Producing the Latest User Manuals with SOLIDWORKS Composer.



Marel is the leading global provider of advanced equipment, systems, and services to the fish, meat, and poultry industries. With more than 3,500 employees worldwide and offices and subsidiaries in over 30 countries, they offer standard and customized solutions for effective food handling. Their business units are located in the Netherlands, the UK, Denmark, the United States, Iceland, Slovakia, and Singapore.

The company has grown partly by buying other companies, which has resulted in mixed CAD environments at different sites. SOLIDWORKS ® is the main CAD system in many offices, including the one in Iceland.

Producing user manuals for Marel’s machinery used to be a very complicated and time-consuming task at the Iceland plant, where they used a number of different software packages, such as Adobe® Illustrator® and Microsoft® Word. In fact, updating the documentation was much more complicated than updating their mechanical design. Sometimes updates weren’t even viable and new machinery designs had to be delivered with old documentation that wasn’t really up-to-date. Not only did this pose problems for customers, it also ran the risk of potential legal troubles, since machine manufacturers are liable for the products they sell and the documentation that goes with it.

Tapping the huge potential of SOLIDWORKS

”We really needed to find an effective solution to this problem and we started to search the market for suitable documentation tools. Since we already were SOLIDWORKS users it was natural to look at 3DVIA Composer™ first and we soon found we didn’t have to look any further. After having used 3DVIA Composer for a little less than a year now, we can state that it has more than met our expectations. It’s software with great potential that offers us room to grow for many years to come. That was also why we invested in three licenses from the start, even though we have only one user at the moment,” explained CAD Systems Administrator Steindór Eiriksson.

Engineers at one of the Danish sites have also started looking at 3DVIA Composer, and they agree with their Icelandic colleagues that the software is very easy to learn and work with, which means users can be productive in a very short amount of time.

Enhancing document quality

The slightly embarrassing problem of not always being able to deliver up-to-date documentation with new product designs is now totally eliminated.

”Now I have no problems finding the time to update the user manuals when we deliver a new or improved machine. I even have time to try different solutions and not just accept the first one that comes to mind. With 3DVIA Composer I haven’t just cut document production time by 30 percent, the final result is also much better than before,” asserted 3DVIA Composer user Jón Svavarsson.

Svavarsson uses the 3D CAD model as the input for his product communication material, which means all the figures in illustrations are always correct. Today he estimates he uses 3DVIA Composer at 60 percent of its capacity, and wants to learn more and explore all he can do with his new tool. One goal is to make animated video clips to use on the company website to show exactly how their machines work.

 Marel Iceland is working toward a more unified CAD environment at other Marel sites. The company hopes that they will follow Iceland’s example and choose SOLIDWORKS and 3DVIA Composer in the future.

By adding 3DVIA Composer software to its SOLIDWORKS product development solution, Marel has increased user manual quality and decreased technical communication production time.


Simplify technical communication deliverables production and increase productivity to offer up-to-date user manuals with every new version of machinery.


Implement 3DVIA Composer to improve the technical communication deliverables production process.


Marel’s use of 3D CAD models as input for technical product communication materials ensures that all figures are always correct.