Better documentation by visual means

Better documentation by visual means

The technical documentation of machinery and equipment is only a small part of Comatec’s comprehensive technical communication services. Image production, rendering, animation and virtually enriched material offer new opportunities for user and maintenance manuals and training material.

The product portfolio of Comatec’s technical communication is wide, covering manuals and training material, spare parts catalogues, animations and graphic design and services ranging from translation management to terminological and language assistance and consultation. In addition, the team consisting of almost twenty professionals can handle technical communication projects from the initial assessment all the way to the final publication.

– The industry still persistently talks about documentation, although it’s actually quite a limited and sometimes even a misleading concept. We at Comatec have been taking a much wider view of documentation for a long time, and consider ‘technical communication’ a much more appropriate term. The actual content and its treatment – such as the operation and safe use of a machine or piece of equipment – has not changed as such. But the method of presentation has been made much more visual, says Engineering Manager Kimmo Forsman.

Forsman has been running Comatec’s technical communication team for over a year now.

– Comatec took clear steps to expand technical communication services well before I joined the company. Our team consists of people with a wide range of backgrounds, such as linguists and engineers, and staff training and tools have been invested in over the long term, says Forsman.

Rendering to boost efficiency and quality

Previously the major stumbling block in documentation was image production, because suitable image material of sufficient quality has not always been available. For marketing material, for example, you often need above-average graphics, which is created by rendering 3D images.

Comatec converts and creates images from material provided by the customer on a daily basis, so much so that there is a dedicated team in the headquarters in Tampere for that purpose.

– We have machines there that are ready to work around the clock, enabling us to provide high-quality image production on very short notice, says Forsman.

The latest service the Comatec technical communications team offers is a wide range of animation and video production. Added reality solutions are also available, but surprisingly few have discovered them.


Aiming for better understanding

As with any type of communication, the purpose of technical communication is to convey the intended message as effectively and understandably as possible to the target group. User instructions – and safety instructions in particular – should leave no room for misinterpretation.

– In my view the best results are achieved by combining traditional, written communication with visual elements either on paper, in digital material or added reality environments. A manual in digital form is easy to search and the visual parts help users to understand how the piece of equipment works. By placing various tags in the virtual environment can help users quickly find the maintenance instructions or the correct spare part code. Appropriate and professionally created material saves time and increases safety in a production plant, for example, reminds Forsman.

In addition to their comprehensive expertise, Forsman sees the fact that Comatec want to help their customers develop as a definite strength.

– We have the ability and willingness to find the best possible solutions for our customers’ technical communication needs – and sometimes challenges. Instead of selling packaged solutions, we can offer expertise for a specific area or turnkey solutions to cover any larger project, says Forsman.


Text: Marianne Valta
Photo: Juno Pietilä

Comatec Mobility Finland

Kimmo Forsman

Expert Services

Engineering Manager, Technical Communication

+358 50 590 4586