MedTranslate 2014, international conference for medical translators, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, Oct. 3-5
Ronny Stiffel, Branch Manager at Sonovision Deutschland GmbH, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
After 12 years in the German Naval Air Wing 2, I started my career as a design engineer in the aerospace industry at Airbus in Hamburg. In addition to my main tasks as a design engineer for parts of the Airbus A380, I also started writing Ground Test Requirements for several Airbus aircrafts.
In 2008, I was offered the opportunity to work as technical author at EADS Military Aircrafts in Manching, Bavaria with a focus on the PA200 Tornado, an aircraft I have been working on for several years now . After an initial training, I took a few courses to improve my writing skills. The most important course in this industrial field was my Simplified Technical English Course in March 2010.
From 2011 to mid-2012, I worked as a project manager for BMW in Munich where I learned a great deal about Lean Management Processes and Six Sigma in several projects. It was BMW that gave me the initial spark to take a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt course which I completed a year later.
Since mid-2012, I have been the branch manager and general project leader at Sonovision Deutschland in Donauwoerth. We develop several types of technical documentation for our main customer, Airbus Helicopters. Joining us in mid-2013, Merck Millipore became our first customer from the life science industry. We are also developing technical documentation for several products.
In late 2013, I took a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt course to learn the Six Sigma methods and tools. The objective was to improve our projects with a focus on customer satisfaction, the highest possible quality, and efficiency. Six Sigma in combination with simplified English, standardized documentation and translation have been a success for our projects.
“The advantages of standardized documentation and translation with the support of Lean Six Sigma and Simplified English”
The highest possible quality in documentation, authoring and translation, is the main focus of our company. In order to achieve highest possible quality in the documentation and translation, it is absolutely necessary to use standards or develop them. The use of standards enables the use of IT-based editing and translation tools.
With the use of standards, the use of quality measurement methods and quality assurance measures is facilitated. This leads to a reduction in production costs and increases the quality of the products.
Six Sigma is a very efficient method for the development of solutions to ensure almost error-free processes. The main objectives of Six Sigma are quality improvement and cost savings.
Every error, made by the company or the employee, has consequences. A customer refuses the work package, a process must be done again and time and/or resources will be wasted. This leads to less efficiency, less productivity and less profit.
Six Sigma describes a process quality which points out only 3.4 errors per 1 million opportunities.
Companies thatuseSix Sigmamethods and toolswill achievelong-term: a continuouscost reduction, revenue growth, improved customer satisfaction andminimizereworkin projects.
Based on mentioned facts and positive examples from companies which have Six Sigma already applied, Sonovision Germany began in late 2013 with the Six Sigma implementation at the site Donauwoerth.
Due to fact that Six Sigma comes from the industrial sector it was necessary for Sonovision to adapt the DMAIC (Define Measure Analyze Improve and Control) project methodology for the authoring and translation business.
Simplified Technical English, or Simplified English is the original name of a controlled language originally developed for aerospace industry maintenance manuals. It is a carefully limited and standardized subset of English. It is now officially known under its trademarked name as Simplified Technical English (STE). STE is regulated for use in the aerospace and defense industries, but other industries have used it as a basis for their own controlled English standards.
Simplified Technical English is claimed to:
- Reduce ambiguity
- Improve the clarity of technical writing, especially procedural writing
- Improve comprehension for people whose first language is not English
- Make human translation easier, faster and more cost effective
- Facilitate computer-assisted translation and machine translation