XMetaL Improves Production and Quality of Helicopter Service Bulletins
NEW YORK–JustSystems, the largest independent software vendor in Japan and a worldwide leader in XML and information management technologies, today announced that XMetaL, its market-leading structured authoring application, is implemented by Eurocopter, the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer in the civil and public services markets. Using XMetaL, Eurocopter has improved the production and quality of the more than 600 Service Bulletins it publishes each year.
“Eurocopter’s Service Bulletin teams face the daunting task of creating and maintaining hundreds of impeccably accurate maintenance documents in multiple languages for thousands of customers,” said Jake Sorofman, senior vice president of marketing and business development for JustSystems. “Their XMetaL solution simplifies the process, replacing complex structural display with an intuitive user interface that hides the complexity of the underlying markup from non-technical users.”
Emily Poisson and Yves Roques of Eurocopter said, “The challenge we faced was that authoring our Service Bulletins required technical writing skills we had lost to subcontractors. We turned to JustSystems’ partner Sollan and XMetaL for a solution that embedded the technical writing knowledge into the tool itself. Now, our helicopter specialists can focus on writing helicopter content, while XMetaL handles the structured content details and Sollan development helps the user with contextual assistance.”
XMetaL at Eurocopter
Eurocopter provides Service Bulletins for its over 100 helicopter models as part of its ongoing, post-sales customer service and support. Available in English, French, German, and Spanish, the Service Bulletins describe any inspection and/or modifications that must be made to helicopters in the field. Service Bulletin content is based on ATA 100 standard augmented by Eurocopter requirements, which defines both document appearance and content including pictorial design, images, tables, and more.
Prior to XMetaL, the customized version of Microsoft Word that the company was using as its authoring tool lacked appropriate authoring controls, leading to quality and consistency problems. With XMetaL, documentary rules are embedded in the tool itself, helping Eurocopter to maintain its Service Bulletin writing know-how.
To achieve this goal, Eurocopter worked with Sollan, a key JustSystems partner, to define requirements, develop business processes, and ultimately deliver the “YES” solution, which is built on XMetaL and XMetaL extensions. The YES solution simplifies the entire Service Bulletin authoring process. The author can focus on improving the quality of Service Bulletins while XMetaL ensures a consistent Eurocopter style by enforcing the appropriate terminology or paragraph.
The YES solution lets Eurocopter produce several documents from one master file, which facilitates content reuse and ensures information accuracy and consistency. Any changes to the master file are automatically integrated into final documents impacted by these changes. The YES solution also expedites translation by automatically translating chapter titles, standard sentences, and other document components. Other benefits include Service Bulletin management improvements and reduction in the number of master files.
Paul Terray, project leader at Sollan, said, “Eurocopter’s overall objective is to provide up-to-date maintenance information for high-cost capital equipment where safety is critical. They can’t afford to make a mistake in their documentation. To deliver the YES solution, we had to deal with information management and structure issues, and develop a system that reflected Eurocopter’s business processes. XMetaL is the perfect technology for this solution — it uses standard technologies, provides a friendly interface to the writer, and offers a base for our development to support Eurocopter processes.”