Automated retrieval on demand instead of costly storage: In an ECLASS task force, AmpereSoft has promoted the simplified provision of product data on the part of manufacturers. Today, users are increasingly faced with the challenge that the previous methods for data transfer fail due to the increasing requirements. The new web service “ItemDataRetrieval” provides a remedy.
For years AmpereSoft has been actively involved in establishing the ECLASS Advanced product data standard. With this standard, products can be described in greater detail than ever before in an open standard with manufacturer-independent recognition: The standard maps not only the physical specifications, but also the functionalities of a product. In the meantime, more and more manufacturers are making their product data available in this form, while the standard is constantly being developed further. However, this situation, which is positive in itself, also leads to new challenges: Using the huge amounts of data as XML files in BMEcat format, as was previously the case, is no longer practicable or up-to-date.
That is why we have joined forces with manufacturers and other software providers in an ECLASS task force with the aim of establishing a web service for the targeted and demand-oriented retrieval of product data.
ItemDataRetrieval in the beta phase
The project is called “ItemDataRetrieval” and is currently in the beta phase: individual manufacturers as well as a neutral data portal offer the web service to retrieve the data, while software providers test its use in corresponding engineering tools. Not only ECLASS Advanced data but also other information can be transported if it has been created according to a classification standard.
“ItemDataRetrieval” enables the direct retrieval of product data from the manufacturer by any software, such as engineering tool, configurator, network or temperature calculation. The web service is based on a neutral specification designed by the ECLASS Task Force in a lean and modern RESTful design.
Users can now access the data exactly when they need it. Because they are always up to date at the manufacturer, the demand for constantly updated information in times of smart engineering, smart manufacturing and smart maintenance is also met.
Application example Heat generation in the switch board: From configuration to calculation
The following example is intended to show the advantages that result from the work of the ECLASS Task Force: The interaction of our CAE system and the newly created interface results in a best-practice process for the calculation of heat generation in the enclosure and the corresponding air conditioning: The configuration of the switchgear takes place as usual with the help of the configurators developed for this purpose with their expert sets of rules. Once the planning is complete, the heat calculation can be triggered with the TemperatureCalculator directly from the Configurator.
Instead of having to painstakingly collect and manually transfer the power loss values of the installed components as in the past, these are retrieved automatically thanks to “ItemDataRetrieval”. This results not only in a noticeable acceleration of the engineering process, but also in the minimisation of errors that can occur repeatedly during manual transfer.
Another advantage: if a malfunction does occur during operation, planners can rely on the fact that their documentation created within the framework of DIN EN 61439-1 is legally secure and, above all, up-to-date at the time the switchboard was configured. Because the data included in the calculation is always up to date at the manufacturer’s and can be retrieved directly from there, the legally required traceability of the data origin is fulfilled and documented.
Test environment and advice for interested parties
For manufacturers who would like to offer a corresponding web service for their own products, the ECLASS Office provides the documentation. If interested, we are also available with a test environment and are happy to support as a consulting partner.