In SAP there are three types of manufacturing designed so that, depending on the level of control, complexity and flexibility required, the system can adapt to the company’s productive processes.
Process manufacuturing is typically used in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries. Where we have manufacturing with end results that aren’t always the same, with the use of master recipes and formulas. They are, therefore, industries that need a high level of control in their production system.
Discreet manufacturing is designed for mainly manufacturing industries. For example, the automotive or electronic industry. Where the product goes through a roadmap and is assembled with its different components. Production is controlled via manufacturing orders.
Commonly, it is said that the big difference between the processing and discreet industries is that in the prior, the obtained product cannot be reverted back to its original components; consider, for example, a drug obtained by mixing lots of different chemical products. Whilst, in the latter, the end product can be separated into its different pieces; a bicycle, for example, can be easily separated.
On the other hand, we have repetitive manufacturing, which is advisable for settings with high production stability, where a number of similar products are manufactured over a long period of time, with a high degree of repetition and low production complexity. The production is not controlled by manufacturing orders but by batch sizes or periods of time; consider, for example, a bottling factory.
For this last manufacturing type, SAP has an integration tool with its decentralised warehouse management system EWM; there is even a BC set that will help us to customise the system for the setting.
The following points are supported by EWM with repetitive manufacturing:
- Final notification
Using repetitive manufacturing and EWM, it is only possible to make the final manufacturing notification, given that, only the finished product can be manipulated using EWM with this setting.
When there is a notification to register a product on SAP ERP, it does not account for the entry of goods immediately, but it generates an incoming delivery which is replicated in EWM, which automatically accounts for the stock.
EWM communicates the entry of goods to the ERP and the latter automatically executes the following tasks:
- It makes the entry of stock on the ERP for the finished product
- It consumes the necessary components (theoretically)
- It accounts for the activities carried out
- It reduces the programmed production amount in the registered amount
- Cancelling the notification.
The cancellation of the good entry can be initiated from the ERP for the finished product. In this case, the ERP generates a correction via an outgoing delivery document. Similarly to the previous instance, this delivery is replicated in EWM, which accounts for the cancellation of the goods entry, which automatically triggers the entry cancellation, component consumption cancellation and notified activity cancellation actions and resets the planned production amount.
- Availability and component consumption
The consumption of components for repetitive manufacturing from an EWM warehouse is a point that is not currently supported by SAP.
We must think that this type of production is based on long-lasting manufacturing with a low level of complexity, where the traceability of the componenets used is not as important as in the processing industry, for example.
In this setting, there is normally a theoretical consumption (backflush), in other words, the system automatically deducts the raw material or semi-manufactured stock each time a finished product notification is generated.
This method of consumption means that the workers do not have to be constantly stating which components are ready for output, thus avoiding a heavy workload; but on the other hand, it is a setting that is not supported by EWM, because it is mostly designed to manage handling units (registration numbers) always having the traceability of what has happened with them.
Therefore, the consumption of components must be made in a warehouse that is not managed by EWM.
What is supported is the availability of the necessary raw materials, in other words, even if we cannot consume if it can be supplied with all the necessary amounts from an EWM warehouse.
For this point, what we must have configured is a supply area for the production (ASP), whose intake warehouse is a EWM one, but whose production warehouse is different, managed by MM (so that the system can consume theoretically).
In this case, the supply is based on outgoing deliveries that must be confirmed by the users using supply movements. From the ERP, the need for availability is managed, which generates an outgoing delivery that is immediately replicated in EWM. Subsequently, the user must create and confirm a warehouse order for the goods that they are going to supply so that the system accounts for the goods movement.
In conclusion, we can work with repetitive manufacturing to register the finished products directly onto the EWM system and we can even use the latter for supply from a central warehouse to the production plant; however, due to the method that is normally used for the consumption of components, this step must be made with a warehouse that is not managed by locations.