FACTIVITY (Cleveland, OH) recently announced the international translation of its MES (Manufacturing Execution System) paperless shop floor data collection software. The system, which provides management with metrics to improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as well as workforce management labor time tracking, is now offered in Korean.
The new translation services grew out of a project with QAD, one of FACTIVITY’s partner organizations, and its customer Saint Gobain. To fulfill their needs, programmers at FACTIVITY changed many of the attributes associated with its shop floor data collection and workforce management interfaces to enable the system to serve additional target languages. It is currently available in Spanish and several other languages, including French, German and Polish, are in the works and will be available soon.
This major translation project was managed internally by FACTIVITY’s senior consultant, Oskar Schwarz. It consisted of making the entire MES shop floor module, sold under the name Shop Floor Workbench™, “translatable,” meaning updating the system to allow English words or phrases on user screens to be changed automatically to the target language.
Because the firm interfaces with commonly used ERP solution providers such as SAP, JDE, Oracle and Microsoft, some translation is already provided within these products. Descriptions of parts and operations along with date and monetary transformations are typically provided by the host ERP products.
The actual translation of English phrases and industry jargon into the correct Korean phrases proved challenging. “Korean terminology used in industrial shop floor settings is very different,” said Jason MacCollum, project manager, FACTIVITY. “Though English words and phrases could be directly translated to Korean, their application in providing directions in a factory setting was completely different.”
“In any translation, there is never a perfect, one to one, phrase to phrase translation,” said Schwarz. “We worked with the individual customers to determine the phrases used in their workplace to develop translations that made the directions clear, rather using direct word for word, English to Korean translation.”
The team at FACTIVITY included consultants, product managers and a translation engineer along with retired engineers and teachers familiar with the Korean language.
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