Case Study Metrohm

Optimized Translation Thanks to Seamless Processes

With the help of Across, the translation process was professionalized. This resulted in a significant improvement of the quality, quantity, and speed of the translations.

Dr. Roland Dörig, Head of Technical Editing

Metrohm AG is a globally leading manufacturer of precision instruments for chemical analysis. In addition to measurement equipment, the company develops custom-tailored applications that help users to assure their product quality, comply with regulations, and optimize processes.

The customers come from the chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical industries, the food industry, metal and electronics industry, and water and environmental analytics. All instruments including software and accessories are developed directly by Metrohm AG. This wide portfolio generates a substantial documentation overhead. Manuals, online help, software texts, product data, and marketing material are translated to up to 15 languages for the target markets. This challenge can only be mastered with the help of efficient processes and technological support. Since 2007, Metrohm AG has therefore used the Across Language Server for the coordination of large portions of its translation work. A key reason for this decision was the possibility to directly connect the existing editorial system and, at a later time, the product information system. Thus, the translation management was seamlessly integrated in the overall editorial process. The automation of the data transfer between the system was also implemented on the basis of the interfaces, making the management of the translation projects easier and reducing the time input. For each project, about 10 to 15 minutes of working time can be saved.

Seamless Translation Processes

However, Across not only enables the company to hook up its third-party systems and the editorial staff members using them. Other project parties, such as internal translators and project managers as well as external language service providers are also embedded directly in the translation process. The connection between several Across Server installations allows flexible distribution of tasks of a defined workflow. To process the task, all parties have access to the central translation memory, from where they can reuse previously translated text segments in later projects. Technical Editing creates documents in German, which are released after they are reviewed by other departments. Subsequently, the translation managers extract relevant new terms to expand the corporate terminology and conduct a pre-translation on the basis of the translation memory. An employee of Metrohm AG translates most texts into the target language English; all other target languages are delegated to external language service providers via Across.

The advantages of Across were especially obvious in connection with the translation of software texts. Prior to the deployment of this translation management, they had been translated by the foreign subsidiaries of Metrohm AG with the help of a custom database application. This approach consumed a lot of processing time and often necessitated follow-up inquiries. "With the help of Across, the translation process was professionalized. Thanks to consistent terminology work, the assistance of the translation memory, and the collaboration with reliable external service providers, this resulted in a considerable improvement of the quality, quantity, and speed of the translations", explains Dr. Roland Dörig, Head of Technical Editing at Metrohm AG. "The seamless connection to the editorial system and to the Across Language Servers of the service providers also enables automatic transmission of the data.

The combination of modularization options with the editorial system and reuse of previously translated sentences yielded numerous synergies with great saving potential." Meanwhile, the Marketing department uses a largely automated translation process for its product data: All source-language texts are collected and automatically handed over to the individual language service providers once a week.

Establishing Terminology Work

The professionalization of the entire translation management was also accompanied by growing awareness of the significance of consistent terminology at all levels. A terminology group that was established especially for this purpose took on the subject and has coordinated the continuous filling of the database ever since. Like the translation memory, the terminology system is also accessible to editors, translators, and reviewers alike. Meanwhile, the people involved have access to comprehensive, standardized corporate terminology that contributes to the high quality of source texts and translations.

Planned Extensions

Following the initial installation of the Across Language Server in 2007, extensions were implemented as early as 2009 and 2011. These concerned the translation of software texts and product data. In the future, the company plans to implement linguistic authoring assistance in collaboration with Congree Language Technologies GmbH, a subsidiary of Across Systems.

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Metrohm AG

  • Globally leading manufacturer of precision instruments for chemical analysis
  • Industries: Chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical industry, food industry, metal and electronics industry, water and environmental analytics
  • Number of employees: 370 in Switzerland, 1,800 worldwide
  • Translation volume: CHF 100,000/year
  • Target languages: 15

Initial Situation

  • High overhead for coordination by e-mail
  • Inconsistent terminology
  • Growing demands on the translation quality

Across components employed

  • Across Language Server
  • crossGrid


  • Seamless connection of third-party systems and language service providers
  • Consistent corporate terminology
  • Significant saving potential due to reuse of translations