Accuracy Above All: Rubric Helps Yaskawa Eliminate Risk Stemming from Content Errors

Translate technical content:

Motors drive machines worldwide. Manufacturers know the exacting degree to which these components must be constructed, assembled, and connected. Precise specifications must be followed to ensure machines operate correctly, because even the slightest inaccuracy can result in costly damage to vital equipment, or worse, physical harm to users. Keeping those risks in mind, one of the world’s leading electronics manufacturing firms made localization accuracy a priority when it embarked on a project to translate technical content into three foreign languages. 

The manufacturer creates components for a variety of industrial applications, including elevator motors, automatic doors, and robotics. Complex documentation describes how these items should be assembled and installed, relying on tables, reports, and manuals to communicate measurements and specifications. 

With technical expertise:

The firm sought expert help to localize all of this technical content into French Canadian, Latin American Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. However, after frustrating experiences with several language service providers (LSPs), the business needed a fresh start.

It needed an LSP that had the technical expertise to understand its challenging terminology and also work with its publishing software of choice: Adobe FrameMaker. The idea LSP would also need to ensure all its content could be translated in a timely manner.

Electronics Manufacturer:

  • Manufactures components for industrial applications, including elevator motors, automatic doors, and robotics.
  • Prior LSPs struggled to understand technical language, work within Adobe FrameMaker, and deliver content in a timely manner. 

The Goal:

  • Translate up to 200,000 words into French Canadian, Latin American, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese
  • Optimize localization project management process for speed, accuracy, and cost efficiency.

Poor project management muddies the water:

The manufacturer described its previous experiences with LSPs as unsatisfactory. One translation project took nearly 18 months to complete, and when the content was reviewed, they found it riddled with inaccuracies.

Prior translators were tripped up by nuances, as certain manufacturing terms or abbreviations may be interpreted differently depending on what they reference. For example, the abbreviation “AC” can refer to an terminal name or to the term “Alternate Current.” Rules also govern how measurements are localized – the word “feet” should be translated when written in full, but not when abbreviated as “ft”.

Previous LSPs struggled with these distinctions, in part because they lacked the effective work processes and quality checks needed to verify terminology while content was still being translated. The firm’s existing Translation Memory (TM) software also was sorely in need of an update; it included a glossary that was full of incorrect and out-of-date language. 

As a result, it was only at the very last minute – during final review – that the firm realized its 100,000- to 2000,000- word documents were inaccurate and input for publishing. A change was needed, but company leadership remained hesitant to bring in a new localization partner unless they could see consistent, accurate results quickly. 

Rubric’s refresh set the table for success:

After pushing for greater flexibility and ownership of the localization process, Rubric was able to put the manufacturing firm on a better track for accurate and timely translations.

The first step was to establish a team of experienced translators and specialist engineers who were familiar with manufacturing terminology and Adobe FrameMaker. Rubric was able to identify linguists with specific, specialized expertise in the industry, and who were also native speakers of the target languages and could work with the firm’s XML-based code. Engineers offered additional knowledge of key industry terms. The new translation team brought the consistency and confidence that was missing in prior translation efforts. 

Next, Rubric implemented a smarter project management approach that would deliver an end-to-end focus on quality. Translators broke up the firm’s massive documents into smaller, more manageable pieces of content. That allowed for faster localization, easier editing, and the opportunity for more frequent spot checks.

Rubric’s mix of human translators and technology also brought speed and accuracy to the project. The new linguists revised the firm’s outdated glossary, style guide, and TM software to ensure that the correct context was applied to every translation. Units of measure, for example, should remain in English but can be localized if used in a different context. This is the type of context an inexperienced translator might miss. 

Automated SQL-based queries helped ensure that numerals, measurements, and other precise data were correctly preserved when the rest of the document was translated into a new language. Rubric also paid attention to details that are often overlooked by other LSPs – checking not only text but also graphics, illustrations, and formatting. 

Achieving a best practice localization solution:

Ultimately, Rubric was able to overcome the firm’s initial hesitation to deliver highly accurate localized content and substantial cost savings. Rubric’s project management meant a more cost-effective localization effort for the manufacturer by putting certain nuances, such as formatting, images, and PDF generation, into the hands of experts.

Now, the manufacturing firm is able to avoid many of the frustrating reviews and re-work that stalled previous projects, instead delivering accurately localized manuals, data sheets, and reports straight to market. Additionally, better documentation protects the company from undue risks by limiting the chance for operator confusion and ensuring that its products are assembled and installed correctly. As a result, the firm can maintain its momentum and continue to serve customers and partners in a wide range of international markets.

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