eCl@ss : The Electrical Language of the 21st Century for Efficient Product Data Exchange

29-07-2021 Krunoslav Rašić

eCl@ss is a hierarchical system for grouping materials, products, and services according to a logical structure with a level detail that corresponds to the product-specific properties that can be described using norm-conforming properties. eCl@ss has established itself internationally as the only ISO- and IEC-compliant industry standard.

It enables the digital exchange of product master data across industries, languages, and organizations. To sum up, eCl@ss classifies and describes product data in a standardized way.

eCl@ss standard is intended to facilitate and accelerate the exchange of computerized data, both internally and externally, by improving overall performance, reducing costs, and increasing productivity.

Now that we know what eCl@ss is and its perks, let us examine the connection between eCl@ss and Electrical CAD processes and why TraceParts believes it will become a standardized system for storing and exchanging electrical product data, in other words – THE Electrical CAD language of the 21st century.

eCl@ss, a unified electrical CAD data storage

Some manufacturers store their product data in proprietary formats, some use already developed PIM systems, and some manufacturers don’t have their data stored within any kind of a structured format. The fact that there are many different systems for storing product data denies the idea of a standardized and unified storage and exchange system. So, the idea that there is such a system that would be a standard for all manufacturers is quite an interesting one.

eCl@ss system has that possibility to store electrical data in a standardized manner, allowing manufacturers and their customers to exchange and manipulate product data easily. This standardized product data can then easily be implemented in different Electrical CAD software applications.

eCl@ss fits the description of a standardized system, and here is why

eCl@ss system consists of structural elements known as classification classes. These classes represent the unique and extensive classification system that spans all across the electrical engineering field, numbering 46 categories such as Protection systems, Electrical installations, Control cabinets, Connector systems, etc., as well as their appropriate subcategories. Therefore, it is safe to say that every electrical component can be classified accordingly.

Classification classes in eCl@ss are divided into a four-level hierarchy. The fourth level, the commodity class or product group, is then further described with the help of properties and property values which form the basis for describing products.

Every product category in the eCl@ss classification database has its own set of properties that are specific to a certain electrical component, as well as some essential properties that are common for every product category. eCl@ss has a comprehensive database of properties that can define a certain electrical component to the smallest detail, and each of those properties has its own set of values.

These properties and their values can define all sorts of electrical data, from product metadata (part number, manufacturer information, descriptions, etc.) to information about connection points, 2D and 3D macro representations of different electrical components, links to external files such as component images, DXF files, STEP files, etc.

Properties and values that describe the electrical components, together with their classification, make eCl@ss a standardized digital language capable of describing extensive and complex functionalities and structural elements in the Electrical CAD world.

With eCl@ss, there is no need for data format conversion

With eCl@ss as a standard for all manufacturers, there would be no need for converting different data formats. All data would be standardized and centralized. That way, all the processes regarding the classification of electrical components, product data storage, and product data exchange would be dramatically improved and simplified.

eCl@ss will facilitate and simplify Electrical CAD processes by standardizing how product data is stored and classified and then exchanged amongst different manufacturers of electrical components.


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