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This format is sufficiently versatile for the average electronics manufacturer.
It provides a sufficient number of classes to cover by far most classes of components, without going to an unnecessary degree of specialization.
For example, it divides Integrated circuits in just 4 classes, which is enough to distinguish parts with the same numbers in their manufacturer part number (such as the LM11 and the HC11), while not requiring you to distinguish, say, EEPROMs from UVEPROMs.
Only rarely will this system generate the same part number for two similar components (in which case it lets you customize the part number of one of the components, by changing its suffix).
On the other side, this system is probably not sufficiently versatile for a distributor, as it doesn't allow distinction between equivalent components from different manufacturers.