Just when you bought the latest gizmo or digital gadget that you are excited about, what other than the thought of reading through tedious paper product manuals would dampen your spirits? All you want is to immediately start exploring and using the gadget. But you also want to be cautious enough not to damage the brand new product in your efforts to getting to know it better. Well then, how would it be, if you just had to insert a 3D interactive product manual CD in your AV device, that would demonstrate to you step-by-step product working, product maintenance & servicing, and also basic trouble shooting? Wouldn’t that be really handy?
In your factory or shop floor, if you want to train the staff on operating some really complex machine, which if not operated with care and caution could even cause an injury to the user/operator, what do you reckon would be the best way to train – a product usage manual or an audio-visual training on machine operation, assembly and disassembly of components, exploded view of each part in the machine enabling users to identify the parts and associate them with the name?
Also for companies who extensively work with the suppliers, wherein suppliers contribute in developing the product through production and designing of one or few parts that go in the complete product making, face the critical challenge of disseminating the right design communication to the suppliers. This could well be the answer to the tricky issue
The paper based product usage manuals are now the things of the past. The industry today is peeping and staring into the glorious new era of communication revolution. The communication revolution is not just limited to 3G networks, but the novel concept of interactive 3D product manuals are going to transform and transcend the way companies have been communicating internally as well as with other external important stakeholders such as suppliers and customers.
One of the major and critical areas of communications for the companies involved in Product Development and research is training their supports and servicing people on how to operate, service, maintain and address the trouble areas of the product, and educating the customers on how to operate, assemble and disassemble the product.
Traditionally it was done through the conventional paper printed manuals. But these manuals have certain major shortcomings such as:
- They are less engaging and get tedious to read beyond initial few pages
- Language could be the barrier as the products are shipped to global markets. They need to be printed and made available in multiple regional languages
- The communication through sketches could also get ambiguous and confusing if product has multiple parts to be attached or has various fitments
- It is a very costly means of communications
- In today’s “green age” it means more environmental hazardous
- Overall it is also less appealing
Now days, the technology revolution in communications has facilitated the companies to create interactive 3D product manuals. These interactive 3D manuals are made available in CD format and provide a self paced step-by-step guidance/procedure on how to operate, assemble, disassemble, maintain and service, and also on how to address the basic trouble shooting in product maintenance. It is an audio visual format, which through graphical animation presentation demonstrates the detailed product working and the audio voice over also speaks out the product operation instructions in any preferred language. These interactive 3D product manuals can be created using the company’s CAD data and by applying the visualization tools to it.
The 3D interactive Product manuals can serve multiple departments with its diverse functionalities such as:
Advantages to the Marketing Dept:
- This technology enables the companies to create a visual 3D mock-up / animation of the product operation process in terms of its features, USP’s, ease of use, assembly, disassembly of attachments, maintenance, fitments, servicing etc.
- It can thus be extensively used by the marketing department to effectively convey vital product information in terms of its usage and guidelines of usage to the customers.
- Advantages to the Support and Servicing Department:
- It also significantly helps the servicemen by providing them the ways and means to maintain the product.
- The self paced 3D animation or visualization of the entire product operation breaks the monotony of standard, conventional / stereotypical training sessions in the class room kind of environment or through the web seminars.
- Improve training effectiveness by standardization of training modules, providing service/maintenance information on upgraded models without physical training
- Helps customer use and maintain machine effectively
- It retains the attention of the trainees for a longer duration and is definitely a more interesting way of being educated than going through the numerous volumes of guides and manuals.
- This out-of-the-box technique of training also cuts down on the overall product support cost, as it does not necessitate the need of hiring the services of the trainer to train the trainees
Advantages to the Product Development Departments:
- It is also tremendously helpful in communicating your product ideas to the vendor, dealers and engineers.
- The 3D visualization avoids ambiguity and brings clarity in the ideas communicated. Based on these visual specifications, the vendors can develop the necessary product parts / components.
- It thus facilitates effective collaborative design and concurrent engineering which accelerates the pace of development by compressing the development cycle time and reducing the error rate in manufacturing.
- Different vendors contributing to the development of one product exactly know where and how do their part / component fit and operate in the entire product.
- It breaks the geographical and time barriers thus enabling all the suppliers and manufacturers to work in perfect collaboration irrespective of their geographical location, thereby adding the overall efficiency to the product development process.
The key advantages of interactive 3D Product Manuals are:
- Because it is a 3D audio-visual format it is more engaging and appealing
- Enhances message clarity, quality and reduces confusion
- As it is made available in CD, it is very cost effective
- Voice over can be dubbed in various languages
- Environmental friendly
- Creates good branding for the company
- Significantly reduces the after sales supports costs for companies
Interactive 3D product manuals could also bring down the after sales product supports cost for the companies significantly.
This communication revolution mechanism will soon grip the industry by storm and you wouldn’t want to be left behind. Interactive 3D Product Manuals are the future of communication in terms of disseminating critical product knowledge and information within the company and to the vital stake stakeholders of the company such as Suppliers, and Customers. It is a cost effective product knowledge communication tool that also is more engaging, effective and efficient.