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Valuing your information capital in the era of industry 4.0

AddUp, the legacy of two major French industrial groups

The AddUp group was born in 2016 from the desire of two major French industrial groups, Michelin and Fives, to create a major player in the field of metal additive manufacturing. The joint venture relies on Michelin’s expertise, which has developed the laser powder bed fusion technology and operates it for large-scale industrial production. AddUp also benefits from the know-how of the Fives group in the design, manufacture and distribution of machine tools and automated production lines for companies in all sectors. With this industrial heritage, AddUp experts are able to support their clients throughout the project, whatever the field of activity.

Strong growth in the number of skills and acceleration of international expansion

The group's development is based on a policy of integration of know-how and international expansion. The acquisition of BeAM in 2018 enriched the product catalog with two new ranges of machines. Who says new products says the increase in the number of technical documents to be produced and maintained. The opening of markets in Asia, the United States and Europe has made it essential to create language versions for these documents.

In addition to the increase in volume of documentation, an additional dilemma presented itself to the teams of writers - methods of documentary production by the AddUp writers and the BeAM writers. The latter who worked in Word, risked facing an even greater workload. The AddUp team used a writing tool that was unsatisfactory in terms of ergonomics and with a limited number of sought-after features.

The management then took a radical decision: to find a software to consolidate all the content and which would meet the requirements of AddUp.

Calenco project management: from phased implementation to standalone use

The challenge was established: to harmonize the set of practices using an easily usable, robust and efficient tool. The specifications clearly defined the following objectives: to standardize all the documentary corpus that accompanies the products, to reduce the time of production and maintenance of the documents and to facilitate their updating; manage the translation more efficiently in order to follow the status of the documents in progress.

After a study of existing documentary production solutions on the market, and especially after a free trial period, the editors of AddUp turned to the Calenco solution, a component content management system developed by the French editor NeoDoc.

The Calenco project for the AddUp group was initiated by the commercial director of NeoDoc with one of the Calenco project managers. First, they organized a demonstration of the tool and its main options to better define the needs of the new client. Then, an offer adapted to the company's documentation and a personalized approach were developed for a phased deployment of the project in accordance with the deadlines defined by the client.

The progressive implementation of the solution started with the training of future users. Based on the study of concrete cases taken from the client's documentation, the training methodology consists of alternating the theoretical part with getting started and putting it into practice.

At the same time, the AddUp account manager for Calenco, accompanied by the Calenco project manager, configured the dedicated workspace by activating the functionalities necessary for writing, publishing and translating content.

On the other hand, the Calenco development team has developed personalized style sheets in strict compliance with the graphic charter of each entity of the AddUp group.

The four-month project ended with the migration of existing documents in order to start structuring them by applying Calenco's fundamental principles.

How to create value with technical documentation?

The drafting of a document is optimized thanks to the separation of content and form. Writers focus entirely on content production in Calenco's own web editor. Despite the fact that the editor is based on the DocBook structured writing standard, with the application of markup languages, the change in approach to technical writing has been smooth, thanks to the simplicity of the editor which use does not require specific computer knowledge.

The documents concerned by the implementation of new work processes are all types of regulatory notices supplied with machines of different ranges: user guides, maintenance guides, installation guides. Texts, images, tables, chapters or sections common to these different documents can be organized into modules or libraries and thus be reused from these unique sources by avoiding tedious copy/paste, which causes inattention and errors. This modularization of content therefore brings uniqueness of information that consequently ensures a permanent quality of the documents.

The result of the writers' work is exported in publication with the automatic layout thanks to its rapid choice among the style sheets created for AddUp. Another strong point of the tool, which saves considerable time by pooling content on the different versions of machines, is the possibility of profiling some content of the same document to generate several final versions containing the relevant information for each version.

Finally, AddUp relies on the Calenco platform to manage the translation thanks to the connector to Calenco Translator, a translation platform that ensures the workflow between writers and translators without wasting time with file exchanges. Integrating this option into a Calenco workspace allows keeping control of all content, control the translation memory and considerably reduce costs, benefit from graphic uniformity between source documents and their translated equivalents.

Augmented technical writing

Operationally, the team of AddUp writers defines the Calenco solution as a tool that is quick to learn, intuitive, and yet offers access to a large number of features, together with its ergonomic web editor suitable for everyone.

In terms of security, AddUp's decision-makers were reassured by the French roots of the Calenco tool. Indeed, all customer data is hosted on secure servers located in France.

As far as administrative matters, Geoffrey Joannes, PLM and CAD engineer at AddUp, notices the flexibility and freedom that the solution offers customers to manage their subscriptions, options and users independently.

Another important element appreciated by the AddUp team is the efficiency with which NeoDoc supports its customers. The customer project in the support and maintenance phase is managed via a support platform with a ticket system for easy traceability, increased visibility and rapid response to requests.

Future goals: going further with Calenco

Several perspectives are emerging for AddUp regarding the use of other features and options of Calenco. The only output format adapted by AddUp today - PDF - could be completed by exporting documents in HTML format. Training documents would also be created under Calenco. The workflow, one of the collaborative work mode options offered by Calenco, would finally be exploited to its full potential. And why not take advantage of shared spaces? Writers who have appropriated the tool actively communicate around Calenco to involve other services and entities of the group in the structural change of their methodological approach to technical writing.

Why would I recommend the Calenco tool? asks Geoffrey Joannes. For the ease with which this tool can be set up and used. For the robustness of this solution in use. And finally, for the professionalism of the Calenco team dedicated to our project. We do not regret our choice!