MAN Truck & Bus (MAN) is one of the leading european commercial vehicle manufacturers and providers of transport solutions with annual sales of around eleven billion euros (2019). The product portfolio includes vans, trucks, buses, diesel and gas engines as well as services for passenger and freight transport. MAN Truck & Bus is a company of TRATON SE.

MAN Truck & Bus delivered over 104,000 vehicles in 2019. All these vehicles require an operating manual, plus repair instructions for garages and maintenance documentation. The Customer & Service Documentation (SASC) department at MAN Truck & Bus is headed by Stefan Gobitz-Pfeifer and consists of 25 employees. Among other things, they are responsible for ensuring that the 500- to 600-page operating manuals are ready in time for vehicle delivery – in around 30 languages, including “Right-to-Left” fonts (RTL).

Before MAN Truck & Bus decided to use DOCUFY’s COSIMA enterprise Component Content Management System at the beginning of 2017, the documentation was still being produced in a system developed especially for MAN. The format of the operating manuals is kept in three columns in landscape format A5 for ease of handling and good legibility, which, however, poses great challenges for conventional editing and design systems. Stefan Gobitz- Pfeifer says: “The layout for the operating manuals always had to be laboriously edited manually. One person spent a week designing and accurately dimensioning the cover pages with book spines”.

Book spine calculation and layout even in Right-to-Left font automated by DOCUFY Layouter

By using COSIMA enterprise and DOCUFY Layouter, the operating manuals are now automatically brought into the correct layout and even the cover page with book spines is calculated and created to fit the thickness of the manuals. Gobitz-Pfeifer says: “It is a great relief for my team that this time-consuming custom work is now done by the DOCUFY Layouter. Even the great challenge of creating the operating manuals in “Right-to-Left” fonts in a layout-compliant manner was excellently solved in close cooperation with the DOCUFY team”.

„Complicated layouts with right-to-left fonts and book spines are ready in no time and information will soon be available on mobile devices via TopicPilot.“

Stefan Gobitz-Pfeifer, Department Manager Customer & Service Documentation (SASC) at MAN Truck & Bus

Mobile garage documentation via TopicPilot in planning

It is planned to offer garage documentation with repair and maintenance instructions for the service technicians via TopicPilot in the future. Operations such as engine replacement or the renewal of lubricants can thus be called up as individual information packages via the After Sales Portal already in place at MAN. Gobitz-Pfeifer adds: “Since the information for workshops will come centrally from COSIMA via TopicPilot, the instructions for the service technicians are always up-to-date. Questions and potential security risks due to outdated information will then belong to the past”.

Prospects: Operating instructions in the vehicle display and VR/AR use

However department Manager Gobitz-Pfeiferis thinking even further into the future and is looking forward to the next step in the modernization of his product range: “We are already planning to make our operating manuals available in the vehicle display and as a mobile app. This would further reduce operating costs, protect the environment by saving on paper books and increase user-friendliness”. Gobitz-Pfeifer can also envision the integration of videos or even Virtual and Augmented Reality assspplications via TopicPilot.

His conclusion about the cooperation: “In DOCUFY we have found a service provider on a par with us, with whom we have mastered even the most demanding challenges”.