What do you do when the machinery and process you are trying to describe no longer exists? What if the machinery and the process were "invented" by a company and there were very few, if any, of the designers alive to fill you in on the details? These were the issues I faced when trying to illustrate a paper filter making machine. The client, author and I wanted it to be correct and believable. I researched the paper making business and soon realized there was plenty of reference online; but none of it matched the configuration and process I was trying to capture.
I decided to focus on the process and use the illustration as only a reference. The three of us constructed more of a narrative than a technically perfect illustration. I broke the narrative down to make it easier for the reader digest. This is the state of things now. A long time ago I realized the creation of information graphics is an iterative process. I feel we are getting closer; but the final product will probably look quite a bit different. The important thing right now is we all feel we are on the right track