Announcing ECLASS Standard for Teamcenter Data Classification

By Katie_Dudek

The Teamcenter solutions for data classification will soon include support for ECLASS Standard. With this announcement, Teamcenter becomes the first among major PLM providers to support ECLASS Standard in core PLM. 

New Teamcenter classification engine and presentation

Traditionally, Teamcenter classification technology has been based on DIN 4000 Standard constructs. The generic approach taken to classify just about anything has served us well. With the advent of new technology, we are delivering a new presentation for our classification system with the intuitive usability of the Active Workspace client. We’ve also invested significantly in a new library and specification capability.

ecl@ss-1.jpgTeamcenter delivers the next generation of classification in the easy-to-use Active Workspace client

Our goal is to protect customer investment in the re-use processes while moving to a new classification engine that preserves the key existing concepts.

Keeping the digital twin focus, the predominant electronic exchange of product information places increasingly higher demands on data structures and data quality. Teamcenter will meet this challenge by using internationally established classification systems/standards such as ECLASS, which allows us to provide customers with high-quality data through connected systems.

Introducing ECLASS data management, powered by new Teamcenter classification

When it is available in Spring 2019, Teamcenter for ECLASS Data Management can be easily adopted by customers, because all classification systems will co-exist. Customers can seamlessly migrate their data when it makes sense for them. Since the new ECLASS solution leverages the Active Workspace client, users will appreciate the best in the class intuitive usability and flexibility, which will help customers quickly adopt the ECLASS constructs and taxonomy.

ecl@ss-2.jpgEasily search and navigate the ECLASS hierarchy with Teamcenter using the Active Workspace client.

The goal of the ECLASS support in Teamcenter is to allow customers to leverage standard taxonomy and implement the data model support in order to leverage the class and property definitions. By using ECLASS in communications with customers and suppliers, Teamcenter ensures that all the involved speak the same language. This reduces customer costs through economical and efficient integration of our product data into customer SCM and CRM systems. 

The benefits of the new solution for customers include: 

  • Quick start with the ECLASS standard classification hierarchy
  • Accelerates the processing steps required for design, planning, maintenance, support, replacement
  • Simplifies the procurement process through standardized data exchange
  • Improves the quality of exchanged data as there are no translation losses
  • Makes it easier for the customer to select products from standard electronic catalogs
  • Reduces customers’ cost of selection, order placement, and data updates

Teamcenter for ECLASS is an enabler for implementing Industry 4.0 in solutions, products, and systems to realize the digital twin.

ECLASS Standard

Bringing together the worldwide reference-data standard with the world’s leading PLM

The ECLASS organization was founded by 12 large German companies (Including Siemens, BASF, AUDI/VW, SAP, Bayer, and others). The aim of the organization is a simplification of the electronic, cross-industry trade through standardized product descriptions.

ECLASS has established itself internationally over 18 years as the only ISO/IEC-compliant industry standard and is thus the worldwide reference-data standard for the classification and unambiguous description of products and services.

Current version 10.1, spans across 44 segments, over 42,000 product classes and 18,000 uniquely described properties. We believe ECLASS has a strong presence in EU and is fast spreading in China, Japan, and North America as a master standard where product master data can be exchanged digitally across all borders – across sectors, countries, languages, and organizations. As a simple, machine-readable, one-to-one, ISO-compliant, and yet open system, the standard is growing faster than all others. And because it is defined by its users, it is vital and based on real-world practices. ECLASS is built on the world’s expert knowledge. Currently, ECLASS is used in about 3,500 companies both nationally and internationally.

ECLASS Hierarchy Pyramid structure, image credit: ECLASS

ECLASS integrates the major classification standards such as PROLIST, ETIM, proficl@ss, bau: Cl@ss, IMT, EDMA, eCALS, and CECED.

ECLASS consists of a four-level hierarchy of classification classes. The 4-layer class structure is associated with the application classes (AC) containing all relevant structural elements such as Blocks, Aspects, Cardinality, and Polymorphism. The fourth level, the commodity class or product group is then further described with the help of properties and property values. Properties and values form the basis for the product description. These core constructs will be available in the initial product offering we have to offer.

Example of the ECLASS tree structure, image credit: ECLASS.

The grouping of various properties under one name. Using a block, the properties of one class — especially if there is a large number of them — can be grouped and organized. This makes it easier, for instance, to search for and reuse properties.

An aspect is a special variation of a block that is found in the top level of a class. It describes non-product-specific properties for a class from certain perspectives. The “manufacturer” aspect of a motor vehicle, for example, covers properties such as make, manufacturer’s product number, and model. These properties depend directly on the manufacturer and are not subject to any product-specific restriction. This means that this aspect can be used universally with any other class in order to collect manufacturer data.

Attribute blocks, image credit: ECLASS


Defines the attribute of being able to use a block with different property values multiple times in a class. Cardinality expresses how often a block with different property features (values) is assigned to the respective class.

In our “motor vehicle” example, cardinality can be used in describing the doors. The doors are described using the properties of “color”, “type”, and “power window”. These properties are consolidated in a “door properties” block and can be invoked as often as you wish through the “number of doors” reference property.

The properties are filled in as follows:

Cardinality behavior, image credit: ECLASS


Often, the content that a block requires within a class is not determined in advance. For this reason, polymorphism offers the option to decide dynamically when assigning values to properties which specific block content is required. From a data standpoint, which block from a series of blocks is used is determined only at this point.

In the “motor vehicle” example, you can use polymorphism to describe the door type. The properties of the driver’s door and hatchback are then assigned differently:

 Polymorphic behavior, image credit: ECLASS

Watch for more information on Teamcenter for ECLASS Data Management with the Spring 2019 release.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at