Current Process Step
Let's continue with the next step in the production process of our new bike: Manufacturing the bike and executing order confirmations. After the shop floor workers at the Bike Company have taken the necessary materials from the warehouse, they assemble the bikes as stated in the routing. For each operation of the order, they have to, for example, keep track of how many bikes they have assembled, report when they began and completed the work, and how much time they've spent on the individual steps. In SAP S/4HANA, this process is known as production order confirmations.
Confirmations are the premise for progress control and the basis for cost charging of internal activities performed for the order. For this reason, confirmations should be carried out by the shop floor workers as promptly as possible. You can confirm individual operations of one order or entire orders. As a prerequisite, the orders and/or operations must be released.
Example of an Operation Confirmation
In the following image, an example of a confirmation on operation level of an order and the effect of the confirmation posting to the order is displayed:
The operation confirmation provides the following information:
Operation quantities: Yield, scrap, and rework
The yield quantity is the amount of partially manufactured items which was produced during this operation and can be transferred to the next work center. The scrap quantity is the amount of partially manufactured items that had to be scrapped when you executed this operation. If required, you can provide additional information in text form or even create quality notifications. The rework quantity is the amount of partially manufactured items that cannot be transferred to the next manufacturing operation due to, for example, quality reasons. After the Bike Company has executed the repair, the respective items reenter the planned production flow.
Actual dates: Start and finish
You enter the actual start and finish date of an operation which can be used for analysis purposes or rescheduling of subsequent production operations.
Setup time, machine time, labor time
The time elements setup time, machine time, and labor time correspond to the various time elements of an operation. During setup, the operator prepares the work center so that the manufacturing operation can be executed. In the Bike Company, this can, for example, be the loading of an automatic assembly program into the assembly robot. Usually, setup is only executed once for each operation and the respective duration is independent from the number of items that shall be manufactured. Machine and labor time define the working time of the operator and machine, respectively, that is required to execute the manufacturing operation. Usually, these times depend on the number of items that shall be manufactured. For example, the assembly robot needs 15 minutes to automatically assemble a bike and the worker needs 5 minutes for packaging. When manufacturing 4 bikes, a total machine time of 60 minutes and a labor time of 20 minutes is confirmed. The durations of each time element are defined in the routing and proposed by the system when the shop floor personnel executes the confirmation. Of course, you can also enter values that are different from the proposal if, for example, packaging took longer than initially planned in the routing.
After posting the confirmation, the order and operation status values are updated to either partially confirmed (PCNF) or confirmed (CNF): An order is partially confirmed if at least one but not all of the operations have been confirmed (operation status PCNF or CNF). An order is finally confirmed when all operations have been finally confirmed (status CNF).
Options for Production Order Confirmations
As stated above, the Bike Company has two main options to confirm production orders in the SAP S/4HANA system:
Depending on the Bike Company's business requirements, the system offers various variants for order confirmation. From all available options, the following two are most frequently used:
Production order confirmation on order header level
In this scenario, you enter a confirmation for the entire order. From a business perspective, you usually use this scenario for orders with only one or few operations, or for orders where you are not interested in the detailed order progress. If you enter a confirmation on order header level, the system automatically confirms all operations. You can either confirm the order in one confirmation posting or post multiple order confirmations until the order quantity was reached. After posting an order confirmation, the system sets a respective confirmation status on order header level.
Time ticket confirmation on operation level
In this scenario, you enter a confirmation for each operation in the order. From a business perspective, you usually use this scenario for bigger orders containing many manufacturing steps where you want to get a detailed overview about the progress of each manufacturing operation. Similar to the previous case, you can either confirm each operation in one confirmation posting or post multiple operation confirmations until each operation of the order is fully confirmed. After posting an operation confirmation, the system sets a respective confirmation status on operation and order header level.
Due to the different requirements that arise in practice, SAP provides several confirmation apps, for example:
For one production order, you can either post an order-related confirmation or an operation-related confirmation. As soon as you posted one confirmation type for an order, for example, a production order confirmation, you cannot post the other confirmation type, for example, a time ticket confirmation, and vice versa.
If you made a mistake, you can of course also cancel a confirmation (see Canceling of confirmations).
As shown in the lifecycle figure above, you can also upload data from a process control or manufacturing execution system (MES). If your company uses an MES system, the shop floor personnel interacts with the MES instead of the SAP S/4HANA system. However, confirmation data is also available in the SAP S/4HANA system since confirmation data recorded in the MES is automatically transferred via an interface to the ERP system.
You now know that there are two options to confirm production orders. Let's get to know how these options are executed in SAP S/4HANA. In the following demonstration, you will learn how to confirm a production order on header level and analyze the effects of the confirmation.
In the next demonstration, you will learn how to confirm operations of a production order and how to analyze the effects of the confirmation.
If you have access to a practice system, you can now execute the exercise Confirm Operations of a Production Order.