The following figure shows a typical lifecycle of a production order in SAP Digital Manufacturing:
It starts with the creation of the order (1). At creation, the Production Supervisor specifies how many units of a product to manufacture with this order. In the next step, they release the order (2). The order release authorizes the Shop Floor Personnel to produce the specified quantity of the material. You can release the entire quantity or less to the shop floor, to balance, for example, production capacity load or resource and material availability. When you release less than the entire quantity, you can release one order multiple times until the sum of all released quantities reaches the ordered quantity.
At order release, the system creates SFC (Shop Floor Control) numbers according to the quantity settings of the material master of the produced good and the SFC number creation rules. Furthermore, the system references a BOM and a production routing. Both come either from the data in the order (if maintained) or from the material master.
What is a Shop Floor Control number or SFC?
An SFC is a unique identifier representing a specific instance of a particular material being built during the manufacturing process. In practice, if you manage your material in serial numbers, one SFC number in SAP Digital Manufacturing corresponds to one serialized item, for example one bicycle with one serial number. If there are quality problems, you can track each individual bike via the serial number.
If you manage your material in production lots, you assign one SFC number to one production lot in SAP Digital Manufacturing. For example, you produce wheels for your bicycles but you don't want to track each individual wheel. In this case, you could create a production lot per order and day and group all wheels you manufacture that day under one lot. If there are quality problems, you can only track the production lot, but you can’t identify individual items in the production lot.
Based on the identified routing, the system puts one or more SFCs into the queue of the first manufacturing operation (3). The Operator who is responsible for the execution of the first step reviews the SFCs that are queued at their operation using a Production Operator Dashboard (POD). In the POD, the operator enters the used resource at their work center and logs the start of the manufacturing operation by choosing a respective button. If necessary and maintained in the master data, they display work instructions that explain details of the manufacturing process. In addition, the operator records which and how many components they consumed during the operation (4). They then collect extra data (for example, component serial numbers, used inventory numbers, other assembly and manufacturing-related data, 5) that are required to document the production process.
If in-process quality inspection is required, the operator records the respective data in the POD (6). If non-conformances are detected, the operator can maintain the respective data (for example, type of defect and a description, immediate actions, and so on) in a non-conformance record (7). After the operator has finished their work, they complete the SFC at this operation and the system routes the SFC to the following operation (8). Based on the operator input, the following operation can be the next manufacturing step in the routing (default flow), or special operations that the system selects based on the defect data. The production process continues until the SFC has gone through all production steps (9). When the operator at the last manufacturing step completes the SFC at this step, the SFC status changes to done. The system puts this product to inventory by creating an inventory record (10).
The POD is the user interface (UI) that users use to perform a multitude of activities on the shop floor against the SFC. You can adapt the UI and the underlying functions to your company's use cases: From a simple production process over capturing of assembly or quality data, to the display of 3D working instructions.