Schneider Electric translates technology investments into business success.

A global specialist in energy management and automation creates efficient, scalable, and flexible technical documentation workflows.

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric Automation GmbH, a subsidiary of Schneider Electric

Rueil-Malmaison, France
www.schneider-electric.com

Partners
Ovidius
www.ovidius.com

Miramo®
www.miramo.com

 

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Accelerates publishing across formats

Objectives

Creating technical documentation with a distributed, global team

Improving content reuse to streamline publishing

Supporting single-source publishing across channels and formats

 

Results

Easy integration supports consistency

Accelerates publishing across formats

17 years publishing technical documents with FrameMaker

Piloting responsive design for mobile enablement

Sustainability through innovation

Schneider Electric has an impressive history of delivering products and services that power society. More than 175 years ago, brothers Adolphe and Eugene Schneider bought mines, forges, and foundries in France to produce iron and steel for heavy industry, railroads, and shipbuilding.

Today, Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management and automation, including electrical circuit breakers, transformers, lighting solutions, energy management systems, and industrial and building automation through its subsidiary Schneider Electric Automation. Homes and businesses worldwide rely on Schneider Electric products to run as efficiently and sustainably as possible.


“Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server and Miramo empower our global teams to publish content in various formats—including PDF, CHM, HTML, HTML5, and XML—through our content management system, TCToolbox.”

 

Silke Köhler
Process Manager, Technical Publication and Translation at Schneider Electric Automation GmbH. 


Reaching diverse audiences

Schneider Electric Automation helps customers stay informed about its latest innovations with technical documentation produced using an XML-based tool chain consisting of Adobe FrameMaker XML Author as the XML editor, Ovidius TCToolbox as the XML content management system (CMS), and Datazone Miramo and Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server for automated PDF, CHM, HTML, XML, and HTML5 publication.

Documentation supports vital processes such as installing hardware, setting up communications networks, and programming automation tasks. Because Schneider Electric Automation offers solutions for specific industries—including textiles, food and beverage, automotive, minerals and mining, and product packaging—the company has to tailor documentation to meet the needs of diverse audiences and make it available in multiple media formats.

The company’s Technical Publication and Translation Department maintains the tools and processes for creating documents. It supports text authoring and editing, graphics creation, content localization, and helping to ensure documents’ legal compliance. As technical publishing has evolved from unstructured to structured authoring workflows, Schneider Electric Automation has transitioned smoothly from DTP-based solutions to the XML-based tool chain that includes TCToolbox, Miramo, and FrameMaker.

“We have a successful history with Adobe FrameMaker, especially with the migration from unstructured content to XML,” says Silke Köhler, Process Manager, Technical Publication and Translation at Schneider Electric Automation GmbH. “FrameMaker XML Author provides us with the best balance between WYSIWYG and XML editing. The broad range of publishing formats in Adobe FrameMaker is also a big advantage—offering real, single-source publishing.”

Currently, Schneider Electric Automation produces about 300 documents annually, which average 150 to 200 pages each, but some documents have up to 2,500 pages. Of the 60 technical writers on the Schneider Electric Automation team, only three are in-house and the rest are contractors. To support the globally distributed team, Schneider Electric Automation updated to FrameMaker (2015 release).

Ovidius GmbH, a Berlin-based XML solution provider, first helped Schneider Electric Automation 18 years ago to move from a DTP-based system to structured publication. Most recently, Ovidius streamlined Schneider Electric Automation workflows by building a new automated server-based publication chain that uses Ovidius XService for process control and workflow automation, Datazone Miramo as a fast, parallelized publication processor, and FrameMaker Publishing Server for PDF and HTML5 publication. Due to this architectural change, Schneider Electric Automation can run large numbers of publication processes in parallel without bottlenecks at peak times.

“Our team can easily create valid XML content in Adobe FrameMaker XML Author and collaborate using PDF based reviews,” Köhler says. “Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server and Miramo empower our global teams to publish content in various formats—including PDF, CHM, HTML, HTML5, and XML—through our content management system, TCToolbox.”


“Our team can easily create valid XML content in Adobe FrameMaker XML Author and collaborate using PDF based reviews.”

 

Silke Köhler
Process Manager, Technical Publication and Translation at Schneider Electric Automation GmbH. 


Creating new workflows

The technical communications team centrally manages the content it creates using Ovidius TCToolbox. Schneider Electric Automation’s team designs FrameMaker publication templates in Maker Interchange Format (MIF) as part of the Miramo publication process. Ovidius set up a process in which Schneider Electric Automation can create, manage, and modify templates for the PDF publication process. Schneider Electric Automation has created 12 master templates for different paper formats and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The final publication templates (about 250 currently) are automatically generated from master templates for each of 13 supported languages. This process guarantees that all FrameMaker templates used in the publication process are consistent. During the publication process the CMS exports a data package consisting of XML modules and graphics. Based on the publication language, selected paper format, and company (e.g., Schneider Electric Automation or an OEM), the correct template is automatically associated with the package and delivered to the publication process.

“Ovidius had to integrate with Miramo, through its sophisticated APIs, to deliver feedback to TCToolbox users with status details such as whether a job is waiting or being processed,” says Ilka Domberg, Head of Professional Services at Ovidius GmbH. “Our solution was to deploy the XService platform to control processes.”

The integration between FrameMaker and solutions from Ovidius and Miramo plays an important role in the company’s successful documentation processes, which are further enhanced by other Adobe solutions, such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Acrobat.

During the review process, using FrameMaker Publishing Server, editors create a special PDF with information for reviewers. Using Adobe Acrobat, reviewers can add comments and refer to graphics built in Illustrator, and then return the PDF documents to the editors, who merge comments with Acrobat and then update the TCToolbox content.

For final publication, Schneider Electric Automation editors create PDF files and FrameMaker books from TCToolbox content accessed via FrameMaker Publishing Server. They check for PDF issues such as unwanted page breaks or line breaks in tables and fix them in FrameMaker, and then create a new PDF file on their local computers using either Adobe FrameMaker or Acrobat.

Reaching customers everywhere

As users want more freedom to have information available on electronic devices where they are installing or maintaining products, Schneider Electric Automation is working to meet their needs and extend publishing to mobile devices.

“We realize how important mobile is to our customers,” says Köhler. “We are currently piloting a FrameMaker project using responsive HTML5. We expect the implementation of this new media type to be complete within six months, much to the delight of our customers.”


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