As mentioned earlier, a production order goes through many different steps in its lifecycle: After order creation, various activities such as availability checks and capacity planning can already be carried out, but the order cannot yet be processed in production. It is only after the order has been released that the corresponding processing steps, such as printing of shop papers, goods issue postings, confirmations, and goods receipt postings can be executed.
The SAP S/4HANA system offers various approaches for order release: You can either release the order on header or on operation level. If you release an order on header level, all operations of an order are automatically released. If you release order operations, you can release them individually. However, you must respect the operation sequence in the order, meaning that you cannot release an operation with a higher operation number before having released the operations with a lower operation number.
In most cases, multiple production orders are released at the same time. Based on your business requirements, you can release multiple production orders using collective release in the foreground (for example, using the Mange Production Orders or Mass Processing Production Orders app) or in the background (for example, using the Schedule Order Release Run app). To select production orders to be released, you can specify various selection criteria, for example, plant, production scheduler, release date, material, and so on. It is also possible to release operations of different orders using collective release in the foreground (for example, using the Manage Production Operations or Mass Processing Production Orders app). This can be useful, for example, if only the first operation of an order should be released in a first step and only after confirmation of the respective operation, the following operations of the order shall be released. If necessary, for example, for rework or express orders, a production scheduler can also manually release an individual order or individual operations of an order.
In special scenarios, orders or operations can also be released automatically:
- Based on a production scheduling profile assigned to the product, an order can be released automatically when it is created. This may be necessary, for example, if an order is to be downloaded to a process control system immediately after creation.
- If you use collective orders, all orders in a collective order are released simultaneously.
- If an operation of an order is to be released only after its predecessor has been confirmed, you can realize this by means of trigger points. To activate this function, you assign a trigger point to the precessing operation. When you confirm the precessing operation, the system sets the Confirmed status, which again triggers the release of the subsequent operation. Alternative to the subsequent release of operations, you could release multiple operations when confirming, for example, the first operation of an order. From a business perspective, you could use this scenario if the first step of an order is used to set up the work center and the subsequent operations are used to execute the production steps.
In this demonstration, you will see the following process steps:
- Release individual and multiple operations.
- Release individual and multiple orders.
- Schedule an order release run.