Optimal support of customer processes in engineering and procurement of standardized product data according to eCl@ss

"eCl@ss is the standard that is used in both the internal systems as well as to communicate with our customers, enabling consistent processes throughout the product lifecycle."




Phoenix Contact is the global market leader for components, systems and solutions in the field of electrical engineering, electronics and automation. The product range includes components and system solutions for energy supply, including wind and solar, device and machine construction, and control cabinet construction. A diverse range of blocks and special terminals, PCB terminal blocks and connectors, cables hardware and installation accessories provides innovative components. Electronic interfaces and power supplies, automation systems based on ethernet and wireless, security solutions for man, machine and data, surge protection systems, and software programs and tools provide installers and operators of installations and equipment manufacturers with comprehensive systems.




For the manufacture and sale of components and systems in the ield of electrical engineering, diferent tools are required to accompany the processes from development to product markeing. On the one hand it is SAP in the procurement process for raw materials and components. For several years now Phoenix Contact has been deploying eCl@ss now in category management to support the purchasing processes. On the other hand, the classiicaion systems required by the customer such as ETIM, UNSPSC and eCl@ss are used in the respecive versions of the classiicaion of the products. Depending on requirements, a customized soluion to support the speciic process was developed in the paricipaing system.

While classiicaion systems have been established in recent years in the ield of category management and use of shopping portals, manufacturers such as Phoenix Contact must ofer various proprietary interfaces to ensure that the product informaion is integrated into the electrical design tools of the customers and thus monitor their engineering processes opimally.



In the system landscape of Phoenix Contact the product data informaion management tool (PIM) is a central component. Here, all product data is managed to provide diferent applicaions such as online/print catalogs or data sheets with the necessary product data.

The assignment of the products in the categories of external classiicaion systems was carried out with corresponding characterisics within the internal classes in the PIM system. The harmonizaion projects of eCl@ss with ETIM and PROLIST, the addiion of the advanced structures in the eCl@ss model and the models developed by the CAx department for mapping the CAErelevant data in eCl@ss since version 7.0, were the essenial aspects for Phoenix Contact, so eCl@ss has become a cross-classiicaion standard. Therefore in 2011 the implementaion of eCl@ss 7.0 Advanced in the PIM system was started.

For the generaion of eCl@ss data from Phoenix Contact Data a proprietary mapping tool was developed which transforms the data from the internal classiicaion in the target system. Thus all data necessary in the eCl@ss model, such as the terminal posiions of power, can be supplied from a single source and muliple versions are supported in parallel.

In the sales release process of an aricle the eCl@ss classiicaion is a must nowadays.



The consistent recasing that data is maintained at the source and distributed via interfaces to other systems, enables Phoenix Contact to provide customers with comprehensive product data in eCl@ss BMEcat format. Whether these are then used in a muli-supplier catalog for e-procurement and building a catalog of products in a CAE tool for engineering, is decided by the client himself, for whom this is an important criterion in the supplier selecion process.

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