Optimizing operations with manufacturing translation services

Discover how manufacturing translation services can optimize your global operations, streamline processes, and boost efficiency. Learn more today.


As the manufacturing industry speeds toward Industry 4.0, organizations have begun to see smart factories as the future. In fact, 83% of manufacturers expect smart factory solutions to transform product production in the next five years.

However, the biggest challenge in expanding these smart factories across the globe is having the right information in the right language. Manufacturing units that integrate advanced technologies like AI, 5G, Internet of Things, data analytics, and cloud computing need sophisticated instructions in their local languages.

Language barriers are always present due to the need for specialized manufacturing and technical terms. But manufacturing translation services overcome these barriers by providing accurate translations of technical documents, product specifications, and other required materials.

In this article, we’ll explore professional manufacturing translation services and discover how they can optimize your operations in the era of Industry 4.0.

The critical role of translation in manufacturing operations

Expanding into international markets is not a new goal for the manufacturing sector. However, to succeed globally, effective communication is crucial.

Accurate, robust manufacturing translations offer many advantages for optimizing your operations and driving growth:

  • Increased market exposure: By translating product catalogs, technical specifications, and marketing materials into multiple languages, companies can communicate clearly with international distributors, partners, and customers. This allows you to expand your market share and customer base and establish a foothold in new locations, which will result in higher sales volumes.
  • Improved compliance and risk mitigation: Manufacturing industries are subject to strict international standards, safety measures, and legal procedures. Professional translations ensure that technical documents, training materials, manuals, safety instructions, and regulatory filings are accurate and help manufacturing companies avoid legal cases and non-compliance penalties.
  • Enhanced product understanding and error reduction: Accurate translations help customers and workforces in different countries understand your company’s product manuals, assembly instructions, and safety measures. This minimizes operational mistakes, incorrect usage, and safety issues.

Best practices for manufacturing translation

It’s clear that manufacturing translation can substantially impact your business goals. However, it's also important to understand that precise language is more important than word-for-word translations. You could use machine translation (MT) tools like Google Translate or DeepL for quick translations, but they can't guarantee the high-quality translations your industry requires.

Here are some best practices to follow for more precise manufacturing translation output:

Choose the right translation partner

Depending on MTs alone for professional-grade translations is not enough. It’s also important to choose the right language service provider (LSP).

Your LSP should have considerable experience and expertise in the manufacturing industry. Its translators should possess a deep understanding of the unique terms, technical concepts, and regulatory requirements that are specific to your sector. To receive the highest-quality translations, look for a certified LSP that provides translators with manufacturing subject matter expertise.

Adapt your content for local markets

While translating your manufacturing content, it’s vital to acknowledge various regions’ cultural disparities and adapt to them. This process, known as localization, goes beyond simple translation by tailoring your content to meet each target audience’s specific cultural needs and preferences. Localized content more effectively connects with your target audience, makes your brand feel more trustworthy, and creates loyal customers.

Localization tactics may include altering graphics or images for your target audience or even modifying product descriptions to reflect the key product attributes that are most important for certain markets. Additionally, ensuring that your content complies with country-specific regulations and standards is essential.

Maintain consistency across multilingual content

Manufacturing translation projects’ intricate technical terminology requires consistency. Maintaining and using a translation memory (TM) and glossaries will help you produce accurate multilingual content. Or to simplify the process further, choose a manufacturing translation service that will maintain your TM and glossaries for you.

Streamline the translation process

Last but not least, identify ways to improve your manufacturing translation workflow and increase its efficiency. One way to do this is to integrate your professional translation services with your existing content management systems (CMS).

By integrating your LSP’s translation management system with your CMS, you can efficiently address common workflow issues, including file transfers, version control, and project tracking. This will help you minimize errors, increase efficiency, and decrease your translation cost.

Real-world success stories: The impact of manufacturing translation services

Over the years, manufacturing companies have realized the importance of localized translations and have leveraged manufacturing translation services to expand their businesses and find success globally. Below are two examples of how companies have overcome challenges, optimized operations, and achieved measurable results with manufacturing translation services:

Case study 1: Vitamix

Vitamix, a leading blender manufacturer, operates in 130 countries and translates content into more than 11 languages. Because of this, the company needed to ensure that its content was consistent across various languages and channels.

Before employing manufacturing translation services, Vitamix relied on manual translation, a process in which the company and translators passed Word documents back and forth. This approach was not scalable and inhibited growth.

Vitamix partnered with Smartling and leveraged our Global Delivery Network (GDN) to deliver localized websites to consumers in its target markets. This helped the brand significantly reduce its internal engineering and design burden. Vitamix was also able to maintain its brand tone and messaging across all languages and platforms using glossaries and translation memory.

This collaboration helped Vitamix sell out of its new product in only 24 hours.

Case study 2: Wilson Sporting Goods

Wilson Sporting Goods, the world's leading sports equipment manufacturer, wanted to make its products available to local markets in 100 countries. However, to expand beyond the North American market, the brand had to establish a translation process from scratch with only a small team and limited tech.

Wilson partnered with Smartling to scale its expansion and efficiently handle large translation volumes. Smartling's GDN, automated and customized workflows, and centralized platform reduced Wilson’s project management efforts and enabled the company to publish content 57% faster.

Leveraging Smartling for manufacturing translation excellence

Smartling's translation management platform is an ideal tool for manufacturers seeking to optimize their global operations. Here’s how our platform can reduce common challenges in manufacturing translation:

  • Enforcing technical terminology: Smartling helps companies create glossaries and style guides that are specific to their brand voice and terminology to ensure that specialized terms are correct and consistent across all translated content. This is particularly important for safeguarding technical data quality and avoiding potentially expensive misconceptions.
  • Ensuring consistency: Our platform stores and centralizes previously translated content so your translations are accurate across all content types. This shortens the translation process each time, which will save you money.
  • Adhering to regulatory compliance: Smartling's professional translators have the necessary industry expertise to ensure that translations meet all regulatory standards. Our platform's built-in Linguistic Quality Assurance also provides an additional layer of protection that reduces non-compliance risks.
  • Sustaining translation efficiency: Smartling streamlines the translation process and significantly reduces delivery times by automating your workflows. With the ability to support 4,000 words per day per request and the option for expedited delivery, manufacturers can easily keep their translated content up-to-date.
  • Maintaining layout integrity: It’s often challenging to maintain translations’ layout integrity in complex formats such as manuals, brochures, or other published collateral. Smartling offers integrated desktop publishing services to maintain your translated content original layout and design standards. This attention to detail ensures that the final product is polished and professional and reflects positively on your brand.

Smartling centralizes all your translation processes and facilitates seamless collaboration among your team, translators, and subject matter experts.

If you want to take your manufacturing translation to the next level and expand into global markets, then it’s time to get in touch with Smartling. Book a meeting today to learn more.