If you’re anything like me, you throw user manuals out with the packaging. Why? Because they’re pretty useless.
Interpreting cryptic drawings and less-than-adequate instructions which don’t really apply to your particular problem is infuriating. That’s why many consumers turn to online resources. Just search “maintenance” on YouTube for instance and nearly 200,000 videos will show up explaining anything and everything you need to know about how to fix cars, computers, musical instruments, weapons, HVAC… and even aircrafts!
Consumers have figured out that video or dynamic visual content is more understandable and easily digestible than static manuals, and industry is following suit, creating dynamic product and parts content to help professional maintenance and service crews do their jobs more efficiently.
The job of a service professional has become inconceivably difficult. With products and parts manufactured globally and sourced from a complicated supply chain. Hardest of all is understanding the components of a product and how they work together.
Seasoned maintenance specialists rely heavily on their personal skills and experience, but complex products—made up of a huge number of parts and variants—require dynamic product animations in order to get the job done right. Interactive 3D animations can help identify the location of parts within a product structure and provide the maintenance worker with a better understanding of how a device works and how it can be dismantled and re-assembled.
Yet industry often struggles with providing these capabilities to service workers. It’s not a matter of finding the right application, but rather of providing the right type and sophistication of content. Creating rich content such as 3D animations is still associated with complex, time-consuming tasks that require specific skills often considered not worth the effort for small series.
But CAD tools are evolving significantly. Today, persons involved in the production of technical information can use the CAD model to create quality animations and illustrations which can be easily updated when a change is made to the original product design.
Any technical illustrator can create rich 3D animations, demonstrate step-by-step procedures, and generate parts lists and call-outs. Parts from the eBOM list feed into the sBOM and include valuable information on how parts should be serviced. Using dynamic content, service workers can also view the product or system, or any section of it, from any perspective in real-time.
As products become more and more sophisticated, service crews will require light but powerful, mobile, dynamic, interactive, integrative tools which allow them to perform their job in the most cost- and time-efficient ways possible. More and more top-tier businesses will invest in powerful CAD/animation software to keep them at the top of their game.
Napoleon said: “A good drawing is worth more than a long speech!” He would maybe add today: “And a good animation is even better!”