Digital data exchange to be streamlined

International Cooperation Agreement signed between the IEC and eCl@ss e. V.

By Janice Blondeau

The harmonization of standards in electrical engineering and electronics means a breakthrough for digital data exchange.

IEC and eCl@ss logos The agreement aims to facilitate the automatic transfer of shared content between the IEC Common Data Dictionaries (CDD) and eCl@ss dictionaries

Speaking the same digital language

In industry, a great deal of time and effort can be wasted in the transposition of measuring equipment data from one form to another. For example, the technical data of an instrument may exist at the manufacturer’s facility as two separate data sets for paper and electronic presentation, while end-users require much the same data for works standards, engineering data bases or commercial data bases. In many cases, the data cannot be automatically re-used because each application has its own particular data storage format. 

IEC eCl@ss Cooperation Agreement

To streamline the exchange of data in an industrial and manufacturing setting, the IEC has recently signed a Cooperation Agreement with eCl@ss e. V. – essentially to reduce overlap and misunderstandings across several data dictionaries containing product classes and product properties. 

The agreement aims to facilitate the automatic transfer of shared content between the IEC Common Data Dictionaries (CDD) and eCl@ss dictionaries. This means that classifications and product descriptions will conform to both current IEC International Standards and eCl@ss properties. End-users will benefit through mapping and long-term harmonization of content overlap, with reduced misunderstandings in interpretation and in the use of product properties. 

Based on IEC Standards

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. 

Under this Cooperation Agreement, the content for mapping belongs to IEC 61987, Industrial-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. 

Advancing digitization

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.” 

The product will be published by IEC as a 'Value Added Product' and by eCl@ss as a 'mapping table' and it will be available on the IEC Webstore and on the eCl@ss download portal. 

About eCl@ss

eCl@ss is the most successful cross-industry product data standard for the classification and unambiguous description of products and services. eCl@ss is an ISO/IEC-compliant industrial standard to be applied nationally and internationally. 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.

Gallery
IEC and eCl@ss logos The agreement aims to facilitate the automatic transfer of shared content between the IEC Common Data Dictionaries (CDD) and eCl@ss dictionaries
Screen capture of IEC CDD For IEC CDD and eCl@ass users, common content shall be identified and easily accessible in a harmonized form
Breakthrough for digital data exchange Normatively structured product data, unambiguously classified and accompanied by a comprehensive description of characteristics, advances digitization in such areas as B2B, Industry 4.0, and smart buildings