Manuals and spare parts catalogs have to meet a wide range of requirements. It is not merely a legal obligation to deliver documentation with the product. It must, most importantly, provide relevant information for everyday service or maintenance work.
In all cases, the information should be current at the time of publication and correspond to the machine’s construction. In our experience with SAP clients, we have found ERP to be the best system for this kind of work. For many years LinkOne, our SAP based Publishing System, has offered an effective solution to facility documentation. We can manage all processes: from printed documentation, to local installations on laptops, to online versions with daily updates and integration in the SAP system.
There have been previous initiatives which offered centralized asset documentation in order to bring manufacturer and end user closer together. However, most solutions only had success in very specific industry branches. There is now a new product with the SAP Asset Intelligence Network (AIN) in which technical documentation remains the central component, however more than just the exchange of documents is managed.
SAP AIN allows real collaboration in operating assets. The central storage of data makes sure that current information is always available. This allows, for example, the manufacturer to amend maintenance cycles and content based on actual usage. The external service provider can use this information in their planning. Modifications to the asset are documented directly in the system and are thereby readily available to everyone.
For technical documentation, this creates an additional challenge, in that all changes must be recorded within the system. Traditional publishing cannot do this. Quite the opposite, the content must be available on demand. This is especially important for spare parts catalogues, but also for circuit diagrams and hydraulic systems, right down to the instruction manual. AIN provides the document, on request, based on the latest asset data.
Our solution offers many benefits to the technician: they no longer need to search the documentation, they can be sure they have accurate and current content without wasting time with parallel solutions to keep the documents up-to-date.