Case Study – Creating an Operation Manual for a Manufacturing Company

About the project

A Taiwanese based manufacturing company, located in Shenzen, China required us to write an Operation Manual for their PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) Coating machine. The machine uses the Physical Vapor Deposition technique to transfer materials at an atomic level, based on the principles of magnetron sputtering, reactive sputtering,  using the fully automated coating process.

Methodology

We never got the chance to see the machine but we got the 3D and 2D designs to visualize the machine. The knowledge transfer was smooth. There was a single point of contact with a Subject Matter Expert, who was liaising with the Chinese engineers at the backend. He was available on skype daily to answer any questions.

The writing activity started in the first week of March 2017; we completed the first draft in the third week. The document went through several rounds of iterations until it was satisfactory to the client. The entire manual took about one and half month. Translation from English to the Italian language took another one week.

Here is the snapshot of the TOC for the manual.

1. ABOUT THIS MANUAL 5
1.1 Purpose and scope 5
1.2 Assumptions 5
1.3 Conventions 6
2. PRODUCT OVERVIEW 7
2.1 About the GTP-R Model 7
2.2 Equipment Working Condition 9
2.3 Reactive Sputtering Process 10
3. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION 11
4. SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM 12
4.1 Machine Schematic 12
4.2 Electric Schematic 14
5. MACHINE DRAWINGS 17
6. SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS 20
6.1 Safety – Yours and Others 20
6.2 Safety Regulations 21
6.3 Noise Vibration 23
6.4 Safety Decals 24
7. INSTALLATION 25
7.1 Installation Safety Rules 25
7.2 Installation Process 25
7.3 Machine Parts and Functions 26
8. OPERATION 32
8.1 Overview 32
8.2 Operating Position 33
8.3 Pre-Operation Inspection 33
8.4 Emergency Stop 34
8.5 Standard operating Procedure 35
8.6 Electrical Control Mode 36
8.7 Operating the Machine 37
9. MAINTENANCE 42
9.1 Maintenance Items 42
9.2 Cleaning Instructions 42
10. CONSUMABLE MATERIALS AND SPARE PARTS 46
10.1 Consumable Materials 46
10.2 Spare Parts 49
11. TROUBLESHOOTING 52
12. WARRANTY 55
13. MAINTENANCE SERVICE RECORD 56

If you have any questions or need us to create a manual for your product, contact Geenu Ann, at info@ThomasEcafe.com or call +65-82086393.

Advantages of Technical Documentation

  • Establishes trust – It’s hard to imagine a product without a user manual, installation manual, a sales literature, or collateral. We are in the age where people are always looking for information. Every hour there is an explosion of knowledge. If you can satisfy the user’s appetite by sharing the information about benefits, features, how to use the product, how to install the product, FAQs, etc., can you imagine the trust you’re establishing with your customers? It will leave an indelible impression on users that you’re sincere in helping them with the product knowledge and support.
  • Reduced or zero calls to Tech Support – We all know how frustrating it’s to call up a technical support. Taking a phone to call up tech support is the last step. It’s only when all the other methods of communication are used up, users call up technical support. If the users are provided with the information they need at the first place, can you imagine the brand image you’re creating on your customers?
  • Best marketing channel – Have you ever kept product brochures on a shelf? It usually goes to the dust bin. But the product documentation is often treasured. They are not meant for one-time use but like an encyclopedia intended to be referred whenever in doubt.
  • Prevents legal issues – If by the misuse of your product, it causes harm or injury to users, you risk the legal action and can be sued by your customers. This is another area where the documentation can guide users in using the product safely by providing appropriate warnings.
  • Increases sales – Although it’s hard to gauge the monetary benefits, there is no doubt that users will flock to your company if you can win their trust. There will be an increase in sales of the product that have sufficient product literature and relevant technical information in a well-formatted template.

    Technical documentation can make a big difference to your sales. Contact Geenu Ann by Emailing: info@thomasecafe.com or call +65-82086393 for a quote.

Thesis Editing and Proofreading Services

writing-editing-services

Common grammar mistakes:

Faulty Parallel Construction

A failure to create grammatically parallel structures when they are appropriate is referred to as faulty parallelism.

If you want your readers to roll smoothly along from one idea of yours to the next, use parallel structure.

Both of the following sentences essentially say the same thing. Which is easier to read?

  • He described skiing in the Alps, swimming in the Adriatic, and the drive across the Sahara Desert. (faulty parallelism)
  • He described skiing in the Alps, swimming in the Adriatic, and driving across the Sahara Desert. (parallel)
  • Formerly, science was taught by the textbook method, while now the laboratory method is employed. (faulty parallelism)
  • Formerly, science was taught by the textbook method; now it is taught by the laboratory method

Nouns should be parallel with nouns, participles with participles, gerunds with gerunds, infinitives with infinitives, clauses with clauses, and so on.

Sentence Fragments

According to the grammar rule—every sentence should be complete. Meaning, it should have a subject (the main actor/actors), verb (the main action) and, if applicable, an object (what the action happens to). Anything less is called a sentence fragment. With one caveat. Your meaning must be clear.
When a group of words is missing important information, it’s no longer expressing a complete thought. Following are some of the missing words: missing verb, missing subject, missing subject+verb, missing main clause.

Run-On Sentences

Here you will find more than one complete thought, each of which deserves its own sentence. This happens when the person gets excited about the subject matter and goes on at length without adding a period for quite a long time, and the sentence ends up sounding quite flustered and out of breath.

You must look for ways to break the run-on sentence into more than one. It’s all about keeping things clear and simple for your readers.

Dangling Modifiers

A dangling modifier has nothing to modify. It’s an error caused by failing to use the word that the modifier is meant to be describing.

INCORRECT: The experiment was a failure, not having studied the lab manual carefully.
REVISED: They failed the experiment, not having studied the lab manual carefully.

INCORRECT: Meticulous and punctual, David’s work ethic is admirable
CORRECT: Meticulous and punctual, David has an admirable work ethic.

Fixing a dangling modifier requires more than rearranging the words in the sentence. You will often need to add something new so that the modifier finally has a target word to describe.

Misplaced Modifiers

A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that does not clearly relate to what it is intended to modify. In other words, a misplaced modifier makes the meaning of a sentence ambiguous or wrong.

INCORRECT: Andrew told us after the holiday that he intends to stop drinking.

In this example, it is not clear whether Andrew made this statement after the holiday or whether he intends to stop drinking after the holiday.

Split Infinitives

An infinitive is the form of any verb which starts with the word “to”—to go, to dance, to have written, etc.
Ideally, you are not supposed to split an infinitive by sticking extra words between the “to” and the rest of the verb. Contrary to what some grammarians say, there is no rule against using split infinitives in English. One might use them with care, but splitting an infinitive is sometimes the best way to clearly express a thought.

Infinitives should be split when the adverb either needs emphasis or wouldn’t work anywhere else in the sentence—for example:

They’re expected to gradually come down in price to about $50 to $75 each.

Placing gradually anywhere else in this sentence would create awkwardness and confusion.

Editing, proofreading, and formatting a can make a big difference to the clarity of your work and therefore the overall grade. Email: info@thomasecafe.com or call +65-82086393 for a quote.

Resume Design Services

Sample Resume

geenu_resumeAbout Resume Design

A Resume is a document that briefly presents your skills, education, and experience and is intended to get you an employment interview with the right person. Like a product brochure in which you are the product, it must answer the employer’s question “What can you do for me?”. Your resume needs to show specifically and quantitatively how life will be better for them if they bring you on board.

Why Choose Us?

  • Experts in the field – While you can write a resume on your own, there is much to be gained by hiring a professional writer. It can be extremely beneficial to customize your resume for different companies.
  • Quality writing – Your resume should be able to communicate effectively who you are as a professional, what your top skills are and the value you can add to the company. A professional writer can write your resume from the perspective of hiring managers and recruiters, making your resume stand out by adding strategic keywords.
  • Stand out from the crowd – We will help you stand out from the large pool of applicants. Your resume should look professional and sharp to enhance your chances of being called in for an interview. Hiring a professional writer can give you an edge in the job hunt and boost your confidence in the process.

Recommended Readings

Got Questions? Contact Geenu Ann at info@thomasecafe.com or call +65-82086393 to discuss.

 

What is Technical Writing

The primary objective of technical writing is to inform and instruct users in performing
a task or process or to acquaint them with a product. Technical documents are supposed to provide complete information on a product or system, albeit spread out in different formats e.g. PDF, HTML and document types – user manuals, operation guides.

The goal of writing is to convey complex information in a simple, understandable, and user-friendly formats to capture the interest of readers. Check this blog on 7 deadly sins of technical writing.

The basic difference between technical writing and creative writing is captured in this infographic.

copy-of-our-writing-process

How to become a Technical Writer

The following are the core competencies you need to possess to be a successful writer in your industry:

  • Writing skills –  Although most writers come from diverse backgrounds, one common trait is good writing skills. As technical writers, you must not expel raw materials but transmute it to provide what the reader most wants by steering away from dangling modifiers, run-on sentences, sentence fragments, split infinitives, etc. that can impede legibility or learning. The objective is to make the readers understand the topic quickly. The readers are not going to spend hours reading the document. A basic principle of good writing style is to abstain from unnecessary words. The shorter, simple words or expressions make your writing more concise and, consequently, make it look and sound more professional. Always provide a brief description of the subject followed by steps to achieve. Provide screenshots where possible. Another primary focus should be to improve your Template. Use numbering if the steps are to be performed in a sequential manner otherwise use bullets. The title and headings should convey the subject matter. The headings, steps, and body text should follow a consistent format.
  • Research skills – You must have a passion for research and new technologies. The technical writers are lifelong learners. The one hallmark of the technical writer is the acknowledgment of the room for improvement. There are plenty of domains for technical writing— IT, electronics, oil and gas, pharmacy, science, solar panels or digital gaming but we share the same passion, that is, curiosity.
  •  Learning new tools and technology – Writers must be willing to master tools that come across their way. The commonly used tools are Word, FrameMaker, RoboHelp, and XMetal. The writers should be familiar with DITA and the ins and outs of content management systems (CMSs).
  • Creative skills – Being a technical writer does not mean you stop being creative. There are creative ways to illustrate complex ideas in the form of graphic, video, and audio in addition to content.
  • Team building skills – No man is an island. Although, you may be a lone writer in the company, you must collaborate with SMEs, product owners, QA folks to accomplish your goal.
  • Interviewing, and listening skills – As part of your job, you must have the mindset of a detective to ask questions. At the end of the day, the most important Technical Writing principle is “If you do not know – ASK”. Writers are expected to ask questions until they are confident that they have the information needed to write content. Just remember, unanswered questions contribute ambiguity to the content and add risk to the business. You can gather information via different ways such as email, Skype, Adobe shared review process, or set up a meeting room to discuss and build consensus when there are conflicting opinions. You need to have good listening skills and allow the SMEs to talk while you take notes or record the meeting to digest rapid explanations.

howtobecomeawriter