Perform Different Production Steps


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the production steps

Production Steps

When the Production Supervisor releases a shop order, it signifies that the order has been dispatched to the production area for the construction of the specified quantity of a material. Upon order release, the system places the SFC in a queue at the first operation of the routing. The worker responsible for this operation selects one SFC from the queue, performs all required production steps, and then notifies the system upon completing their work. Subsequently, the system routes the SFC to the next work center and worker, and this process continues until the manufacturing process finishes with the last operation.

Technically, the Worker performing the manufacturing operation interacts with the SAP Digital Manufacturing system via the Production Operator Dashboard (POD). In our example, the system displays a list of all SFCs in the in queue status, ready to be processed at this work center. After starting an operation by choosing the button Start, the SFCs status changes to active.


Depending on the processes that the Workers perform at the work center, each work center can have an individual POD layout.

Now, the worker can perform the steps that are required in this manufacturing operation, for example:

  • Component assembly: During component assembly, the worker assembles materials in the quantities listed in the BOM, respecting the assembly sequence. Since the Master Data Specialist has assigned manufacturing operations to BOM items in the Manage Bill of Materials app, the system displays only those BOM components that are relevant in the current manufacturing operation.

    From a system perspective, the worker opens the assembly plug-in in the POD, selects the component that they wish to assemble, enters the assembly quantity, and confirms the correct assembly. If the Master Data Specialist has defined alternative components (for example, if the main component isn't available), the system displays the list of alternative materials.

    In the background, the system updates the SFCs genealogy record and documents information such as the material number of the assembled component, the quantity, the date and time, the operator performing the component assembly, the work center, and so on.

  • Recording of assembly data: Some components in SAP Digital Manufacturing are managed in lots, inventory records, or as serialized items. When assembling such components, the worker specifies in the assembly plug-in of the POD from which lot or inventory record they took the component or which serialized item they assembled.

    To illustrate this approach, consider a simple example: In our bike manufacturing company, the semi-finished component "wheel" is produced in-house using the SAP Digital Manufacturing system. Consequently, the system maintains an inventory record for each semi-finished wheel. Imagine an inventory record as a physical container in which one or more items are stored in the warehouse. To keep the inventory in the warehouse up to date, the worker must record in the POD from which physical container (or inventory record) they took the wheel.

    The system stores all data in the SFCs genealogy record. You can later review this record if you're interested in the origin of each component, for example, when you investigate and resolve a quality issue.

  • Recording of assembly process data: In addition to genealogy data, the Master Data Specialist can configure the system that the worker records information about how a component was assembled.

    Let’s again consider a simple example: When attaching wheels to a bike frame, the worker uses an electronic screwdriver. For documentation purposes, they log the assembly torque applied to each wheel.

    Similar to the genealogy record, the system stores assembly process data at the SFC level. You can later evaluate this information, for example, when investigating a quality issue.


    To minimize user input, SAP Digital Manufacturing offers interfaces to, for example, tools, scanners, and so on, so that assembly (process) data can be recorded automatically.

  • Display of work instructions: To provide workers with additional information about the current manufacturing operation, the system displays work instructions in a section of the POD. This information, maintained by the Master Data Specialist, pertains, for example, to the materials to be produced or the routing to be followed. Examples of work instructions include safety data sheets, which inform workers about necessary safety procedures for specific work centers, or construction drawings, which inform workers about how to assemble a product.

    From a technical perspective, maintenance options for these instructions include PDF documents, links to websites or external document management systems, images, videos, 3D instructions from CAD software, and so on.

  • Recording of quality data and non-conformance records: If you perform quality inspections parallel to the manufacturing process, the worker collects in-process inspection results in the respective data fields of a POD plug-in.

    When they detect a deviation, such as scratches or a malfunctioning device, they immediately create a non-conformance record to document the quality issue. Depending on the system's configuration, SAP Digital Manufacturing can automatically route the SFC to an analysis and repair work center that takes care of the non-conforming SFC.

    Let’s again consider a practical example: During wheel assembly, the worker checks the tire pressure and records this information in the system. If the tire pressure is within the specified limits, the in-process quality inspection passes, and the worker proceeds. If not, the worker (or the system) creates a non-conformance record and transfers the defective SFC it to a repair work center. There, another worker replaces the defective tire and routes the repaired bike/SFC back to the original work center. The initial worker then reprocesses the in-process inspection and again records the inspection result.

  • Completion of the manufacturing operation: After the worker has performed all steps, they complete the SFC by selecting a button in the POD. The system then evaluates whether there are additional operations in the routing and automatically transfers the SFC to the next work center. Once the SFC reaches the final operation of the routing, the system marks the SFC as completed and creates an inventory record for the manufactured item.

Note that, depending on your manufacturing process, it's not always necessary to perform all these steps. The specific steps that workers must perform, and how they are to be executed, depend on the configuration and master data settings in your SAP Digital Manufacturing system.

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