Published on December 29, 2016
1. Technical Writing Samples From Completed Assignments by Paul F. Geer
2. DOCUMENTATION: REASONS FOR NEEDING IT & GENERAL WORKFLOW FOR WRITING IT 1.
3. Documentation: The Need & General Workflow The knowledge assets owned by a manufacturer rests upon the sum total expertise of its individual employees. In general, this includes knowledge that is acquired by workers through job experiences, and by professional employees, engaged in activities related to engineering research and development. Knowledge assets may include anything from instructions for making and testing a component to standard operating procedures for managing a specific department. Knowledge assets play a major role in determining a company’s value and competitiveness in the marketplace, because they are important in a company’s ability to maintain the quality of its end products (i.e., how well the end products comply with their design specifications). For many years, companies passed on its knowledge assets to new employees solely by word of mouth. Formally, workers who are new to an operation usually receive oral, on-the-job training from those more experienced in the ‘tricks of the trade’ for doing all the tasks associated with the job. Generally, this is the familiar ‘apprentice system’ that has been used for hundreds of years. The term ‘knowledge asset’ is a term that applies to the sum of all the information pertaining to operations a company uses in manufacturing its products. Knowledge assets are built up over time through employee activities, as the company develops and expands in technological capabilities and/or diversifies in product lines.
4. However, as today’s products become more technically complex than in the past, the methods applied in manufacturing such products have also become more complex, and more difficult for new employees to master. Achieving the best precision in communicating the finer details of performing a job has become an absolute necessity, so a company can maintain consistent quality of these products. In the apprentice system of training, which is based on oral communication, the manufacturing procedures to be imparted to trainees must come directly from the minds of the experienced workers who are performing the training. However, if the experienced workers are somehow removed from their jobs, they take with them their specialized knowledge of the procedures, which often translates to a loss of money and production time in its recovery. Documentation: The Need & General Workflow
5. Documentation: The Need & General Workflow ISO 9001 is one such certification sought by companies engaged in many types of precision manufacturing. In addition to requiring process documentation actually followed in training employees, ISO 9001 also requires companies to clearly define the processes and policies used to control, distribute, manage, and store the documents. Companies now face an increased the risk of reduced profitability due to loss of the knowledge assets that have been vested in personnel with highly specialized job skills. An especially difficult problem can result if employees suddenly become unavailable to train others, as may occur through an organizational downsizing. Thus, in today’s manufacturing environments, the apprentice system is no longer a safe method for any training process, if consistent product quality is to be assured. Employee training will not be effective and company knowledge, safe from loss, unless the training is supple- mented with standard documents that identify and delineate all the necessary details for executing a job. Companies now risk a loss of profitability if they do not have standard documents in place for training. Many high technology manufacturers, especially those specializing in electronics and optics, need to express a strong commitment to customers through demonstrating that they have such documentation, to encourage confidence in their products. The commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is usually shown through obtaining certification by agencies such as the International Standards Organization, or ISO.
6. Documentation: The Need & General Workflow Many manufacturers preserve their knowledge assets in the form of electronic and/or hardcopy documents, which provide employees with materials to use for on-the-job or computer based training (or for general referencing). Employees today often have direct computer access to step-by-step work instructions, procedures, part drawings, assembly instructions, and other materials. Content libraries are now available for quick access to materials for training on specialized machining steps, component testing procedures, etc., that can be used to complement oral training by other employees. Once carefully detailed documentation is developed and maintained for most company processes, the risk of loosing information becomes much less, and the information becomes much easier to control, provided that ISO requirements are carefully followed. ISO 9001 applies to documentation occurring in a variety of formats. For example, it extends to recorded data ( which may be measured data from quality inspections, machine processing, etc.). Blueprints and photo- graphs also fall under ISO 9001.
7. Documentation: The Need & General Workflow The steps taken to build a document repository involve identifying and closing any gaps in available documentation. For example, there might be a lack of training documentation on special drilling techniques, wherein many man-hours have been invested in devising concepts and applications. This represents a gap – it concerns a highly specialized process, and the information on how to execute this process represents a very important knowledge asset, and one that a company cannot afford to lose. The company’s response would then be to assign a responsible person to document the process, to eliminate the gap. Beyond simple text, the following items may be included in a typical document: 1) illustrations, 2) photographs, 3) screen snapshots, and 4) charts. In developing such content, the author may research manuals and online information, make direct observations of equipment and worker activities, and conduct interviews of the relevant personnel. BUILDING A DOCUMENT REPOSITORY
8. Documentation: The Need & General Workflow The graphic on the next page represents the general workflow used in creating process documentation. Once all the content items are organized and the cover page, filled as needed, the document is then tested for accuracy and completeness, after which it is submitted for approval. Once accepted for use, the document is then stored in a common repository for general access by employees (i.e., the document becomes PUBLISHED). To comply with ISO 9001, which requires that documents reflect the revisions performed, a standard operating procedure, work instruction, or other process defining document should include a table on the cover that shows the version, the edits made, and approval signatures. It should also include identification numbers, department name, and other data that facilitates tracking in an information database.
9. Technical Writing Process Map Manufacturing Quality Control Tech Writing Requirement INFORMATION GATHERING Subject Matter Experts Equipment Manuals Technical Drawings Material Data Sheets Machine Operators Engineers Supervisors Notes Video recordings Photographs Screen snapshots Identify process steps Develop process description Observations Review technical writing requirement & determine scope DEVELOP CONTENT – TEXT & GRAPHICS Document Template END USER TEST Accept? PUBLISH EDIT DOCUMENT PER CUSTOMER REQUESTS HARD COPY E- COPY Customer Approval Signature YES NO GAP ANALYSIS
10. List of Samples in this Presentation • The following is a list of samples of technical writing taken from an assortment of process documents written over the past 20 years: Cleaning Fused Silica Glass Refractive Index Verification Measuring Sizes of Glass Defects Reflectivity Measurements Manufacturing Work Standards • The complete documents were prepared by following the process map shown on the previous slide. • The samples were chosen for an adequate representation of the content typically provided in most of the documents – charts, drawings, tables, text formats, etc.
11. PROCEDURE FOR CLEANING FUSED SILICA GLASS 2.
12. Cleaning Fused Silica Glass OVERVIEW One important job in the quality control of precision ground glass is to make sure the glass is free of defects, and is clean for the next step of the manufacturing process. To facilitate inspection, the technicians often must clean glass surfaces to remove any residues that could be mistaken for pits, chips, sleeks, or other flaws. In addition, the cleaning of glass surfaces is needed to remove any residue introduced through handling, which may create issues for further processing. The sample below is taken from a document describing the procedure for cleaning fused silica glass, a material frequently used to make precision optics. It describes the application of three chemical agents to clean surfaces: alcohol, acetone, and a solution of powder soap called ORVUS.
13. Cleaning Fused Silica Glass
14. Cleaning Fused Silica Glass
15. Cleaning Fused Silica Glass Mouse drawings by Paul Geer
16. Cleaning Fused Silica Glass Mouse drawings by Paul Geer
17. REFRACTIVE INDEX VERIFICATION OF OPTICAL GLASS 3.
18. Refractive Index Verification of Optical Glass OVERVIEW In the production of photolithography printers, or any other equipment that uses precision optics, it is critical that raw glass materials be of the highest possible quality in purity and uniformity. The glass must be free of any flaws that may compromise the performance of the optics to be cut and polished from it. One important inspection of incoming raw glass materials is to verify the refractive index, a factor which influences light bending properties, which ultimately determines the path that light takes through optical elements. The text below is from a document describing a process for measuring deviation angle of light of known wavelength shown through a witness sample, a prism shaped sample of glass material associated with the batch of molten glass from which the raw material was formed. The deviation angle is inspected against the limiting optical path deviation specified on the part drawing. It is inspected by inserting the witness sample into a spectrometer (above). SPECTROMETER Witness Sample Light Source Eyepiece & Angle Measuring Reticle
19. Refractive Index Verification of Optical Glass Mouse drawings by Paul Geer
20. Refractive Index Verification of Optical Glass Mouse drawings by Paul Geer
21. Refractive Index Verification of Optical Glass
22. Refractive Index Verification of Optical Glass
23. Refractive Index Verification of Optical Glass
24. Refractive Index Verification of Optical Glass
25. MEASURING SIZE OF GLASS DEFECTS AND IMPURITIES 4.
26. Measuring Size of Glass Defects OVERVIEW Glass materials used to make optics often must meet a specified limit in the size and number of embedded impurities and defects. The specified limit depends on the application intended for the optical elements to be fabricated – in the manufacture of photolithography printers, for example, this limit is very stringent because of the precision demanded in the imaging (for printing microelectronic circuits). The text below is the introduction from a document describing the procedure for using a simple projection system designed for inspecting and measuring the size of glass defects.
27. Measuring Size of Glass Defects
28. Measuring Size of Glass Defects
29. Measuring Size of Glass Defects
30. REFLECTIVITY MEASUREMENTS OF BEAMSPLITTERS 5.
31. Reflectivity Measurements OVERVIEW Certain optical systems include high-precision beamsplitter cubes assembled using two prism halves contacted together at the hypotenuse. One very important quality requirement for a beamsplitter cube is its ability to reflect light at the surface of contact. This is because, for certain applications, a beamsplitter is needed to divide light into two parts, where each part must meet certain minimal characteristics to ensure proper functioning of the entire optical system in which the beamsplitter is included. The text below describes a test station for measuring relative light intensity; i.e., the intensity of reflected light as compared with the intensity of light incident on the beamsplitter.
32. Reflectivity Measurements
33. Reflectivity Measurements
34. MANUFACTURING WORK STANDARDS 6.
35. Manufacturing Work Standards OVERVIEW – Manufacturing Procedures Most manufacturing follows a sequence of steps designed so that the end products meet all quality requirements of their design. To observe the ISO 9001 business standard, a manufacturing company must have all of its processes documented to preserve the knowledge necessary for training workers. The text below presents excerpts from standard operating procedures prepared for optical manufacturing work centers. It focuses on four pieces of equipment typically used in the optics industry: Aspheric Surface Generator (used for Precision Grinding) Centrifuge System (used for Removing Particulates from Coolant) Laser Etcher (used for Engraving Part Numbers & Serial Numbers) Calibration System for QTH Arc Lamps
36. Manufacturing Work Standards • Aspheric Grinder This section presents part of a maintenance work standard for a CNC surface generator. It is text describing how the required maintenance tasks are broken down according to specific parts, or zones, that are included in the complete work center. The equipment introduction then proceeds to the maintenance schedule for ZONE 1, for a part of the work center called the centrifuge.
37. Manufacturing Work Standards
38. Manufacturing Work Standards
39. Manufacturing Work Standards
40. Manufacturing Work Standards
41. Manufacturing Work Standards
42. Manufacturing Work Standards • Coolant Centrifuge This section presents part of a detailed work standard for cleaning a coolant centrifuge, an important component of most glass and metal work centers. The particular centrifuge covered was used to filter out glass particulates from liquid used to lubricate a grinding tool. The excerpt is an explanation of key components prior to discussing the maintenance steps.
43. Manufacturing Work Standards
44. Manufacturing Work Standards
45. Manufacturing Work Standards • Laser Etcher This section presents part of a work standard detailing how to operate a laser etcher to engrave identification numbers onto components. The excerpt includes an introduction that explains the hardware and software used in the system. This introduction is then followed by the beginning of the step procedure, which starts with a PRECAUTIONS Section that includes a laser warning and an alert to the operator about a spacing tool.
46. Manufacturing Work Standards
47. Manufacturing Work Standards
48. Manufacturing Work Standards
49. Manufacturing Work Standards
50. Manufacturing Work Standards • Arc Lamp Calibration The following text is an outline of a calibration procedure that is applied to arc lamps used in light research. Calibration data is needed for QTH lamps sold on the market, to match the brightness of standard arc lamps over the visible light spectrum.
51. Manufacturing Work Standards
52. Manufacturing Work Standards
53. FINAL COMMENTS: MS WORD TOOLS FOR DOCUMENT DESIGN
54. Comments: MS Word Tools Microsoft Word offers a number of tools that are useful in the design of documents. These cover a broad range of commands for creating such document elements as tables, numbered paragraphs, and drawings. The tools allow the writer many options for customization when it comes to formatting documents to suit the requirements of a company, or a department within the company. The following is a list of the important dialog boxes that were used to design the documents in this presentation. Paragraph Font Page Setup Insert Table / Table Properties / Borders & Shading Table of Contents Table of Figures Styles Caption Insert Hyperlink Equation Editor Bullets & Numbering Headers & Footers The Tables dialog boxes were used to create the revision record and sign-off page, which is generally the cover page. The Headers & Footers command was applied for displaying identification numbers and revision levels on each page of the documents.