Staying on track to deliver digital content at Siemens Rail PLC

In Spring 2016, Siemens Rail began operating state of the art trains from a custom built depot. The information required to operate and maintain these trains needed to be accessible and technically accurate, so that drivers, maintenance technicians and engineers could keep trains available and running on a full-service contract.

This talk shows how Siemens identified waste in their existing processes and used the DITA standard to create an innovative publication system. The system featured a web-based maintenance portal and knowledge base that capitalized on interactive 3D models, and iPad apps for the driver’s manual. User feedback and technicial contributions at the point of consumption, coupled with interactive information, have contributed towards an estimated 30% saving in train maintenance effort.

What can the audience expect to learn?

You will see how 3D models proved invaluable during the authoring process, halving the upfront effort. You will also learn about some of the critical content architecture decisions that enabled the key reuse benefits and content creation savings for Siemens.

Overall, you will get a feel for the solution architecture and how dynamic delivery plays a vital role in the ongoing savings that Siemens is realizing.

Meet the presenters

Julian Murfitt is CEO and co-founder of Mekon Ltd., a systems integration and content strategy consultancy. Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, he worked as a solutions architect during the 1980s. In 1990, Julian formed Mekon to capitalize on the growing demand for technical document solutions leading the company for over 25 years to become a leading S1000D and DITA implementation company.


John Straw worked in Tech Pubs and engineering for 16 years in aircraft, telecoms and transportation. He had his first introduction to SGML in 1991 and since then have worked on the design and implementation of several information systems. Joined Bombardier in 1999 as department manager with the remit to introduce electronic manuals in the UK. Joined Siemens Rail UK in 2014 responsible for production of Technical Documentation for the Desiro City fleet of trains together with the development and implementation of Siemens Teamcenter, a maintenance portal based on DITAweb and the production and delivery of an i-Pad application for Train Drivers.

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