MRO Magazine

BSA and PTDA launch new price update standard

Rosemont, IL & Las Vegas, NV -- The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) and the Bearing Specialists ...


October 27, 2005
By MRO Magazine


Rosemont, IL & Las Vegas, NV — The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) and the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) have unveiled the next-generation version of the Product & Price Information Format (PPIF).

PTDA’s announcement was made at its 2005 Industry Summit in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 19, 2005, while BSA’s Information Technology and Logistics Committee approved the 2.0 version of the PPIF at its 2005 Fall Meeting, held Sept. 19-20, 2005, in Rosemont, Ill.

Originally released in 1999, the PPIF is a standardized, ASCII format for electronic transmission of manufacturer price and product updates. Designed to supersede ANSI X.12 832 and other custom manufacturer pricing formats, the PPIF is a single-format, single-program system that can be easily installed and used by manufacturers, distributors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The ASCII format eliminates the need for significant software expenditure by users and may be transmitted via mail, e-mail or the Internet.


Since its original release, the PPIF has improved efficiency in the power transmission/motion control distribution channel by:

— Allowing manufacturers to supply and distributors to receive price updates in a single standardized format.
— Improving operating efficiencies and accuracy by eliminating manual rekeying.
— Reducing transaction costs, administrative costs and time needed to transmit and upload updates.

In 2005 a joint PTDA-BSA Task Force was formed to address requests for enhancements.

The newly released PPIF version 2.0 reflects a comprehensive review of the format to address identified issues and includes:

— Revised field names to better match common industry terminology.
— Expanded field definitions and comments to address confusion over correct use and/or interpretation.
— Improved nomenclature to flag new, obsolete and price-on-request (POR) products.
— New fields for minimum order quantity, conditional price multiplier, conditional invoice price, and user-defined use.

PPIF supplemental documents have been revised and significantly expanded to simplify implementation and use by:

— Clarifying format use requirements.
— Answering frequently-asked questions.
— Describing Read Me requirements and recommended content.
— Providing examples of acceptable PPIF usage.
— Describing how to convert PPIF data to Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Access.

As part of the launch of PPIF v. 2.0, PTDA unveiled a major marketing and education campaign to promote the format’s positive impact on update cost, accuracy and efficiency. The campaign, “PPIF: One Way to Better Price & Product Updates,” is focused on:

— Promoting standard endorsement and use by manufacturers and distributors.
— Communicating the importance of compliance to maintain standard integrity.
— Encouraging distribution software providers to incorporate the standard in upcoming updates.
— Broadening support by other associations in the industrial distribution channel.

In addition to PTDA, the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA), Association for High Technology Distribution (AHTD), BSA and European PTDA also endorse the format. Distributor software providers Computer Insights Inc. and Prelude Systems Inc. have endorsed the PPIF and incorporated it into their products.

Almost 80 PTDA-member manufacturers and 60 distributors have formally endorsed the standard, with even more firms using it for updates.

More information on PPIF v. 2.0, including a complete list of endorsers, is available at The format and supplemental documents are available for free download at