If you want to sell a product internationally, you need to know which standards, guidelines, laws or even legal ordinances must be complied with. Because standards (such as DIN EN 82079-1) create clarity about the properties of a product and therefore also curb disputes about the quality of products. Standards as the worldwide language of technology facilitate the free movement of goods and promote exports: European standards open up the domestic market, global standards the world market.
In order to explain DIN EN 82079-1, it is necessary to know that IEC 82079 is considered the "mother of all standards" for technical documentation. This standard compiles general principles and detailed requirements for the design and formulation of all types of instructions that are helpful to users of all types of products.
The following topics are covered:
- Compilation of what content must be in the instructions (transport, storage, commissioning, fault indications, maintenance, additional parts, disposal, etc.)
- An aid to minimizing risks
- A list of what has to be considered for the different target groups
- Special precautionary measures that should be observed
- Considerations about the nature of the guidance (shelf life, availability, user training)
- Information on what the warnings and safety instructions should be like
- Information on the use of colors
- Information on the use of tables
- for planning the preparation of instructions
- for conformity
- for the effectiveness of communication
In addition to IEC 82079, the Machinery Guideline is very important for many. The Machinery Guideline regulates a uniform level of protection for accident prevention for machines and partly completed machines when they are placed on the market within the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Switzerland and Turkey. It is generally known, for example, that machines may not be delivered without documentation.
What other info can be found in it?
- Scope of the Machinery Directive
- Information on how to prepare operating instructions for a machine
- Which technical documentation should accompany a machine
- What consequences follow if the documentation cannot be provided on request
- Information on the conformity assessment procedure for machinery
- All information on CE marking
- All information about placing a machine on the market and putting it into operation
- Essential health and safety requirements for the design and construction of machinery
- Additional essential health and safety requirements for certain types of machinery
- Additional essential health and safety requirements for certain categories of machinery to eliminate the hazards arising from the mobility of machinery
- Additional essential health and safety requirements for certain types of machinery to eliminate hazards due to lifting operations.
- Additional essential health and safety requirements for machinery intended for use in underground workings.
- Additional essential health and safety requirements for machinery presenting hazards due to the lifting of persons.
Both directives are currently being revised and we are anxiously watching the direction of development, particularly with regard to the extent to which paperless documentation will be sufficient. After all, dispensing with paper saves resources on the one hand, and on the other hand also saves manufacturers money.
The current version of the Machinery Directive, for example, stipulates in Annex III, point 1.7.4, that documentation only has to be provided in paper form if the customer expressly requests this. And customers themselves have long been accustomed to simply picking up their smartphones when problems arise and using a few keywords to search for the appropriate information. If the guidelines were to change, this would accommodate user behavior.
The new version of IEC 82079, for example, focuses on keywords:
- Target group orientation - the information must be usable and relevant to the target group.
- Minimalism - the target group should only be provided with the information that is of relevance to them.
- Simplicity - the information should be provided in the context in which it is used; videos and animations also help the user to understand the information better.
If I want to implement these requirements in practical terms, there's really no getting around the digital communication of documentation. Especially when it comes to minimalism, long, all-encompassing PDFs are no longer up to date.
The good news is that our TIM component content management system has long worked on the principle of breaking down documentation into individual modules in such a way that each module answers a specific question. This means that the foundation for a new way of delivering information has already been laid. Because these building blocks can be easily played out into our Content Delivery Portal. The direct interface to TIM ensures that the information is always up-to-date.
And your users can now easily get the right answer based on keywords or a whole question. If the user doesn't know exactly what they're looking for, you can also guide them to the right information with intelligent navigation structures and synonym searches.
If you don't want to afford a content delivery portal yet, you can integrate our HTML5 WebApp into your website. This also has a search function. And of course, both can display animations, 3D graphics or videos for an even more vivid delivery of the information. For easy access to digital information, you can generate QR codes directly in TIM that link to the appropriate documentation and print them on your product or packaging.
Oh yes, and of course you can continue to extract PDFs from TIM as usual.
Further benefits that TIM brings with it:
|Language and translation
TIM authoring support ensures correct spelling, grammar & terminology. Content reuse starts at the smallest level with the integrated Authoting Memory feature. When writing a sentence, the system recognizes that a similar sentence has already been written.
The integrated translation management supports the translation into all possible languages. The system knows which content is new and only plays this out for translation.
Product and publication information; address information
Each document and each information module in TIM has its own ID number. Publication dates and version numbers are also automatically tracked and stored by the system. This allows you to track all revision statuses at any time.
Content oriented towards life phases
TIM can handle all required content (for example, declarations of conformity, safety instructions, maintenance plans, fault codes, diagnostic procedures, repair instructions, circuit diagrams, and much more) can be created in TIM or integrated into the document structure.