, we use our industry-specific checklists to determine which legal regulations you must observe in your conformity assessment procedure. As an expert for your product, you make the final decision as to which regulation applies to you.
At the end of the conformity assessment procedure, our design office prepares the declaration of conformity for you. Contact us early in your product development process to avoid expensive re-design due to non-compliance with individual regulations! By the way, CE marking is also required for products developed abroad. If there is no conformity assessment for such products, the technical documentation is incomplete. The person who distributes the product in the European Union (possibly free of charge!) is responsible for carrying out the conformity assessment.
Incomplete machines, by the way, do not receive CE marking. Instead of a declaration of conformity, a declaration of incorporation must be drawn up. The issue of the declaration of incorporation also requires compliance with rules on design, construction and documentation, for which we will be happy to advise you.
With us, you do not have to decide for all eternity in which format you want to publish your technical documentation: With the help of authoring systems that separate layout and content, the same operating manual can be output today as a PDF file and tomorrow as a website. The additional costs for publishing in another medium are very low.
We offer you to develop your documents future-proof in InDesign or Framemaker. These programs have set standards in desktop publishing. Documents created with them are easy to maintain and can be translated with little effort. On request, we also create latex documents or build a tutorial directly in HTML5. And if you insist, we will of course create your technical documentation in MS Word, MS Publisher or another program of your choice.
You already have operating instructions, assembly instructions or a risk assessment - but don't know whether it meets the applicable standards? We put your existing technical documentation through its paces, i.e.
- Does it comply with the legal regulations and is it complete?
- Does it comply with the standard for instructions for use DIN EN 82079?
- Are the level of detail and language level tailored to the target group?
- Has a consistent and unambiguous terminology been used in the technical documentation?
- Do the design, structure and placement of the technical illustrations improve the informative value of the instructions?
- Are format and wording designed to keep translation costs as low as possible?
We will give you recommendations on how you can improve your technical documentation. Upon request, we will provide you with a quote on how we can improve your existing technical documentation.
We work with state-certified translators. We therefore provide you with your technical documentation in an official EU language of your choice. Of course, our translators use translation memory and terminology management tools to efficiently deliver consistent translations.
You manufacture many similar products with slight variations, so you only modify the same technical documentation slightly? Every technical documentation is basically similar because you only exchange technical data, drawings or individual formulations? Do you have a standardized test process, but supplement the protocols manually or in an Excel spreadsheet? Then let our design office's solutions for documentation automation convince you! It is expensive and error-prone to produce one similar operating manual after another over and over again. If the initial data is available in machine-readable form, such an individualized technical documentation is written at the push of a button. Even if only a part of the variable information can be captured automatically: As a rule, the automation of technical documentation brings a measurable time and money advantage in the medium term.
Even when creating extensive plant documentation, partial automation of technical documentation can usually save time and money. The possible applications range from the automated creation of cover sheets and directories to intelligent searches. Especially in long-term projects, huge amounts of documents accumulate over time. Even if the project manager can no longer find his way around them, ask us: the common thread is often hidden in metadata, plant designations and type designations. If we arrange your technical documentation sensibly on the basis of this data, it can still be handed over on time!
Perhaps your entire documentation infrastructure also needs renovation. If the CAD application doesn't talk to the PLM system and this doesn't talk to your authoring system, your company may still have too much error-prone and expensive manual work. Ask the LinoPro design office how you can streamline and accelerate your processes!