A system of standardisation of materials, services and even job descriptions for the global auto industry is coming closer with the signing of a number of agreements between eCl@ss and other classification systems.
Friedhelm Hausmann, Chairman of the Board of eCl@ss, said: “Since the foundation of the eCl@ss five years ago, eCl@ss has clearly become accepted by customers worldwide as the international standard for the classification and identification of materials, products and services. Porsche, BMW Audi and Volkswagen are supporters of the eCl@ss system.
“BMW and DaimlerChrysler’s membership of the eCl@ss e.V. Registered Society has awakened suppliers’ interest. Thanks to the ongoing activities of the eCl@ss e.V. and the membership of OEM’s from the automotive industry, the VDMA and ZVEI associations have also decided to use eCl@ss. Similarly, in cooperation with the DIN association, the standardized eCl@ss characteristics library is currently being integrated in the DIN characteristics server,” he says.
“For suppliers, this signifies planning and investment certainty for the catalog creation process and an online exchange of data when eCl@ss is used.
“To a great extent, eCl@ss already satisfies our requirements for an international classification standard, but its development is not yet complete,” says Norbert Maier, manager of the e-Business in Purchasing division of the DCAG and a new member of the eCl@ss board of directors. A group of automotive experts is currently working with suppliers to define further product groups from the vehicle business sector, which are also to be incorporated in eCl@ss. Another primary task will be to further advance eCl@ss’s internationalization and conformity to standards.
eCl@ss and Odette
A project on the topic “Non-Production Materials Identification” has been running for some time in France led by PSA and Renault under the auspices of Galia and a recommendation has been produced. In February, the B2B FC proposed to investigate the possibility of bringing this project to a European level under the auspices of Odette. Suggestions from G.Chaumond (Renault), one of the Galia project leaders, for next steps for Odette included the participation in works with CEN in relation with DIN and eCl@ss and in ISO instances.
It was proposed to continue to investigate the possibility of bringing this project to the Odette level but that it should be considered in conjunction with a separate proposal from the eCl@ss organisation: Given the support for this project already existing in the German automotive industry, representatives from PSA and Renault were asked to ascertain the level of support that there might be from the French automotive companies.
eCl@ss, in cooperation with the Rationalization and Innovation Centre (RKWC), opened an eCl@ss branch office in Beijing, China earlier this year. “This is one more important step by the eCl@ss association toward propagating the eCl@ssification standard in China and Asia,” says Hausmann. eCl@ss has established contacts with several important institutions in China e.g. China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS), China Electronic Commerce Association (CECA) and Certification & Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA). Another milestone in cooperation with RKWC is an availability of the latest eCl@ss-Version 5.1 in Chinese designed to contribute toward a proliferation and use of eCl@ss. To inform interested companies about the possible applications of the eCl@ss standard a Industry Day in Huangzhou is planned on 21st and 22nd of October.