Describing the Material Master


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the material master



To illustrate the production processes in a company, we use the example of the Bike Company. The company produces its own bicycles and monitors and performs the production processes in SAP Digital Manufacturing.

The Bike Company has designed a new bicycle model for the upcoming season. It's a special model with a newly designed bike frame for fast rides in the city. The tests of the prototype manufacturing went well, so that the model can now be produced on stock.

In this course, you learn about the prerequisites for master data and how to create and release manufacturing orders in SAP Digital Manufacturing. Then, you do the manufacturing steps and document their outcome in the SAP Digital Manufacturing system using Production Operator Dashboards. During execution, you collect manufacturing-related data such as component consumptions and assembly parameters. Finally, you analyze the recorded data to obtain information about the genealogy and the processing history of a manufactured bike.

Material Master

The Master Data Specialist maintains material master records in SAP Digital Manufacturing for the materials that you produce and procure in a company. In our bicycle company, for example, they maintain material master records for the finished bicycles, for the required assemblies that you produce in-house, such as wheels or frames, and for raw materials that you procure from external suppliers, such as gears, chains, or metal tubes.

Using the Manage Materials application, the Master Data Specialist maintains general material information (for example, material number and name, description, material type, and unit of measurement), production-relevant data (for example, default routing and BOM that the shop floor personnel use when performing production), build-relevant data (for example, if the shop floor personnel records extra data during assembly or removal of a component), and other information (for example, default storage location for components or manufactured materials).

Each material master entry has a version (for example, A, A-01, A-02, and so on) so that you can create a new version of a material when key information (for example, the default routing or BOM) changes. By setting a respective status (for example, new, releasable, or obsolete), the Master Data Specialist indicates whether they’re currently maintaining the master data record (→ status new), that they've completed maintenance of the material master record so that it can be used in production (→ status releasable), or whether a material master record (or a version of it) can no longer be used (→ status obsolete). If key information changes, the Master Data specialist usually changes the old version of a material master record to obsolete, creates a new version and sets it to releasable.

The Master Data Specialist can also attach files that are relevant to the production process to a material. For example, they attach a construction drawing to a finished material. During execution of a production order, the system automatically displays the document to the shop floor personnel to illustrate details of the assembly process.


From a technical perspective, you typically don't create material master records directly in SAP Digital Manufacturing. Instead, the SAP S/4HANA system acts as the single source of truth for material master records. After maintaining a material in SAP S/4HANA, the Master Data Specialist replicates all materials relevant to production (for example, raw, semifinished, and finished materials) to SAP Digital Manufacturing. There, they enrich the imported master data records with information that is relevant only to production and thus is maintained directly in the SAP Digital Manufacturing system.

Material Groups

The Master Data Specialist uses the app Manage Material Groups to categorize similar materials together. For example, the Bike Company produces bikes that are alike except for the frame size. The Master Data Specialist creates a separate material master for each bike size, but combines all these records into a single material group for clarity.

Technically, in the SAP Digital Manufacturing system, you can define that materials in the same group share technical settings. For instance, you can specify that all bikes in one material group follow the same pattern for serial numbers.

How to Display a Material Master

In this demonstration, you will see how the Master Data Specialist displays a material master record in SAP Digital Manufacturing. We will also briefly illustrate the most important information you maintain in this master data record.

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