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Manufacturing Work Instructions is a means of removing paper-based forms from the manufacturing process. It allows for the creation, approval, dispatching, execution and archiving of work instructions, effectively connecting the top floor with the shop floor through SAP ERP 6.0.

The Manufacturing Work Instructions ES bundle involves a two-phased process. It begins when a business architect designs a work instruction template that includes all of the steps and operations which include the consumption of the enterprise services that must be followed to manufacture a product. This template is designed using Adobe Forms Designer, where one can import an existing PDF or Microsoft Word document, a blank form, or an existing template, and then convert and save it as an Adobe Interactive Form. The form is tested and then sent to a manager for approval. Once approved, the template or form for making a particular product is sent to the central repository.

In the second phase, a production scheduler dispatches the orders to the appropriate work centers. When an operator logs in, he selects his work center and gets the list of orders that need to be completed during the shift. After choosing a particular order, a copy of the template is made, the relevant order information is inserted, and the order is started and executed. The operator posts the resulting data to the backend while executing the steps or instructions. The form, on completion, is finally sent to a quality reviewer and can be archived for later use.

Manufacturing Work Instructions leverages enterprise SOA through ERP Manufacturing Services, SAP MII, Adobe Interactive Forms, SAP Composite Application Framework and guided procedures.

Manufacturing Work Instructions (click to enlarge)

Audience

Any industry, small or large, that is still using paper-based processes for capturing order execution information or assembly operations with instructions will find this ES Bundle of immense value. This bundle is equally useful for discrete and process industries. Deployment will lead to a reduction in labor time and cost, as well as offer real time visibility into manufacturing operations. Early beneficiaries include the IM&C, Chemicals and LifeSciences sectors.

For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.


How To Use This ES Bundle

Many manufacturers still rely on paper to communicate work instructions to the shop floor. An operator receives a set of instructions about what is being produced, in what quantity, and when. Along with that data, instructions on how to operate the machines to produce a particular item must be entered onto a work order manually. If there is a problem in the course of production, a machine that needs maintenance, for example, the information is noted by the operator or a maintenance technician. These papers are then delivered, often by hand, to a production clerk who must decipher the scribbles and enter them into the ERP system accurately. Aside from being difficult and time consuming, this means that delays in production or the need for parts or materials to complete an order are not discovered until the end of the day.

The electronic systems currently available for the shop floor are entirely industry-specific. These solutions are often standalone and not tightly integrated with ERP. There has not been a seamless solution that can be used across industries until now.

The SAP Manufacturing Work Instructions ES bundle offers a means of eliminating the paper-based approach once and for all. The data from the top floor is made available to the shop floor, and can be accessed, reviewed, updated or changed at any time. Since the information is flowing in near real time, errors can be discovered and corrected almost immediately. If a machine problem occurs on one line, for example, production can be moved to another line quickly and with minimal down time. Managers can also monitor the progress of production and note, for instance, if production is ahead of schedule and notify third-party suppliers to send parts earlier.

The use of Adobe Interactive Forms and Acrobat 3D means that instructions about product assembly can be accessed electronically by the operator. This removes the redundant step of having to print the forms, manually enter data on the form and then send the form to a reviewer who physically types the data into the backend system. And it reduces the number of mistakes that are a natural result of this manual input process. Operators can react to changes in production quickly because the information about what is happening up and down the line is visible.

This section will explore a series of use-cases for the Manufacturing Work Instructions ES Bundle. Each use case will show how different outcomes can be achieved by using the enterprise services in different combinations. While these examples illustrate a few of the ways that this ES bundle could be used, the intention is to show the flexibility and re-usability of these business objects and enterprise service operations so that you will have a clearer understanding of how to best deploy them in your own environment. This wiki is also a space for you to share knowledge and collaborate with others who are implementing the Manufacturing Work Instructions bundle.

Use Case 1: Basic Manufacturing Work Instructions

A business architect or engineer creates a work instruction and maps the sequence of steps for a manufacturing process, as well as the timeframe for its completion. Once the process is defined, it is sent to the master data manager for approval. Once approved, the forms reside in a central repository.

A production scheduler selects a Work Centre from a drop-down menu, which triggers the Find Work Centre by Plant service operation and returns a list of work centers. Selecting the work center also triggers the Production Order business object, which gathers the specific quantity of material needed through the Find Production Order by Elements service operation and based on the customer's requirements.

  • Prior to dispatch, the scheduler has the ability to include additional instructions on the form for use by the operator. The scheduler then dispatches the work instructions to the operator for the shift.

The operator on the shop floor receives the order. When he opens the form, it includes the order and lot number as well as the quantity and description of the material required. The relevant information required for the execution of the order is gathered through the Production Bill of Operations business object, which describes components necessary to produce a product (all of this is part of the Find Production Bill of Operations Simple by Identifying Elements and Material service operation). It may also include the definition of the work center where the operation is to be carried out, as well as the sequence of steps that should be followed.

  • Pre-defined checks and balances for the operator can be built into the interactive forms. If the operator enters and validates the data, for example, and it is outside a specified limit, the form will require a supervisor's signature before allowing the next step to proceed.

Selecting a work center
(click to enlarge)


Based on the production process, the operator will enter the data and/or sign the step as instructed on the form during the execution. This will trigger the Production Confirmation business object and Create Production Confirmation service operation, which creates a record of the consumed quantity, produced quantity, and records the activity times resulting from the execution of the production process. This is the actual order record, and includes data about how the order was completed, what steps were followed, and the name of the operator along with many other details.
Once the order is submitted it triggers a workflow. The order is sent to the supervisor for approval, and any additional comments. Finally, the form is sent to a quality reviewer, and archived for later analysis.
The following table summarizes these steps and the related enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: A business architect creates a work instruction, maps the sequence of steps, sets a timeframe, and submits it for approval

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The master data manager approves the work instruction and it is entered into a central repository

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 3: A production scheduler accesses the work instruction by selecting Work Centre in the local UI

Find Work Centre by Plant

Step 4: The scheduler selects a work center from a list to retrieve production order information

Find Production Order by Elements

Step 5: Prior to dispatch, the scheduler can add new instructions to the work instruction form

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 6: The scheduler dispatches the work instruction form to the operator

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 7: The operator receives and opens the work instruction form

Find Production Bill of Operations Simple by Identifying Elements and Material

Step 8: A pre-defined validation may be required in order for the operator to proceed

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 9: The operator enters the data and/or signs the step as instructed by the work instruction form

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 10: The system creates an order record

Create Production Confirmation

Step 11: The production order is submitted triggering a work flow--approval by the supervisor, quality review, and the work instruction is archived for later analysis

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Use Case 2: Offline Manufacturing Work Instructions

Often there is a need for manufacturing to operate continously on a 24x7 basis and not be dependent on an ERP connection being available. One of the great features of Manufacturing Work Instructions is that it does not need an always-on connection to the back end system in order to be of value, as demonstrated in this use case.

A business architect or engineer creates a work instruction and maps the sequence of steps for a manufacturing process, as well as the timeframe for its completion. Since the sequence will be taking place offline, SAP MII plays a significant role in tying the instructions to the enterprise services. SAP MII can consume the enterprise services and has the capability to buffer the data being sent to and from ERP. The Work Centre and Production Order business objects, and all the supporting service operations, will be consumed by SAP MII, which will in turn make the data available to the instructions.

  • The Read Work Centre operation would potentially be used here to update SAP MII (and the system) with how many hours the machine had been planned and the labor hours associated with it if more than one operator needs to work there.
  • The Production Bill of Material business object and the Read Variant Item Basic Data by Variant Identifying Elements service operation might be used in this use case to update data about the planned quantity of materials as well.

The production scheduler dispatches the work instructions, and an operator begins fulfilling the order. The operator enters and validates data associated with the manufacturing process, signs the form and submits it. While executing the form or the instructions, SAP MII buffers the data and calls the enterprise services.

The information about the order gets updated in the backend system. At this point, several operations would occur simultaneously.

  • The Production Confirmation would be triggered during this update. This service operation would also update the system with, for example, how many hours the machine had been used and the labor hours associated with it if more than one operator worked there, and the quantity of materials used. It would also determine whether the planned amount of material used was the same as the actual amount used.

The following table summarizes these steps and the associated enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: A business architect creates a work instruction

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The work instruction is submitted to the production scheduler. Concurrently, SAP MII is updated with the number of planned hours for the machine and labor

Read Work Centre

Step 3: The planned quantity of materials is updated in SAP MII as well

Read variant Item Basic Data by Variant Identifying Elements

Step 4: The production scheduler dispatches the work instruction and the operator begins to fulfill the order

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 5: The operator enters and validates the data, signs the form and submits it. SAP MII buffers the data

(No enterprise service is called during this step)

Step 6: The information about the production order is updated by SAP MII in the ERP system

Maintain Production Confirmation

Use Case 3: Recording In-Process Quality Results Using Manufacturing Work Instructions

An increasing number of compliance regulations has put chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing under more scrutiny than ever before. As a result, checks and balances for quality are an essential aspect of an efficient manufacturing process. This use case shows how the business objects and services in Manufacturing Work Instructions can be sequenced in a way that ensures that quality test results are recorded and made compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

An engineer creates a work instruction and the sequencing of steps for a manufacturing process as in the earlier use cases. In this use case, however, the complex manufacturing process requires that each step meet stringent criteria before the next step can proceed. Along with guided procedures, this work instruction could utilize SAP MII, which captures parametric data such as temperature or pH balance and places it on the interactive form during production to capture quality results. With SAP MII, the system has access to manufacturing data from the multitude of shop floor systems, such as plant historians, Quality systems, plant maintenance systems, MES, databases, etc.

The production scheduler dispatches the work instruction to the operator for the shift, triggering the Work Centre, Production Order, Production Bill of Material and Production Bill of Operations business objects.

As the operator completes each phase in the manufacturing process, he submits the order to a supervisor for review, using guided procedures. The supervisor signs the form and sends it back to the operator. Along the way the Production Confirmation business object updates the ERP with production information. Through guided procedures, the form is updated with instructions on how to complete the next phase of the process.

  • The form also includes instructions on where key process parameters are to be entered; these may be entered by the operator during the fulfillment of the order, or can be inserted, via SAP MII Manufacturing Services, using data gathered from SAP MII.

Because of regulatory requirements involved in this manufacturing process, as in many pharmaceutical, chemical or medical device environments, the products are maintained in batches. At this point, the Identified Stock business object is useful for managing the different batches of materials consumed or produced. The operations associated with this object enable a supervisor to handle subsets of the same material through unique identification.

When the operator is finished packaging or bottling the product, another guided procedure is triggered that sends the form to a quality operator, who may be sitting further down the packaging line. This operator can then use the form to record in-process quality results - whether a bottle was properly packed or not, for example - on a sub-form. The resulting data is then reported into the backend using the Quality Issue Notification business object.

Executing an order using Adobe Interactive Forms
(click to enlarge)


The following table summarizes these steps as well as the associated enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: Using guided procedures and supported by SAP MII an engineer creates a work instruction. In addition to the usual information, each step includes quality-related criteria

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The work instruction form is sent to the production scheduler

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 3: The scheduler dispatches the work instruction to the operator

(See Use Case 1 for sequence of enterprise services)

Step 4: Using guided procedures the operator submits the work instruction form to the scheduler as each phase of the manufacturing process is completed

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 5: The supervisor reviews and signs the form and returns it to the operator. Concurrently, the ERP system is updated with this production information

(Enterprise services from the Production Confirmation business object are invoked)

Step 6: Via guided procedures the work instruction form is updated with instructions on how to complete the next phase of the process

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

step 7: During production the operator follows instructions on the work instruction form to enter key process parameters. These parameters can also be inserted by SAP MII Manufacturing Services

(No enterprise services are invoked during this step)

Step 8: The products being produced as well as materials being consumed are maintained as batches

(Enterprise services using the Identified Stock business object are invoked)

Step 9: The operator completes the production order triggering another guided procedure that sends the work instruction form to the quality operator, who will record in-process quality results in a sub-form

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 10: The resulting data is reported to the ERP system

(Enterprise services using the Quality Issue Notification business object are invoked)

Use Case 4: Maintenance Requests and Manufacturing Work Instructions

This use case is a subset of the general Manufacturing Work Instructions process. It is used any time that a machine on the shop floor requires maintenance, planned or unplanned.
A production supervisor calls up a maintenance notification or maintenance order for a particular machine. The maintenance notification/order can be tied to the original work instruction form, or accessed through a library of available forms. The maintenance form can be generic or standardized based on predefined data and instructions. The supervisor enters text about the nature of the breakdown, for example whether a part is broken or the entire machine has failed.
If the breakdown requires a maintenance technician to determine the problem, this notification will use the Maintenance Request business object and the Create Maintenance Request service operation. This will create a notification for the maintenance technician that describes the technical condition of the object in need of repair, requests the necessary task and later it will be used to document the work that has been performed.

A maintenance technician receives the notification. If he can fix the problem remotely, the Maintenance Request can be updated to say that the problem was fixed and how much time was required for the repair. If the technician requires a part or a visit to the machine itself in order to fix the object, he creates a Maintenance Order. The Maintenance Order business object is used along with the Create Maintenance Order service operation to provide instructions about executing a maintenance task on a technical object at a specific work center for a set deadline.

  • In some cases, the production supervisor will already know that a visit or a part is required for a given repair. In this instance, the supervisor can simply create a Maintenance Order from the start and include it as part of the Maintenance Request form.

During a repair, the technician may decide to click on the "Display SOP" option. This will offer a 3D graphical views of the standard operating procedures for the object. The SOP can also be made interactive through Acrobat 3D, giving the operator the ability to click on a particular part, see its part number, and watch an animation of how to disassemble or assemble that part.

The following table summarizes these steps and the associated enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: A production supervisor calls up a maintenance notification for a machine

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The supervisor enters text as to the nature of the issue and triggers a notification for a maintenance technician

Create Maintenance Request

Step 2b: If the supervisor knows that parts or onsite maintenance is required s/he can create a Maintenance Order to add to the Maintenance Request

Create Maintenance Order

Step 3: If the technician can fix the issue remotely the Maintenance Request can be updated with relevant information

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 4: If a part or onsite maintenance is required and a Maintenance Order has not already been created, the technician can do so

Create Maintenance Order

Step 5: The maintenance technician can then act to resolve the issue

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Use Case 5: Real-Time Visibility with Manufacturing Work Instructions

There are plenty of manufacturing use cases that do not require a new set of instructions for every order. In this type of situation, the Production Planning Order business object can be used to replenish an order until a specified demand has been satisfied, and the Repetitive Manufacturing Confirmation business object will provide confirmation. But the availability of these objects and their supporting services does not mean that managers and supervisors should go blindly through the manufacturing process.

A dispatcher selects a Work Centre and dispatches the order to an operator---in this case, let's say it is a car manufacturer dispatching instructions for producing back doors.

The operator opens the Production Planning Order which triggers the Find Production Planning Order by Elements service operation. Now the order includes the intended material to be produced, a specific quantity, and the timeframe. It also carries the component demand and capacity consumption for a given order.

As the operator triggers the Production Confirmation business object throughout the course of assembling the doors, the production supervisor can be notified that this particular line is running ahead of schedule.

List of Production Orders
(click to enlarge)

The supervisor then accesses the Production Bill of Material business object to determine the availability of necessary parts further down the line. As he feared, a door handle, which is made by a third-party vendor in another country, isn't expected to be in stock for two more days. If this information had not been available to the shop supervisor until the end of the shift it would have been too late to contact the third-party vendor. But thanks to the near real-time visibility provided by Manufacturing Work Instructions, the manager is able to speed the delivery of the door handles, thus cutting idle time on the production line.

The following table summarizes these steps and the associated enterprise services:

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: A dispatcher selects a work centre and dispatches a production planning order with a work instruction form to an operator

(No enterprise service is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The operator opens the production planning order

Find Production Planning Order by Elements

Step 3: During production the operator submits a series of cinfirmations to the production supervisor providing information on the status of the work (ahead, behind or on schedule)

(Enterprise services using the Production Confirmation business object are invoked)

Step 4: The supervisor assesses future needs down the line depending on the status of this one operator

(Enterprise services using the Production Bill of Material business object are invoked)

Existing Sample Code

For an example of how to use the Create Production Confirmation enterprise service using SAP MII, click here.

Future Directions

The offline capability of Manufacturing Work Instructions becomes even more useful when a process requires the use of a third-party or outsourced manufacturer. Using CAF and guided procedures components of SAP NetWeaver, the Manufacturing Work Instructions ES bundle could be used to define process steps and create workflows using sub-forms that are submitted to third-parties. As each step in the process is completed, a guided procedure is triggered that would evaluate the next step and send out the next sub-form to be worked on. If that process requires a switch in manufacturing lines, the guided procedure will send the form to the next person in the supply chain.

Connectivity

Manufacturing Work Instructions achieves connectivity between ERP and the shop floor through SAP MII. Thousands of shop floor systems, including logistics inventory management systems, plant data historians, plant maintenance systems, control systems, quality management and manufacturing execution systems, can be connected with the back end in this way. SAP MII communicates with ERP using services.

SAP MII is a powerful composite application (xApp) that is capable of extracting data, transforming it, and visualizing it. This gives SAP MII the ability to consume manufacturing services as well as enterprise services. It can be used to fetch trend data or tag value, for instance.

Another advantage to SAP MII is that it does not require constant connectivity to ERP. SAP MII can buffer data – from a day to a week's worth of orders – and retain those values until a connection is established again. This opens the possibility of round-the-clock operation, which is a critical advantage in today's competitive manufacturing businesses.

System Requirements

Related ES Bundles

End-to-end Processes Where This ES Bundle Is Used