Year of collaboration

2012 – ongoing

Context: British manufacturer of complex scientific instruments

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology designs and produces customisable tools for leading industrial and scientific research communities. They produce etch and deposition plasma tools, which are used in the manufacturing of silicon chips, solar cells and LEDs.

Aim: Bespoke user manual creation for a wide range of products

Unlike most other customers, Oxford Instruments needs to produce a bespoke manual for every product shipped. They needed an expert authoring partner to understand their products, and to implement an efficient and consistent technical authoring strategy.

Challenges: Complex bespoke products, and frequent delivery cycles

Each manufactured unit needs bespoke and clear documentation, delivered within a specific deadline, in order to be shipped on time. The authors would need to interpret complex information from the engineers, convey it clearly to the product user, include all necessary safety information, and deliver within short, regular delivery cycles.

Solution: An efficient outsourced technical authoring process

The 3di team:

  • Oversaw the migration from the old method of using Microsoft Word, to using the more structured and controllable authoring tool Adobe FrameMaker.
  • Created templates, styles, tags and structures in FrameMaker to speed up the authoring of bespoke manuals.
  • Created training modules for authors to learn about and keep up-to-date on Oxford Instruments products.
  • Developed a streamlined workflow to analyse each product’s configuration and quickly understand what information is required in each manual.
  • Applied SEMI standards for technical documentation to ensure Oxford Instruments meet its compliance obligations.
  • Ensure the full suite of printed, PDF and electronic manuals are ready and with Oxford Instruments in time for shipping.

Result: Improved technical documentation, on-time product shipping

  • Technical documentation delivered on time to ensure shipping dates are met.
  • Oxford Instruments have an outsourced technical authoring partner that understand the products and can communicate easily with the engineers.
  • Consistent quality manuals written to the SEMI standard.

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