Of Biblical Proportions
As of late, I have been taking a hands-on approach in working directly with the content on our website at PULSEROLLER.com. In particular, I have been charged with keeping the technical documentation accurate, up-to-date, and properly formatted for the “look and feel” of our PULSEROLLER brand. A straight-forward enough task if our market was limited to US and Canada. However, the terms “accurate”, “up-to-date” and “look and feel” have varying meanings and expectations in the global marketplace in which we participate.
In full disclosure, I am an old PLC programmer guy and if I had hair, it would be grey. I lived in the trenches of conveyor job sites in the 1990’s and 2000’s. When I need technical help or documentation, my gut reaction is to reach for that “printed manual in a 3-ring binder” or a pdf representation of the printed manual to view on my (large) laptop screen. However, today’s engineers are fully comfortable with Googling on their tablets or phone, clicking links, and exploring web sites to find what they need. A printed document is for sure not the first thing that comes to mind and they probably sigh and grudgingly put up with scrolling through a tedious pdf electronic facsimile of said printed document if that is the only thing they can find.
With today’s engineers in mind, we have converted all of our ConveyLinx technical documentation (plus E-Qube and EZ-Qube) to a complete on-line format directly accessible from our website. There is no need to download a pdf (unless you want to – more on that later). You can search topics, link to more detailed topics from basic ones, and the content automatically formats to be properly viewed on your large PC, small PC, tablet, or phone. Also, some topics are already peppered with instructional videos on how to do certain things. We plan to add more as time goes on. The beauty of this form of documentation is that it can be more easily kept up to date and said updates are immediately available.
For our astute readers, this migration to complete on-line control module documentation will result in the removal of the multiple pdf documents from the Downloads area of our website. In the immortal word inscribed on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – “DON’T PANIC”. Everything (almost) that is known about ConveyLinx is on-line and you can get to it from the ConveyLinx module product page on the website. Sometime this month (June 2021) these separated pdf documents (I counted 7) will be removed and no longer available.This leads me, of course, to the tantalizing tidbit mentioned before regarding “downloading a pdf if you want to”. From within this on-line documentation viewer there is a button that will allow you to “Download PDF”. Be forewarned that you will get everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, in one big honkin PDF. From “what is ConveyLinx” to “How to use a MSG instruction on a Rockwell PLC” is included.
This fact caused quite a bit of consternation with one of my colleagues in Europe. He is of similar mentality to the 1990’s engineer previously depicted. He could not believe we would do this and the downloaded PDF file is too large to email and that it “contains more pages than the Holy Bible – Pat are you trying to tell me that the ConveyLinx documentation envelops the same monumental scale of history as the Holy Bible?” He then requested that I “simply make all of this information fit in a 5 MB PDF document that I can e-mail”. He might as well have asked me to translate the entire content into Assyrian Cuneiform onto 2 clay tablets, and then carry them down from the mountain from which they were divined.
I explained to him the facts I outlined earlier regarding today’s engineers and the forward motion of technology. He retorted about the poor engineer in an underground jobsite with no internet access who needs documentation. Well, one could also say “what if they have no electricity? Internet access is as nearly as ubiquitous as having electricity”.
Alas, kicking and screaming, we will all be dragged into this “immediate on-line information in the palm of our hand” paradigm whether we like it or not. PULSEROLLER is working towards this goal. Now if I had the patience of Job from the Holy Bible, I could properly convince my European colleague to accept our plight.
If you want to jump over and check out some of our more popular reading material, click the links below:
ConveyLinx ERSC Complete Guide
ConveyLinx-Ai Family Complete Guide
EZ-Qube Reference Manual
E-Qube Reference Manual