Future visions, use cases and best practices: The first virtual ECLASS CONGRESS 2021 had a lot to offer. For one day, experts and newcomers had the opportunity to learn about current and future topics from the ECLASS universe in 16 presentations. In addition, a lively discussion shed light on interesting issues surrounding the data standard. Virtual information stands rounded off the offer of the trade event and provided the opportunity for further exchange and networking. AmpereSoft also contributed to the successful congress with an expert lecture. In addition, we were the only CAE manufacturer represented with a virtual stand.
Due to the current pandemic situation, the eighth edition of the ECLASS CONGRESS took place for the first time not as an attendance event but in virtual form. The series of lectures started punctually in the morning with the keynote address “Requirements for ECLASS properties due to circular economies”, in which Gunther Kegel, President of the ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association), led his audience of more than 100 directly into the topic. Based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda, he diagnosed two megatrends: climate protection and the digital transformation of business models and companies.
In achieving the Paris climate goals, the expansion of renewable energies and a transformation towards a circular economy, which is to be understood as a pan-European, societal task, are central building blocks. Digitalisation is necessary to master this transformation.
And this is exactly where ECLASS comes into play as a uniform data standard. Because where companies and business processes take a step into the future, information must also become more digital. ECLASS is the way to structure data and make it usable, and to do so in a uniform way. At the end of his introduction, Gunther Kegel was certain: there must be a standard that everyone uses together, and that is ECLASS.
Focus on the future of ECLASS
Future topics also dominated the Live Talk at lunchtime. Under the direction of ECLASS Managing Director Thorsten Kroke, the ECLASS board took questions on “ECLASS in 10 years”. In addition to the continuous further development of the data standard and the addition of new use cases, important topics included IT security and interoperability for linking different systems, a prerequisite for production in the sense of Industry 4.0. In line with this, the data standard should be open for AI (artificial intelligence) applications. Last but not least, the topic of Digital Twins was also part of the congress – both in the technical presentations and in the discussion. After all, they are the vehicle for new business processes and with ECLASS, the directory for the facilitated administration of these virtual models is ready.
Another important trend that will determine the coming years is the international spread of ECLASS. There is currently increasing interest from Eastern Europe. At the same time, there are several cooperations with Chinese institutes for data standards in particular. They are contributing to further development, which will make ECLASS usable in the Asian region in the future.
AmpereSoft represents CAE manufacturer
Thomas Tholen, Product Owner ProPlan CAE at AmpereSoft, presented his own view of ECLASS in his expert lecture in the early afternoon. Under the title “How ECLASS Advanced became the Hero of Smart Electronical Engineering”, he highlighted the possibilities offered by the product data standard in the field of Computer Aided Engineering.
“Standardised product data are the basis for Smart Engineering and Smart Manufacturing” Thomas Tholen, AmpereSoft
Whether the optimisation of all process steps or the use of the data in the context of smart maintenance applications: The numerous listeners were given an understanding of the application possibilities of ECLASS with many examples and experiences from practice. Only by means of a uniform standard can data from electronic product catalogues be used and form the basis for Industry 4.0.
Things got even more concrete at our virtual information stand, where congress participants could discuss specific issues and get to know the ToolSystem and the MatClass software solution. Numerous visitors took the opportunity for lively and interesting conversations and networking. Especially in times of contact restrictions, the congress was a platform to exchange ideas in person, even if only virtually, and to get into close contact. For us, there is therefore no question: Participation in ECLASS CONGRESS 2021 was a complete success for AmpereSoft.