How International defense companies use R4i for low-cost smart documentation

The Aerospace and Defense Industries consist of manufacturers of aircraft, aircraft engines, electronic control systems, missiles, space vehicles and propulsion units. Fundamental to these is the management of their component parts. But maintaining the working condition of defense equipment and hardware is a major challenge when information critical content needs to constantly remain up-to-date and be quickly accessible to the right personnel anywhere, anytime.

When the Australian Defense Force wanted smarter, interactive documents that would expedite maintenance and reduce the time required to circulate 18,000 hardcopy S1000D Data Modules/Manuals, they went with Absolute Data Group’s R4i solution.

ADG worked with Australian Defense Industries (ADI) on the Defense Force project, aptly named Project Rapid. With the Australian Army’s selection of the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter from Eurocopter, ADI’s Technical Publications team needed more than a simple common source repository to hold the many thousands of linked document modules and drawings that make up the helicopter’s maintenance manuals.

Thus ADG’s R4i CSDB Server® (Common Source Database) was chosen. The R4i CSDB transformed the Defense Force’s maintenance manuals into state of the art, interactive manuals and provided an end-to-end management system of the 18,000 Data Modules. As well as providing standard technical publishing features such as document security, revision control and workflow, authorized personnel could automatically publish linked technical manuals to the web.

For mobile access to content, R4i’s fast publishing to CD-ROM provided remote users with authorized content that could be expired at a set date. CD-ROM information can be encrypted to protect content in the event of a CD being misplaced. All content is viewed via the free R4i Viewer, which was specifically designed for ease of use, and to maximize the user experience. The high quality CGM images used in the technical manuals were further enhanced through the use of image zoom, pan, rotate and hyperlink functionality.

Australian Defense Force personnel were impressed with the results, which included lower-cost, interactive documents, improved maintenance timeframes, and a significant reduction in the time taken to circulate amended manuals. Other benefits included a maintenance logging function, better accountability and support for parts information, plus live inventory control.

The final system also enabled personnel to be linked to real-time fault data from a device, such as an aircraft’s navigation computer, with interactive warnings and cautions that require user acknowledgement.

ADG products in use: R4i CSDB Server®, R4i Viewer®

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