"ECLASS achieves sustainable savings in processing costs and optimizes procurement."

Siemens AG

ECLASS – the all-rounder

Thanks to its universal applicability, there are nearly unlimited uses for ECLASS at Siemens.

Initial Situation

ECLASS is used in a wide variety of Siemens’ organizational units and areas – from development to service, from purchasing to sales. Some examples of typical use cases include:

  • Creating digital twins for engineering and product development: Using ECLASS Advanced (polymorphisms, cardinalities, blocks), functional data structures and geometric-mechanical data are developed for engineering issues. ECLASS thus forms the semantic basis for digital twins at Siemens.
  • Digital product catalogues: The creation of extensive product catalogues for tens of thousands of products. Distributors depend on the delivery of clearly classified product data that is described at the property level.
  • Backbone for Siemens’ Teamcenter: The transparent and standard-compliant data structure of ECLASS Advanced (including IEC 61360) was the driving factor in the decision to use ECLASS as the structuring backbone of the Teamcenter.
  • Standardized components, purchased parts, material master data: In purchasing, standardized and commonly purchased parts are classified according to ECLASS. By providing global access to warehouse items, processes can be optimized, inventory can be minimized and error costs can be reduced.
  • Digital twin for control cabinet manufacturing: Importing engineering data that is based on ECLASS Advanced makes it feasible to conduct mechanical, electrical and thermal simulations. A digital twin of the control cabinet is created with the use of graphical information.
  • Semantic interoperability: Combining ECLASS with other data models (e.g., Automation ML) makes it possible to describe a greater range of variations, which is particularly relevant for configurable products and composite devices.
  • ECLASS and iiRDS: ECLASS is committed to bringing companies closer together through the exchange of standardized master data and product information. The concept of an administration shell for smart manufacturing components is used for the interaction beteween the open source standard iiRDS and digital nameplate 4.0.
  • Request workflow: Customers can request very specific data from Siemens for configurable products from process instrumentation.


In recent years, the company has intensified its cooperation with process industry partners for the enquiry workflow. ECLASS Advanced has provided the shared semantics for the exchange of electronic data here.   Implementation across companies was facilitated by following the IEC 61987-10 international workflow standard.

The great advantage of this process lies in its efficiency. The exchange of data between the parties involved (e.g., purchasing, sales, service, plant engineers) takes place quickly and without undermining quality.

The workflow ensures that all requested properties and values are recognized in the product configurator and confirmed as valid. This requires a mapping of properties and values between the ECLASS dictionary (including classification, path, property and value) and the Siemens classifications (including property and value).

The advantages here are clear:

  • Comparing offers is made easier.
  • Having validated data simplifies data imports.
  • And having engineering data available earlier on in a process accelerates plant engineering.

In addition, this allows for the creation of a transparent overview of the actual installed base. All in all, service requests or queries are also significantly reduced.

Our experience shows that this process is also transferable to other industrial sectors.


For Siemens, the strength of ECLASS lies in the opportunities it provides in terms of company-wide application. It comes as no surprise that ECLASS is used in a wide variety of situations at Siemens. ECLASS simplifies process flows with our customers and suppliers. In all use cases, ECLASS makes it possible to increase data quality and reduce process costs.


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