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Automated production of language-specific Illustrator graphics at MHZ-Hachtel GmbH & Co. KG.

Leinfelden-Echterdingen, 2013-04-29: Nearly every manufacturing company makes use of graphics with language-specific texts. These include, for example, dimensional drawings with notes, installation diagrams, charts and much more. These graphics are usually created as vector graphics, for example, in Adobe Illustrator, and saved as or converted to EPS or AI graphics.

Initial situation at MHZ-Hachtel GmbH & Co. KG.

The translation of language-specific graphics was very labour-intensive. The texts were either translated directly in the graphic or manually extracted for external translation, a difficult and time-consuming process. After being translated, the texts had to be reinserted manually. Since there was no change management, the process was prone to error and the overview was quickly lost with the large number of files and languages.

Comprehensive translation and change management

To make this process transparent and drastically reduce the amount of effort required, crossbase developed the Illustrator module for producing language-specific graphics. For this purpose, the files have to be processed as follows:

  • All graphic and language-neutral elements are placed on a separate level. Placeholders are inserted at the place of the texts and these are uniformly marked with paragraph formats.
  • The texts are extracted from the graphics, saved in the database as media-neutral text and linked to the corresponding graphic in the database. If texts already exist, they can be assigned more than once using a reference.
  • Finally, the texts are exported from the database in the master language by clicking, translated externally and the translations are imported. Only texts that are new or modified are translated.

Automated production for any language variants

Then the language-specific graphics are produced without manual intervention. At the press of a button, the texts for all relevant languages at the corresponding language levels are placed at the exact coordinates of the placeholders. In addition, other file formats, such as JPG, TIF, and PNG, can be generated after this.

Michael Ascheron, project manager at MHZ, said concerning this: "The Illustrator module is a real innovation in the whole PIM market and provides us with enormous cost and time savings for maintaining and translating our graphics inventory. At first, all of the graphics have to be processed once and the texts in the database have to be maintained, but the effort is worth it. Then textual changes can be made for any number of languages in a fraction of the time and practically without errors. All texts can be edited, modified, and translated regardless of the graphic."

Template of an AI file for language-specific production

Produced AI file in German with corresponding DE layer.

The applied application modules

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Information about the customer

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Michael Binder
Project managers
+49 (0)7031 / 714 – 7296
m.binder@crossbase.de

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