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Expert interview: Questions for Sebastian Böttjer and Thorsten Kroke

In the run-up to SPS 2022, we interviewed Sebastian Böttjer from D&TS and Thorsten Kroke as Managing Director of BCON².

D&TS GmbH BCON² GmbH

Sebastian Böttjer, Head of Sales & Project Management, D&TS GmbH

Sebastian, as an ECLASS Service Provider, D&TS is particularly involved in the SPS this year. Why is that?

Answer: The ECLASS Standard has made a significant leap forward in development, especially in the field of electronics and in the carbon footprint, both of which are important for automation processes and sustainable production. This is a significant leap forward that we want to pass on to our customers and provide them with the ideal support for their projects. In addition, we would like to present our solution ClassCOCKPIT Data Cloud, ECLASS data at the push of a button into the end systems is now possible!

Does D&TS focus on a particular industry? Or do you have a particular expertise in a specific industry?

Answer: Our focus is clearly on industry, whether machine/plant construction, manufacturing companies and, last but not least, component manufacturers - everyone should benefit from the Standard. Especially with the component manufacturers, who strongly drive ECLASS froward, we want to have conversations at the SPS about implementing ECLASS.

Do D&TS customers mainly work with ECLASS Basic or Advanced? Have you noticed a trend?

Answer: At the moment, ECLASS Basic still tends to be used to a greater extent, but this will change more and more in the future. Our partner EPLAN, for example, has introduced ECLASS Advanced with the EDS status (EPlan Data Status). Here we are already helping EPLAN to achieve the goal of having all manufacturers of electronic components soon providing their data with EDS status in the EPLAN portal and the industry using it.

How exactly do you support customers in the implementation of ECLASS? Can you summarise this briefly?

Answer: We see ourselves not only as consultants and software manufacturers, because what we advise, we implement directly as a Service Provider. That is also the secret of our success.

What are your customers' motives or what advantages do you see in using an industry standard?

Answer: One of our customers is from China. I can't speak to him in Chinese, but we still communicate with each other about product descriptions through ECLASS, no matter what language we speak. Only in this way is a standardised data exchange and a digital twin even possible.

What is D&TS's unique selling point as a Service Provider of ECLASS?

Answer: We don't just provide our customers with an "empty software", but deliver ready-classified content according to ECLASS for the respective end systems. Since we work cloud-based, ClassCOCKPIT Data Cloud can be implemented directly in the end systems, e.g. ERP, PDM, PLM, PIM, etc.
We have already classified numerous products according to ECLASS; after searching in the ClassCOCKPIT Data Cloud, the desired material data can be directly implemented in the end systems, thus making data quality reproducible.

Thorsten Kroke, CEO BCON² GmbH and General Manager ECLASS e.V.

Thorsten, as Managing Director of BCON2 and General Manager of ECLASS e.V. you fulfil a dual role. How can that be reconciled?

Answer: Quite simply. BCON2 is a subsidiary of ECLASS e.V. and offers extensive services for very small companies around ECLASS. So I am kind of an 'ECLASS ambassador' and can offer companies specific support or connect them directly with our valuable partners like D&TS, because D&TS accompanies ECLASS users from learning about the Standard to implementation.

The two of you are giving a joint presentation at SPS Drives at EPLAN. What is the connection there?

Answer: The topics of digital standardisation and intelligent software solutions belong together. This way, potential users and customers benefit from experience on both sides. The advantages of master data management in data exchange cannot be realised entirely without a standard, but experienced software experts with implementation expertise such as D&TS are needed to manage the data flow in the supply chain.

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