Using Production Operator Dashboards


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Perform the production steps using PODs

Production Operator Dashboards

In the previous chapter, you learned that workers use the Production Operator Dashboard (POD) as the central interface for interacting with the SAP Digital Manufacturing system. Depending on the specifics of your manufacturing process, you can employ various POD variants to support different manufacturing scenarios. This chapter will teach you when to use the Operation Activity POD, the Work Center POD, or the Order POD.

Operation Activity POD

The primary function of this POD is to facilitate the execution of a single operation across multiple Shop Floor Controls (SFCs), as seen in a make-to-stock manufacturing scenario. As part of the selection criteria, the operator inputs the desired manufacturing operation, such as the 'pre-assembly' operation in our bike manufacturing scenario. Subsequently, the system displays all SFCs currently queued at this operation, allowing the worker to select one or more SFCs to work on. The image below illustrates an example of what an Operation Activity POD could look like:

In the POD's upper section, the system displays the POD selection plug-in. Here, the worker uses displayed fields (like Operation Activity and SFC) to input search parameters, shaping the data shown in the next section. Additionally, inputting an SFC number allows direct triggering of actions, such as Start SFC, for that specific number.

In the middle section, the system displays various buttons, for example Start, Sign Off, Complete, Activities, Nonconformance, and so on. When the worker chooses the respective button, the system performs the action that is associated to the button.

The lower section shows a list of SFCs that meet the search criteria entered in the upper section. In this example, the system also presents additional information, such as the SFC and order numbers, the SFC status, the planned execution timeframe, and more.

Typically, the worker performs the following steps in the POD:

  1. The worker initiates work on an SFC at a specific operation by choosing the Start button. This action changes the SFCs status to Active in the system.

  2. Next, the worker selects the Activities button, which reveals all necessary manufacturing steps (like component assembly, recording of assembly data, displaying work instructions, and recording quality data). The system then navigates to another screen for the worker to enter the required data.

  3. Finally, after completing all steps, the worker chooses the Complete button to notify the system of their completion. The system then assesses the routing: If more operations are needed, it routes the SFC accordingly. If not, it updates the SFCs status to done.


Each step that the worker performed for an SFC is logged in the SFC record for traceability purposes.

To log a defect, the worker chooses the Nonconformance button and enters the defect details. If the worker needs to return the SFC to the queue, for example, if they have accidentally altered the SFCs' status, or if they are unable to continue working on it due to the shift ending, they use the Sign Off button.

Work Center POD

The primary function of this POD is to facilitate multiple operations for one or more SFCs at the same work center. This is typically applicable in scenarios such as rework or complex assembly processes, where the SFC remains at one work center for an extended period. During this time, multiple workers might be involved in various operation activities.

The process begins with the worker accessing a selection screen to indicate their current work center. The system then provides a list of SFCs queued at this work center. After selecting an SFC, the SAP Digital Manufacturing system displays a screen similar to the following example:

In the header section, you will find information on order and SFC status, the work center, the specific order the SFC belongs to, and the material being produced. In our bike manufacturing example, we also include an image of the material, displaying a picture of the final product to help the worker identify what they are manufacturing.

The middle section offers a list of buttons (for example, Start, Sign Off, Complete, Nonconformance, Capture Data Collection, and so on) which the worker uses to interact with the system.

In the lower left, the system displays all operations required for this SFC, for example, preassembly, assembly, and final inspection. On the lower right, the system shows tabs containing additional information. This includes the Work Instruction List, which displays construction drawings or safety data sheets, and areas for the worker to enter assembly (for example, the Component List) or quality data (for example, the Data Collection List).

Typically, the worker performs the following steps in the POD:

  1. The worker selects the operation activity in the lower left and chooses the Start button to indicate they are beginning work on this SFC at this operation. The system then updates the SFCs status to Active.

  2. The worker opens the Work Instruction List to review essential documents like construction drawings, safety data sheets, and assembly information, providing guidance for the manufacturing process.

  3. Next, the worker accesses the Component List, where the system displays all components needed for the operation. The worker logs the quantities of components assembled and enters related data, such as the inventory record from which they took a component, the serial number of serialized components, or the production lot for lot-managed items.

  4. If required to record data related to the assembly process or in-process quality inspections, the worker selects the Capture Data Collection button.

  5. The Data Collection List tab then appears, showing the information to be recorded. In our bike manufacturing example, the worker logs details like the assembly torque for attaching wheels to the bike frame and tire pressure. If integrated with an automated measurement system, selecting Capture Data Collection can trigger the data collection process, auto-filling this tab with the necessary information for the worker to verify and adjust if needed.

  6. Once the worker completed all steps of the manufacturing operation, they choose the Complete button to inform the system of their finished work.

    Unlike the Operation Activity POD, the SFC remains at this work center. The worker can immediately begin the next manufacturing operation. Only after the worker performed all manufacturing steps for the SFC, the system updates the SFCs status to Done and removes it from the POD.

Order POD

You use the Order POD to manage all activities of one production order on a single screen. This is similar to the Work Center POD scenario we discussed earlier, with the main difference being that you are not limited to operations belonging to just one work center. After the worker selects an order from a list, the system displays a screen that might look like the following:

In the header section, you see the order information, for example, order ID, the operation that the workers currently do, material, quantity, and time information.

At the lower right, the system displays a list of operations in the order. In our bike example, these include preassembly, assembly, and inspection. At the right, you notice various tabs, for example Work Instruction List, Quantity Confirmation, Material Consumption, Activity Confirmation, and so on.

Typically, the worker performs the following steps in the POD:

  1. After starting the POD, the worker searches for an order that they want to perform. From the results list, they select this order and the system proceeds to the screen shown in the above screenshot.

  2. The worker selects the operation activity that they want to perform and chooses the Start button. In the background, the system changes the SFCs' status to Active. Note that, in contrast to the Work Center POD and Operation Activity POD, you can start multiple SFCs when choosing the Start button.

  3. The worker then reviews the work instructions.

  4. On the Quantity Confirmation tab, the worker confirms the quantities that they manufactured in the current operation. Here, they can confirm the yield and scrap quantity. The yield quantity is the number of manufactured items during this step. The scrap quantity is the number of items that they needed to scrap due to production problems.

  5. On the Material Consumption tab, the system displays the list of components and their quantity that the worker must assemble during the current operation. The worker selects the component that they assembled, confirms the quantity, and (if necessary) collects assembly data for the individual components.

  6. On the Activity Confirmation tab, the worker confirms the time that they spent performing this operation.

  7. Finally, when the worker has performed all steps of this manufacturing operation, they choose the Complete button. The system then updates the SFCs' status and the worker moves on to the next manufacturing operation, remaining in this POD until production is complete.

If you're experienced with manufacturing in SAP S/4HANA, the steps four through six might sound familiar to you since this is exactly the data you provide in SAP S/4HANA when carrying out a production order. Indeed, the order POD is in practice used to carry out production orders that were imported from SAP S/4HANA into the SAP Digital Manufacturing System. Since the integration of both systems is beyond the scope of this learning module, it will be addressed separately.


To be able to use the order POD also for discrete manufacturing orders, your application consultant must configure the SAP Digital Manufacturing system accordingly. Refer to the SAP Help Portal for more information.


You've seen that SAP Digital Manufacturing provides various PODs that you can use in different production scenarios. Some functions, for example, displaying work instructions, component assembly, or recording of production data appear in several PODs. Other functions, such as starting or completing an SFC, only appear in the Operation Activity POD or Work Center POD, whereas in the Order POD, you can only start and stop an entire operation.

From a technical point of view, PODs in SAP Digital Manufacturing consist of plug-ins that the application consultant assembles when configuring a POD specifically designed for your business requirements. In your production system, you can define various PODs and provide access to specific users or display the PODs at specific work centers. For example, a work center where you perform analysis and repair requires a different setting than a work center where you always perform an identical manufacturing step for different production orders.

How to Perform Production Using the Work Center POD

Watch the following demonstration to learn how the worker performs production using the Work Center POD in SAP Digital Manufacturing:

How to Perform Production Using the Operation Activity POD

Watch the following demonstration to learn how the worker performs production using the Operation Activity POD in SAP Digital Manufacturing:

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