Neos - Modular Technical Publications

This project represents an important reference point in the field of technical publications for the industrial sector.

For the first time guidelines, methodologies and standards relating to aeronautical technical publications have been applied to the industrial scope, appropriately simplified and adapted.

An example: a client – leader at international level in designing and building machines and plants for the production of PET containers – needed to improve the quality and effectiveness of its technical publications consequently to negative feedbacks of final customers concerning the inadequacy and the poor quality of the product information provided.


  • analysis of the existing situation (manuals and contents)
  • analysis of the compliance with current regulations (machinery directives)
  • definition of an action plan consistent with the client’s objectives.

From the preliminary analysis Neos has provided the client with a detailed picture of the current situation by establishing a functional and sustainable work plan.


  • implementation of a structure of the corporate technical publications according to a module scheme and no longer to single manuals
  • adoption of a custom management tool able to track and manage every information related to technical content (data sources, texts, pictures, update status, validation, languages, etc)
  • adoption of editing and publishing tools tailored to the needs of the same publications
  • adoption of syntactic structures standard and uniform and congruent technical terminology
  • migration of the old content to the new structure, when valid and applicable
  • definition of a standard graphics image congruent with the company
  • technical content expansion (modules) for installation and maintenance part
  • creation of specific technical content for technical assistance activities
  • systematic use of illustrations obtained from 3D design models
  • preparation of specific publications in relation to the requirements of the single machine and/or systems
  • optimization of translation processes through the use of translation support systems


  • significant increase in the quality of technical publications
  • significant increase in the end-customer satisfaction
  • reduction of the publications preparation timelines
  • reduction of product costs
  • reduction of interventions by the Customer Service
  • reduction of incidents resolution timing
  • reduction of the installation time at the customer
  • reduction of deadlines and translation costs
  • improvement of training activities for end customers technicians
  • reducing business costs relating to the validation and issuance of technical publications

Thanks to the objectives achieved the activity has been progressively extended to all lines of machines and systems.

The project has covered a period of about 10 years (operational phase) and still continues with periodic activities of technical support (maintenance phase).

During the project, the customer’s staff acquired skills and competencies making it increasingly autonomous in the whole process, due to the transfer of skills and capacity.


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Technical publications adopting a modular structure are typically made from a collection of standard elements:

  • forms
  • maintenance cards
  • procedures

All modules, maintenance cards and procedures share the same structure and follow the same syntax rules.

The modules are used to describe the whole machine and to provide instructions for its operation. The maintenance cards are used to describe the various maintenance operations while the procedures are used to describe special maintenance operations or operations related with the operational functioning of the machine.

The technical publication is thus constituted by a sequence of modules, maintenance cards and procedures. The real texture of each “standard item” depends only on the complexity of the machine and the number of arguments to describe.

Each module is identified by a unique alphanumeric code, consisting in part of a code for the argument to be treated and in part of a numeric code including the possible update state and the language used.

The first page of each module contains general information (title of the module, module identification code, application form, total number of pages, table of contents, etc.).

The text in the module has a “standard” structure, intended as a succession of logic elements or markers (paragraph titles, ordered lists, unordered lists, tables, internal or external cross-references, notes, warnings, cautions, etc.) for which the sequence will be agreed and defined (for example to a first-level degree can follow a title of a second or third level, a paragraph but not a list or a figure/table).

Neos - Pubblicazioni Tecniche Modulari

The module numbering such as those of the titles, figures and tables, pages are reset every time you start a new module (this lets you add and remove modules without compromising the structure of the publication or having to upgrade, although automatically, all numbers). Each module is also designed to be printed (hard copy) or converted into PDF, HTML/XML maintaining active the internal cross-references (table of contents, see figure, see table, see section) and external ones (see module. ..).

Each job card is identified by a unique alphanumeric code, consisting in part of the operation type to be performed and in part of a numeric code including the possible update state and the language used.

Each job card is composed of three logical components: initial conditions, procedure and final operations. The job card shows – step by step – the operations to carried out. The text is associated to figures illustrating the components quoted during the maintenance operation. The final operations include all the operations to perform to restore the normal machine operation.

Are you interested in considering to adopt a modular structure for your technical publications?


Well-structured technical publications should include the following subjects:

1* How to use the manual
2* List of modules
3* Reference publications
4* Introduction
5* General information and safety rules
6* Process phases
7* Description of system and identification of units
8 Group 1
Group 2
Group N.
9 Hydraulic plant
10 Pneumatic plant
11 Electric/electronic plant
12* Technical data and overall dimensions
13* Description of operative controls
14* Control software general description
15 Control software page description
16 Installation, handling and dismanting
17* Machine installation check-list
18 Procedures for using machine
19* Machine start-up check-list
20* Safety devices
21* Troblueshooting (product)
22* Troblueshooting (machine)
23* General maintenance information
24* Gen. Info about Scheduled Maintenance (List of cards)
25* Gen. Info about Scheduled Maintenance (Check-list)
26* Gen. Info about Non Scheduled Maintenance (List of cards)
27* Maintenance cards (list of cards)
28* Procedures (list)
29* Consumable materials
30* Special tools
31* Glossary

The technical contents are then contextualized according to the specific machine and/or installation.

From this structure and in function of the level of applicability publications with specific purposes can be provided, with extremely limited manual actions. In this case the consistency of modules and maintenance cards is significantly reduced (*).

In the early stages of machine or plant life the final customer very often requires only those information called “Operating Instructions“, or a minimum set of information that allows the end user to make the machine or system work. Among these information all safety instructions, as well as basic maintenance operations or those that must be carried out in the first months of machine life should be inserted.

This solution therefore allows to reduce significantly the technical publication emission timing, without sacrificing compliance with regulatory requirements and contractual obligations with the end customer.

The Use and Maintenance Manual of a complex machine has a consistency which is typically equal to 1,000/1,200 pages. The Operating Instructions generally have a consistency of about half, or about 500/600 pages. At least one third of these refers to general information which typically vary only little between a machine or another (of course considering machines and systems from the same manufacturer).

Have you ever considered the adoption of different technical publications for your product?


Choosing Neos for the design and the implementation of the technical publications of a company means choose the solution that best meets the requirements of the company, means increasing the quality of the content and consequently the satisfaction of the end customers, means reducing the impact on the company technical resources and reduce timing and process schedule and therefore the cost of emission and translation.





Have you ever considered the effective room of improvement of technical publication realization process of your Company?


Very often training manuals are made using diffusely use and maintenance manuals.

The two publications have goals and purposes completely different and this usually makes training activities complex and very often not effective.

Neos realizes technical publications for training first of all starting from the technical analysis of training needs, TNA. The main result of the TNA is a precise definition of training requirements or subject matters, level of detail and each content length. If technical publications are structured in modules/maintenance cards/procedures, the preparation of training publications is simplified and manual intervention limited.

The information provided are always congruent and well contextualized, the training become effective and the end-customer satisfaction is always very high.

Are training activities important for your Company?