User Manual on seat of van in construction

How to Digitise Operator User Manuals

Discover the benefits of digitising operator user manuals, from cost-efficiency and enhanced searchability to the latest legal compliance standards in the EU and UK. Learn how QR codes and intrinsically safe devices can streamline machinery management and ensure safety on petrochemical sites.

In this article:

  1. Paper User Manuals
  2. Benefits of Digital User Manuals
  3. QR Codes on Machines
  4. Is it Legal to Have a Digital User Manual?
  5. Options for Petrochemical Sites

Paper User Manuals

Heavy machinery often comes with extensive paper user manuals, leading to information overload and difficulty in finding specific details. Here are some key issues with traditional paper manuals:

User Manual in the mud
  • Expensive to print
  • Limited language options
  • Not weatherproof
  • Easily lost or damaged
  • No quick search functionality
  • Impractical for on-the-go use

These issues can significantly impact productivity and safety on job sites. Digital user manuals offer a solution by being cost-effective, multilingual, weatherproof, and easily searchable. Portable digital devices, like tablets, make it easy to access and update manuals on-site, enhancing efficiency and safety. Transitioning to digital documentation streamlines operations and supports a more sustainable, user-friendly approach to machinery management.

QR Codes on Machines

QR codes on workbench

The use of QR codes on machines is gaining popularity, offering a seamless way to access relevant content, such as user manuals. By simply scanning a QR code placed on the machine, operators can instantly view essential information. Here are the primary benefits of having a standard QR code on a machine:

  • Saves on Paper: Reduces the need for printed manuals, supporting eco-friendly practices.
  • Easy to Search: Allows users to quickly search for specific terms or phrases within digital documents.
  • Multimedia Content: Provides access to video or audio content, enhancing the understanding of complex instructions.

3 Effective Ways to Link QR Codes to Fleet User Manuals and Certificates | Capja

While these benefits are significant, ensuring ease of use and security is paramount. This is where CapjaDocs stands out as the ideal solution. CapjaDocs offers all the standard benefits of QR codes, along with additional features designed for efficiency and security:

  • Dynamic Documentation: CapjaDocs allows you to quickly swap out and update documents, ensuring that the most current information is always available.
  • Document Expiry Alerts: You can set expiries on documents and links, receiving alerts when they are about to expire, ensuring that outdated information is not used.
  • Professional and User-Friendly Interface: Customers only see a simple, mobile-optimised view, without any administrative clutter, providing a streamlined experience.
  • Enhanced Security: Access to documents is controlled, so the person scanning the QR code cannot access any other folders or documents unless specifically authorised, preventing accidental sharing of sensitive information.

CapjaDocs ensures that your machine documentation is always up-to-date, secure, and easy to access, making it an invaluable tool for modernising machinery management.

Is it Legal to Have a Digital User Manual?

User manual at a law firm

Recent EU and UK regulations now permit digital user manuals for machinery, provided they are easily accessible, downloadable, and printable. Essential safety information must still be available in paper format upon request. Digital manuals must be secure, user-friendly, and reliable, complementing traditional paper versions to ensure comprehensive compliance and operational efficiency.

For more information, check out the article we wrote about this: Are Digital Machine User Manuals Illegal? | Capja

Options for Petrochemical Sites

When working on petrochemical sites, it’s crucial to use devices that are certified safe for such hazardous environments. Intrinsically safe mobile devices, designed to prevent ignition of hazardous materials, are a viable solution. These devices are certified for use in areas with explosive gases, vapours, or dust.

Petrochemical Site

Several manufacturers provide intrinsically safe smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. For example, the Smart-Ex® 03 from Pepperl+Fuchs and Aegex 100M tablets are designed to meet rigorous safety standards, including ATEX and IECEx certifications, making them suitable for use in hazardous zones (Zone 1/21 and Zone 2/22)​ (Pepperl+Fuchs)​​ (Airacom | APTT Push-to-Talk)​​ (Airacom | APTT Push-to-Talk)​.

These devices offer robust communication, real-time data access, and enhanced safety features, ensuring compliance with industry regulations while maintaining productivity. Always check local regulations and consult the latest safety information to ensure the devices meet your site’s specific requirements.

For more information, you can explore resources from manufacturers like Pepperl+Fuchs and Airacom, which offer a range of intrinsically safe mobile devices tailored for petrochemical and other hazardous environments.


Digitising operator user manuals can greatly enhance efficiency, safety, and compliance in your operations. CapjaDocs provides a secure, user-friendly solution to manage your digital documentation, ensuring that your manuals are always up-to-date and easily accessible.

Ready to modernise your machinery management? Try CapjaDocs today and experience the benefits of digital documentation firsthand! Visit CapjaDocs to learn more.

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Are Digital Machine User Manuals Illegal?

The transition from paper to digital user manuals for machinery offers significant advantages but requires careful attention to legal compliance. The EU’s new Machinery Regulation (EU) 2023/1230 explicitly allows digital user instructions, mandating accessibility, clarity, and the provision of paper copies upon request. Similarly, UK regulations support digital formats as long as essential safety information is accessible. Ensuring compliance involves adhering to these guidelines while leveraging the benefits of digital documentation for efficient and secure machinery management.

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