Respiratory systems delivered in unprecedented speed

With the coronavirus outbreak in January 2020 we have learnt that life can take unexpected turns. The availability of committed health care professionals and medical supplies have proven to be our most valuable resources these days. The corona pandemic posed to Demcon, a Dutch based company specializing in advanced medical technology and products such as respiratory systems, the biggest challenge in the company history.

Upon the order of the Ministry of Health the hospitals in the Netherlands needed to ramp-up their capacity of respiratory systems in hospitals by 2,000 units basically overnight. Demcon took up the challenge and got down to work to redesign their existing product and produce 500 new respiratory systems to meet the urgent need in the hospitals.

Etteplan’s service attitude convinced Demcon

At the same time Demcon needed to make sure that the redesigned respiratory systems were delivered with high-quality user guides and manuals to enable quick and safe installation and secure use of the equipment. Demcon entrusted the work to Etteplan, whose technical documentation experts were ready to roll up their sleeves only two days after the first meeting.

“Etteplan’s dedication to help and deliver according to extremely tight deadlines was clear to us from the beginning. We felt relieved as we didn’t need to worry about the user guides and other technical documentation, but could fully focus on development of the respiration systems”, says Gerben van Oosterhout, Senior Project Manager at Demcon.


User manuals and other technical documentation to nurses and doctors

Etteplan’s responsibility was to produce quick reference cards for Demcon’s equipment to provide a condensed set of information to technicians, nurses and doctors who are installing or operating the equipment. The quick reference card is a visual overview of a product and a cognitive aid to support the work performance of technicians and medical personnel.

In addition Etteplan’s responsibility was to produce a more detailed user manual (IFU) to ensure the safe and easy installation, use and maintenance of the equipment. Etteplan’s responsibility included also project management of the entire technical documentation project. All materials were to be delivered in Dutch and English.

Agile technical documentation production in unprecedent speed

The exceptional circumstances created exceptional and innovative ways of working at Etteplan. Unlike before, technical writing and illustration work had now to be done on the go and hand in hand with the product development process. This meant dozens of iterative rounds every day as the detailed instructions could change quickly due a small technical change in the equipment.

Project meetings took place mostly online, where Demcon’s product development team and Etteplan’s technical documentation team met up several times a day to go through the status of the development work. In only 12 days the product development and technical documentation projects were completed and the first 50 equipment were ready to shipped to the hospital.


A project like no other

The Demcon project is a great proof how you can make the impossible possible in emergency. The teams in Demcon and Etteplan were working relentlessly together to achieve the goal. The sense of purpose made the work for Etteplan’s technical documentation specialists even more valuable.

“Etteplan’s team made a fantastic job in helping us getting our respiratory equipment to the hospitals in the shortest possible time. Working together on this important project was easy and efficient, even if it has been by far the most challenging project we have ever had.”

Gerben van Oosterhout. Senior Project Manager, Demcon

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Leo Adank
Leo Adank
Manager, Service Solutions
Technical Documentation Solutions