The Business of 3D Technical Communications: Evolving Strategies to Document Products

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Tech-Clarity Insight: The Business of 3D Technical Communications: Evolving Strategies to Document Products explains how companies are changing their views on technical documentation to a more strategic approach, including the use of 3D to go beyond flat, static documents to incorporate richer, interactive, more realistic representation of products.

Please enjoy the free Executive Summary below, or click the report title above to download a PDF that overviews the report (free of charge, no registration required). For the full report visit the Dassault Systemes website (registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • 3D Product Communication: Operational View
  • 3D Product Communication: Strategic View
  • Improve Technical Documentation Efficiency
  • Improve Engineering Efficiency
  • Improve Documentation and Communication
  • Improve Collaboration
  • Improve Manufacturing
  • Improve Service
  • Get Started
  • Extend the Business Value
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Executive Overview

Communicating technical product information is a fundamental requirement to profitably sell and support today’s products. Documentation is a basic necessity, and in today’s cost-sensitive manufacturing firms it has to be efficient. But there is more at stake in improving communication processes than simply optimizing the documentation workload. Streamlining communication development can help improve time to market by taking technical documentation off of the critical path. Gordon Benson describes this from the perspective of NACCO Material Handling Group, a division of NACCO Industries that designs, engineers, and manufactures material handling equipment. “Given the product complexity and effort required to document today’s electromechanical systems, documentation cannot afford to be done sequentially or it becomes a huge encumbrance on new product introduction schedules,” explains Mr. Gordon, a Senior Visualization Specialist.

Although few companies will turn down an opportunity to reduce cost, there is more value to be achieved than lean product documentation processes. Technical communications are evolving to convey the critical details of products to a broader array of people in a wider variety of ways. People need to know the way the product works and how it is produced, assembled, maintained, and more. Manufacturing, suppliers, partners, customers, service technicians, and a host of others rely on this information to play their role in delivering product value.

To meet this need, companies are changing their views on technical documentation to a more strategic approach. 3D product communication goes beyond flat, static documents to incorporate richer, interactive, more realistic representation of products. Better communications leads to enhanced productivity of engineering, manufacturing, sales, and service. It also provides the opportunity to improve product quality (both actual and perceived) through better up-front design collaboration and clearer downstream communication. “3D product communications are very good for quality,” says Grant Ward, Project Engineer for S&C Electric Company, a global provider of equipment and services for electric power systems. “It helps lean manufacturing initiatives.”

The good news is that with the right 3D technology, companies can increase the efficiency of their technical documentation team, improve product documentation quality, and set the stage for even greater business benefits. Many products have followed a pattern of becoming better-faster-cheaper – offering more value for less cost. Technical documentation is now poised to follow the same path as it evolves to 3D product communications.