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Repair and RMA Process handling in SAP Manufacturing Execution

 Repair and RMA Process handling in SAP Manufacturing Execution

Repair can be actually classified in below three categories:

  • Case 1. Actual goods which is being manufactured and failed in some test during the production flow.
  • Case 2. Material shipped out as finished goods and came back as it failed in the field.
  • Case 3. Specific material which is being repaired only at the repairing facility. (Not manufactured by the plant who is repairing it)

These three scenarios are handled in three different ways in SAP ME.

For Case 1:

Actual Material which is being manufactured and failed in specific Test?

These are the ongoing production and in the defined router they are failed in some specific test. In this case the repair is one step on the router itself and depending on the result of test the flow is decided. If the material passes the test then it is moved to next step. If a material is failed then a NC is logged against the SFC number and based on the NC code the further flow is decided in the router itself.

Generally the material is moved to repair stage and the repair work is carried out on the material. During the repair the Open NC against the SFC number is closed and then the material returns to regular production. It is tested again and depend on the test result the further flow is decided. If failed again then it is again moved to repair stage else to further step. Some times with the router script we can define flow like if the failure is more than three times scrap the SFC or hold the SFC etc.

Before discussing Case 2 and Case 3 we need to know what is RMA?

A Return Material Authorization (RMA) is a transaction whereby the recipient of a product arranges to return goods to the supplier to have the product repaired or replaced or in order to receive a refund or credit for another product from the same retailer or corporation within the product’s warranty period. The material may be returned for repair, reconfiguration, or disposition in some other manner and may be finished goods, subassemblies, or components.

Case 2 :

Material manufactured in the plant and shipped out and has been returned back as RMA for repair or reconfiguration. Note: The material is returned to the manufacturer.

In this scenario as the material is manufactured through SAP ME of the same plant the serial numbers are already known to the system. When we try to work with this material again SAP ME don’t allow us to work with the same serial number as it was already been used and having status as done. Also generally at the end of the production cycle the SFCs are packed in the container and after receiving them as RMA system do not accept the SFC number as it is already packed.

So to handle this case there are two options:

Option 1: The unpacking the RMA material first and then use it in repair router

This option looks simple, we just need to have a router for unpacking the SFCs and using the Pack/Unpack activity we can unpack the SFC from the container it belonged too.

The steps involved in doing this unpacking are:

  • 1. Unpack the SFC (This can be done in warehouse)
  • 2. Create RMA and RMA shop order in SAP ME
  • 3. Receive the SFC against the RMA order
  • 4. Against the repair router repair this material and record the various activities.


If we are not interested to keep the original container in open status then there is no problem using the above approach.

Option 2: Creating New RMA SFC number followed by Repair

More commonly used procedure is as to have new internal RMA SFC number for these units.

The steps involved in this procedure are:

  • 1. Create RMA and RMA shop order in SAP ME
  • 2. Receive SFC with new RMA SFC number against created RMA shop order and RMA number.
  • 3. Print the internal RMA barcode labels
  • 4. Using new RMA SFC number process the units through SAP ME router flow.


As there is no unpacking involve we can save on one operation as well as the data for original packing and shipping record will remain unchanged.


Case 3:

Specific material which is being repaired only at the repairing facility. (Not manufactured by the plant who is repairing it)

As the unit which is doing the repair has not manufactured these units there is no worry of the previous data.

We can directly use the identification number as SFC number in this case.

For example: Mac ID or IMEI number can be directly received against the RMA number and used.

Now we will see the types of routers used in repair process.

Generally we have 2 types of routers for repair.


Router 1:  The repair stage is in the production main router.

The below router is routine test router and if the tests are failed then the material is routed to Repair operation else it is will go for packing.


Router 2: Special Repair router.

The below router defines the complete repair process for cell phone repair. At the initial preparation stage the material is recived against RMA shop order and follwed by various testing and repairs. Depending one the final result and customer RMA SFC are packed in various packing stages. The router contains SWAP operation which menas if the original unit is faulty and non repairable it can be replaced by a new one (More about SWAP handlling will be soon in my new blog)


 Apart from this the Item maintenance and BOM maintenance is similar to the normal SAP ME production process. The RMA shoup order should be released against the repair BOM and correct router.

The NC client maintenance defining NC is a big task but let’s keep it aside for now.

The material is consumed during the repair operation is recordded against the NC’s. While closing the NC’s the components are replaced and hence we can keep track of the changed material.

I hope the information shared by here will clear basic doubts about adopting the repair or RMA process while using SAP ME. Please let me know your view and questions regarding the same.

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    • Thanks for your comment, please share your knowledge regarding RMA so we can have more detailed view about the procedure.
      I would be really interested to know more about the process you followed or follwing to handle RMA. What are the challanges you are facing etc.

      Thank you,

  • Hi Pushkar,

    This is a nice article to have to understand the RMA process in ME.

    Have you had a chance to work on an RMA order update scenario just the way it happens for shop order of production type?

    The need is to send the service order from ECC again with some changes in operation / component and be able to update the RMA order in ME.

    Would very much appreciate if you could share your experience in this.