Automatic Print Generation with TecDoc Data

User Report by Continental - Multinational Automotive Parts Manufacturing Company

Product Data at Continental

Continental is one of the largest automotive suppliers and produces driving safety technologies, components for vehicle dynamics, system solutions related to the powertrain as well as information management and intelligent transport systems.

Continental have been maintaining their product data for their customers in TecDoc format for many years and wanted to use this data to generate their catalogs 100% automatically without additional data maintenance.

What is TecDoc?

TecDoc is a data standard in the automotive supplier industry and was created by a merger of numerous manufacturers. On the one hand, the standard includes vehicle information in the so-called master data and, on the other hand, the product data of suppliers, such as Continental. Vehicle data is maintained centrally in master data, which contains all car manufacturers (such as Audi, BMW), their model series (such as A3, A4) and vehicles (such as A4 2.0 TDI Quadro, year of manufacture 01/16-31/20) and is regularly updated with each new model. As a basis for the manufacturer product data, there are still so-called generic articles with general properties for the parts in the standard. Manufacturer companies such as Continental add their product data to this data structure.

Continental's use of ANTEROS

ANTEROS for Continental

Continental uses ANTEROS to generate their catalogs for the various brands and countries 100% automatically, with all directories, product and application pages, cross-reference lists, etc. Most of the data for this is regularly imported into ANTEROS via the TecDoc import. Continental enriches this imported data in ANTEROS with further data and content, such as abbreviations and icons for parameter values, images in print format or product documents.

Why does the Continental Independent Aftermarket need Software like ANTEROS?

Continental's goal for the project was to ensure that the investment in ANTEROS would result in long-term money savings, a goal that has since been met, in part due to the elimination of agency costs. In addition, the following improvements were identified through the ANTEROS solution:

 

 
  • Improved presentation and condensation of products in product catalogs
  • Faster response times for the creation of new catalogs, e.g. new product catalogs or product group catalogs at the push of a button
 
 
  • Better market coverage and faster market development by simply adding additional languages supported by TecDoc
  • Increase customer satisfaction by offering additional services, such as customer-specific catalogs on demand
 

Process of the ANTEROS Project

Continental's project with INCONY went through the following phases:

 

 
  • Prototype
    INCONY initially imported Continental's TecDoc data on one brand and then was able to directly generate a print catalog in the ANTEROS standard layout and standard summarization rules at the push of a button. This allowed Continental to gain a better understanding of the capabilities of ANTEROS. The prototype served to refine the requirements during the concept phase.

  • Conceptual Design
    In this phase, the systematics of Continental's catalogs (initially for the VDO brand) were coordinated in terms of layout and summarization rules and fixed in writing.

  • Configuration/Customization
    The results of the conceptual design were then implemented in ANTEROS, i.e. the print engine was configured with the desired print and compression rules.

 
 
  • Data Import and Data Additions
    TecDoc data from Continental was initially and then automatically imported into the customized system on a regular basis. Subsequently, Continental employees defined mappings from certain TecDoc data to abbreviations or icons, e.g. "for year of manufacture from", to ensure that the catalog pages are as language-independent as possible. In addition, some product images were uploaded in print quality and texts as well as images for introductory pages added and translated into several languages via the ANTEROS translation tools.

  • Print or PDF Output
    After the individual adjustments and the import of the concrete data, Continental Aftermarket was able to generate automated catalogs and any extract catalogs 100% automatically.

 

"We can now generate entire catalogs, as well as new product or target group catalogs at the touch of a button. The catalogs are generated 100% automatically and even include the cover with changing spine width, directories and automatically condensed vehicle product pages. To do this, our TecDoc data is imported into ANTEROS and we add content, including print-quality images and mappings of TecDoc key data to abbreviations and pictograms, to produce multilingual catalogs with little effort. The ANTEROS software is ingenious and the INCONY team is extremely competent and flexible regarding customer requests."

Continental
Stefan Blum, Continental Aftermarket

Everything is Automated for the Print Catalog

In order to save as much time as possible when creating a catalog, Continental has automated all elements of their catalogs, from the cover to article overviews and dynamic content.

Front and Back Cover

The front page, or cover of a catalog is generated automatically. To do so, Continental can maintain the relevant elements, such as certain images or main texts, directly in ANTEROS in different languages. The texts used here are automatically written into the dictionary by ANTEROS to speed up the translation process. In addition, ANTEROS even dynamically calculates the spine thickness of a catalog based on the paper thickness entered. The back page can have a catalog item number input every time in the print generation screen. Moreover, a separate logo and QR code are stored in each individual publication, which also differ by brand and country, among other things.

Introduction

The introduction differs from catalog to catalog, as it includes a general explanation and description of the product groups specifically included in each catalog. Furthermore, these descriptions are not specified by TecDoc, but are created and maintained independently by Continental in ANTEROS. Continental can efficiently perform any translations via the ANTEROS dictionary.

Main Section

The main section includes the highly complex vehicle use pages, which are created fully automatically and with individual summarization rules. Here, the products are divided up according to vehicle manufacturers (such as VW) with sub-chapters on models (such as VW ID4) and the products are then displayed with the matching vehicles. Special emphasis is placed on a clear presentation of the data so that the products can be identified quickly and reliably. In order to save space despite the volume of data, a high level of data compression is handled by the print engine - and this is done fully automatically during the print generation process.

Fully automated creation of print catalogs and indexes

Pictograms and Abbreviations

TecDoc criteria is often specified by texts, such as "year of manufacture from", or "installation side left". If these texts were printed in the catalog, a separate catalog would be needed for each language, and for regions such as Switzerland, three catalogs would be required for each brand alone. In order to save costs here, Continental uses the ANTEROS symbol editor to map TecDoc criteria designations or values to icons (e.g. for "year of manufacture") or to language-independent abbreviations. In addition, the ANTEROS-Printengine generates an explanatory page for the abbreviations and pictograms in each catalog.

Clear presentation of all important information TecDoc

Article Overview

The article overview brings all relevant data together. Here, product data from TecDoc meet product photos from the ANTEROS image database and pictograms from the matching generic article. The display particularly emphasizes the ease with which ANTEROS can unite data that is maintained externally and data that is created internally.

Interface for Print Generation at Continental

Print output by ANTEROS offers a wide range of setting and filtering options. Experts really appreciate these features. However, for some of the Continental Aftermarket employees, the abundance was overwhelming. Therefore, an additional simplified interface for print generation was created with limited setting options. ANTEROS now makes it possible for Continental to generate not only complete catalogs at the push of a button, but also excerpts for individual brand, new product, and target group catalogs.

Continental is Extremely Satisfied and is Expanding the use of Print Generation with ANTEROS

Thanks to fully automatic catalog generation, Continental no longer has to go through the time-consuming process of reworking catalogs in typesetting files. The resulting time saved, together with the paper saved through optimal display and data compression, has led to considerable financial savings.

Continental has therefore decided to gradually extend print generation with ANTEROS to all brands. In addition, Continental would like to generate any extract catalogs in the future using search queries alone.

Try it Yourself in a Free Software Demo

Would you like to maintain your product data more efficiently, especially if TecDoc does not cover your entire portfolio? Of course you can import your existing TecDoc data and export it later for TecDoc or even in other formats! ANTEROS.print is much more flexible and faster than the template-based print systems of other PIM systems.

Do you want print catalogs based on your product data and at the push of a button, including application pages?

Has the Continental presentation convinced you? Then request your software demo of the ANTEROS cross media solution now!

Free demo