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Interview: Product Carbon Footprint and ECLASS

What is PCF? What do the values mean? And how can ECLASS help? In an interview we ask these and other questions to Thorsten Kroke, the head of the ECLASS Head Office.

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What is a PCF?

Roughly simplified, the product carbon footprint, or PCF for short, indicates the CO₂ emissions that arise during the production of a product or during its entire life cycle. This is very important in the course of the decarbonization of our industry: it's the only way we can find out whether a product is climate-neutral or not. Legislation in Europe is currently dealing intensively with this topic - and with it the industry, because in the medium term we want to be climate-neutral.

What do the values ​​mean?

An example from our private lives: Today we already pay attention to the transport routes when buying groceries. Potatoes grown locally are likely to have a lower carbon footprint than potatoes grown overseas. In order to be able to compare products, we need standardized information.

How can ECLASS help here?

ECLASS is not only globally established and industry-neutral, ECLASS is also machine-readable and therefore the only available solution. Why? An industrial product usually consists of several components, each of which has its own PCF information. The goods produced also cause greenhouse gases. In this case, the entire value chain must be taken into account. In addition, the measurement method according to a corresponding DIN/ISO standard is important and ultimately the data quality is required. All of this becomes an essential part of the product description and is necessary for digital data exchange. ECLASS will provide standardized properties - independent of the industry and for a wide variety of products. This makes it much easier for the industry to label this information.

Can the companies contribute to the development of the ECLASS properties?

Definitely! The ECLASS Cross Expert Group is looking for other experts to help shape it. We arrange the contact via the ECLASS Head Office.

What's the future like?

The IDTA is currently defining sub-models of the administration shell for Industry 4.0. A Siemens prototype built by the ECLASS subsidiary BCON² GmbH impressively shows how efficiently and smoothly all PCF information can be mapped in a sub-model of the asset administration shell (AAS) using only ECLASS structure elements. This is how ECLASS users stay innovative for the digital twin!

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