Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs) are interactive manuals that are intended to be read and used ‘on screen’. They provide an alternative to the traditional paper based manual and have the advantages that they can provided for fast searching and cross-referencing of information, are easily updated and distributed.
IETMs can be produced to various levels, from the simple PDF (Portable Document File), perhaps with a hyperlinked contents list and cross references, to a full information retrieval system with interactive graphics and rich media content.
Printed technical manuals, particularly those containing P&IDs and schematics, are often criticised for being bulky and awkward (with foldout A1 drawings for example). The cost of printing colour is expensive and the cost is often overlooked.
IETMs can be CD-ROM or Internet based. The fact that they are displayed on screen also means that colour diagrams and photographs can be readily used.
Another major advantage of IETMs is that they can provide various methods for locating the information that the reader requires – contents lists, indexes, word search and interactive diagrams and tables. Locating the information is faster as a result.
A typical Orchid IETM solution provides the following features:
- Hyper-links between text, tables and graphics
- Colour text, graphics, diagrams and photographs
- Pan and zoom on true vector graphic (i.e. you can pan and zoom an A1 drawing!)
- Printing (with optional print control messages on print outs)
- Contents List and Index
- Word search
- Additional option navigation methods, e.g. drill down for information on diagram items
Orchid’s IETM solution is far more cost effective than some solutions as per seat licensing is not required for the reader. The IETM only requires Windows and, once delivered, distribution is royalty free.
Typical IETM applications include Water Industry Works Operating Manuals (WOM’s), MoD Digital Air Publication (DAP’s), Oil and Gas Operating Procedures Manuals and Marine Operations Manuals.
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