Digital Transformation: Starting With Your Service Documentation

Data Management & PLM | 27 December 2019 | Team EACPDS

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To stay ahead of competition, many manufacturing organizations are beginning to track product data and processes. Ultimately, when you do this you are initiating a digital transformation in your company.

Digital transformation is when you use digital technology to create new and modify existing ways to deliver value to customers. Learn more about the impact of digital transformation and where it can take your company in our latest blog, Digital Transformation is Happening Now.

You may want to consider the same if you are currently:

  • Using multiple disconnected systems which could include CAD, PLM, MES, ERP or other homegrown resources across various geographies, teams or organizational subsidiaries
  • Relying on inefficient product or process lifecycle management due to high system complexity keeping you from securely share data across functions, partners, customers and suppliers

PTC PLM enables a digital thread that connects all phases of the product life cycle critical to any discrete manufacturers’ digital strategy. One very important place to start your digital transformation journey is with your technical documentation.

Service Content Challenges

With traditional word processors, authors are forced to manually maintain service documentation. This method proves difficult to manage content reuse and authoring practices across an authoring team.

Authors will find themselves manually typing standard content rather than reusing the same verbiage across multiple service documents. Document formatting and styling may vary depending on the author and who published the document leading to overall inconsistencies.

When documents need to be published and delivered in a variety of different formats, the overall styling of the document will have to be modified to deliver the desired look and feel. 

Format modifications can be difficult and time consuming in standard word processors. 30-50% of a traditional author’s time is spent manually laying out the pages and overall text formatting. Due to authoring inconsistencies in verbiage and formatting, technical documentation from product to product may vary and may confuse the end consumer.

A “digital thread” of dynamic data ensures end-to-end consistency.

Service Content: Create, Manage, and Deliver


  • Automatically update content in conjunction with product development changes. Stay connected to Engineering Data
  • XML authoring and ability to reuse and leverage content
  • Support for translation management
  • Reduce product information research time for content creators
  • Enable efficient and parallel content creation/editing
  • Enable content reuse
  • Enable more efficient task assignment, routing, and authoring collaboration


  • Manage technical content (Work Instructions) originating from multiple sources
  • Ability to be included in Change process when work instructions or content needs updated
  • Leverage CAD and Facility information for quicker delivery and development of content (work instructions)
  • Reduce IT/IS costs and burden of maintaining multiple custom integrated applications
  • Enable more efficient review process
  • Reduce manual workflow and non-value-added tasks
  • Reduce replication of data across multiple systems (source and delivery)


  • Cost-effectively deliver up-to-date documentation to customers and service personnel
  • Deliver through Windchill (tomorrow) and SharePoint (today) with multi-managed delivery capability
  • Reduce Service Information Delivery Operations Costs
  • Event driven automated publishing eliminates labor costs and multiple applications to manually layout, format and publish released product information
  • Enable Engineering changes to be more efficiently integrated into product information and maintain up to date publications
  • Shorten current cycle for new and updated product information distribution

Arbortext: Dynamic Authoring & Publishing Solution

PTC’s Arbortext Suite is an end-to-end, dynamic publishing solution streamlines how organizations create, manage, and deliver technical publications.

Arbortext provides the capability to define, author, illustrate, manage and deliver dynamic product information in the user’s preferred language and format.

Authors have the ability to create product-centric information which enables the delivery of contextual, up-to-date product and service information in the forms of interactive service procedures, illustrated parts lists, operator and service manuals, and product training materials.

The resulting efficiencies drive documentation quality while reducing costs and improving the ability to provide accurate, timely, accessible content that is customized to the needs of the user for improved customer satisfaction.

Arbortext offers the seamless integration that enables you to create, edit, publish and manage XML content. A content enablement system capable of facilitating the deployment of a huge range of media, translated and delivered in real time.

With Arbortext, you’ll have the confident assurance of data intelligence of one smart system. Within the complexity and demands of the global marketplace, Arbortext (powered by PTC Windchill), makes smart content management simple.

At EAC, our Product Development Information Services team helps you deliver accurate product and service information quickly and efficiently. We recognize the challenge in producing accurate technical publications on time and on schedule.