Classification of product data

Classify product data for standard classifications such as ETIM, ECLASS, Proficlass, ...

Classification helps sort your product data. The INCONY team has been active in classifying for more than 20 years, supporting not only the classification itself, but also the standardization processes. Benefit from the experience of INCONY and its technology-leading software!

Why Classify Data with ETIM, ECLASS, etc.?

Even if you have already sorted your products into their own classification and use this classification as a search tree in, for example, your webshop or as a table of contents in the print catalog, customers and partners may need you to additionally sort the products according to a standard classification such as ETIM, ECLASS, Proficlass, etc. Wholesalers often require the industry to sort the products into standardized classes in order to offer their products to different customers via uniform classifications.

ETIM classification

Classifications to Structure Product Data

In a classification system products are sorted into groups, e.g. tools, half-cutting tools, drills. Some of the classfications define beside the groups also parameters/attribues, e.g. diameter and cutting direction for drills. Therefore classifications have to be distinguish between parameterized and non-parameterized classfications. With the standard product ANTEROS you can manage your data for several e-business systems in different classifications (standards or own) and maintain the product data in an efficient way.


Before we present selected classifications in details, an overview of the classfications is given:


Parameterized classifications, e.g.

  • ECLASS (industry, 4 hierarchical levels)
  • EDIBATEC (electronic branch; French consortium)
  • EPIC (construction industry)
  • ETIM (for technical data in the construction industry)
  • GPC (cross-industry)
  • IEC 61360 (electronic/electronics industry)
  • proficlass (cross-industry)
  • UniClass (construction industry)

Non-parameterized classfications, e.g.

  • NACE (general classification of economic activities in the EU; 4-5 digits)
  • PRODCOM (product lists for the survey of industry production; improvement of NACE; 8 digits)
  • UN/SPSC (geared to the electronic trade; American standard; 8 digits and 5 hierarchical levels)


The ETIM classification model is a model for classification and technical description of products in the electronics industry. It provides a uniform product class structure, where all products can be group. The central association of the electronic technical craftsmen (UNETO) in the Nederland developed the basic model. ETIM Deutschland e.V. initiated the ETIM standardization and the association supports them.

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ECLASS classifies a wide range of industrial products and was developed by leading German companies. It defines a standard for the exchange of information between suppliers and customers and is used in particular for mapping the procurement market for purchasers. ECLASS is characterized by a 4-step hierarchical classification key the first three levels of which represent product groups and has a register of currently 30.000 keywords.

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The French consortium developed the EDIBATEC as a classification standard for the construction. It’s especially relevant for the area heating, air conditions and the pipes.

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The Global Product Classification (GPC) is an international classification system, which is available for the users as a accepted EAN standard since may 2003. GPC contains beside the classification platform also lists of characteristic and values. Therefore it can be use to describe products. GPC is very important for linking up worldwide data pools (e.g. SIN-FOS, Transora) and to synchronize it. Industry and trade companies drived on the development and the extension of GPC as they can initiate their requirements from the praxis into the development free of cost. Companies and the industry can use the GPC.

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IEC 61360

The classification IEC 61360 is a standard for the electronic industry. The IEC, Subcommittees TC3/SC3D established the standard. The standard defined in details the ware groups of the electrical and electronic components including their characteristic properties.


NACE is a European system for structuring industry branchs with a digit number of 4-5, e.g. 29 engine construction, 29 pumps and 12 compressors. NACE is published in all European languages. The main application area of NACE is the statistic.


PRODCOM (“PRODuction COMmunautaire”) is similar to NACE and provides statistics of products, especially in the engine construction and in the electrical engineering. PRODCOM has a detailed subdivision trough a 8-9 number digits (8 digit in the EU and 9 digit partly national). PRODCOM is published in all European languages.


proficlass is a cross-industry, independent and neutral initiative for classification of product data. Producer, the commerce and organizations worked for a classification as a common standard of branchs for the description and the factual description of products with help of product characteristics and characteristic values. There’s a cooperation agreement existing with proficlass and ECLASS with the goal to harmonize and integrate proficlass with ECLASS.

proficlass provides as a classification of branchs all the special requirements of users of the construction and tool section.


The standard ware classification is used in Germany since 1978. After repeated updates today’s SWK can be use in branches and contains a multiplicity of different ware areas. The consumer relation between the industry and the commerce enjoyed with very high acceptance the standard ware classification. The standard ware classification is a three-level, hierarchical classification key, where the number of the article group is on the third level.

SWK is used since 30 years and supports the business relations between industry and commerce.

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The UN standardized classification is established in the USA. UNSPSC included more than 8.000 ware groups for products and services. The eight digit code is the result of the combination of the United Nations Common Coding System (UNCSS) from Dun and the Bradstreet’s Standard Product and Services Codes (SPSC). The classification system has five hierarchic structures.

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