The operation manual is one of the most important items provided with each piece of equipment. Its sole purpose is to instruct users on the safe and correct operation of the equipment and how to maintain and repair it.

The operation manual should include a description of the product, step-by-step instructions on how to operate it, and a parts breakdown detailing all of the components, should the need for a replacement arise. It should also be written in the language where the product is being sold. The instructions should be very clear and easy to understand for the user; always keeping in mind that the user will not necessarily know the product.

The parts breakdown should clearly show where the part is located on the equipment, its name or part number, a comprehensive description for it, and the quantity needed. The operation manual should also include inspection checklists, basic maintenance checklists, warranty information, as well as customer service information. The operation manual is typically put together and written by engineers and designers given the fact that they would know the product better than anyone else.

The operation manual should be considered an essential part of the design, manufacturing, and support process. Top-quality products should have top-quality manuals, and those manuals should form an integral part of the product throughout its entire life cycle.

Well-written operation manuals result in many benefits, primarily that operators are properly trained in the daily use of the equipment and can maintain the equipment throughout its life cycle. They are also able to procure and replace spare parts correctly and safely.

This ultimately leads to cost savings and availability for the user, resulting in reputation enhancement and repeat sales for the manufacturer.