International cooperation between the IEC and eCl@ss

Industry hails the harmonization of standards in electrical engineering and electronics as a great breakthrough for digital data exchange and an important gain for the sector

The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant International Standards for all electric and electronic devices and systems supports all forms of conformity assessment and administers four Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems, and eCl@ss e. V., the industry association providing the classification and description system eCl@ss, have signed a cooperation agreement which aims to facilitate the automatic transfer of shared content between the IEC Common Data Dictionaries (CDD) and eCl@ss dictionaries.

The cooperation between the IEC and eCl@ss e. V. centres on the requirements of international and digital information exchange based on globally implemented Standards of the IEC. In the framework of the project “d-m@p,” experts from the IEC and eCl@ss e. V. are developing a mapping system that makes product data characteristics and attributes reciprocally readable. As digitization proceeds, companies are increasingly faced with the challenge of electronic data exchange.

Under this Cooperation Agreement the content for mapping belongs to IEC 61987, lndustrial-process measurement and control - Data structures and elements in process equipment catalogues; IEC 61360, Standard data element types with associated classification scheme for electric components; and eCl@ss Segment 27: Electric engineering, automation, process control engineering. For the benefit of eCl@ass and IEC CDD users, common content shall be identified and easily accessible in a harmonized form.

Markus Reigl, head of the central department of technical regulation and standardization at Siemens AG, explains: “Market-leading companies have recognized that normatively structured product data, unambiguously classified and accompanied by a comprehensive description of characteristics, is the lever by which to advance digitization in highly diverse applications in such areas as B2B, Industry 4.0, and smart buildings.”

“This agreement means that classifications and product descriptions will conform to both current IEC International Standards and eCl@ss properties. Mapping and long-term harmonization of content overlap will benefit end-users through reduced misunderstandings in interpretation and in the use of product properties,” said IEC Technical Officer Matei Cocimarov. With over 40,000 groups and more than 17,000 characteristics, the eCl@ss standard provides companies with a means of product data communication that is internationally recognized and free of media discontinuity. Already, more than 3,300 companies worldwide are convinced of the advantages and are using the eCl@ss standard.

The cooperation with the IEC, the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant International Standards for all electric and electronic devices and systems underscores the importance and steady further development of eCl@ss as an international and sector-independent standard for product data and classification.