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By Natalie Eastaugh
When used in an engineering context, the term ‘Technical Documentation’ is typically referring to any kind of documentation which is used to describe the functionality, architecture and also the handling of any technical product as well as any given product which is either under development or even currently in use. This specialist form of documentation can include patents (the name given to the exclusive set of rights which are granted by a sovereign or head of state to a certain inventor or their assignee in exchange for the public disclosure of certain intellectual property such as an invention).
Other forms of Technical Documentation include Test Methods (certain procedures which can obtain the result of a test which can be considered a part of a technical operation conducted to determine certain characteristics of a given product, process or service); Quality Management Systems Requirements; Data Sheets of items (lists of components and parts which also summarize their performance and provide sufficient detail regarding their technical characteristics so that they can be efficiently used by a design engineer and integrated into the overall system).
It is also possible for certain Technical Documentation to be uploaded online by specialist companies which handle the production of technical publications as well as by larger suppliers of product support services. Such companies and firms are able to provide services called ‘Design Repositories‘ (more often than not shortened to the term ‘DRs‘) which were created in order to provide a secure location for the management as well as the storage of key project data as well as complex technical documents such as ILS (Integrated Logistics Support) documents and data, Logistics Support Analysis Records (LSAR) as well as TLMPs (Through Life Management Plans). Design Repositories are designed to provide access to up to date Technical Documentation Online regarding the armed forces.
Technical Documents on line (TDOL) are used to support more than 10,000 Army Equipment Support Publications (as well as a considerable number for the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force) so that over 30,000 technical publications and manuals are available electronically, thereby considerably reducing the need for paper manuals and publications.
Firms which have access to the software enablingTDOL are able to provide a large range of related services such as the initial creation of technical documents, making amendments to existing manuals and documents. These companies are also able to upload new as well as amended manuals and also produce pagination files (print instructions) as well as TDOL format .pdf files.