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Going Paperless with SAP Production Orders

The following blog is written by Brent Bower – Senior Education Consultant in the North America SAP Education Delivery Organization.   Brent specializes in the areas of Production Planning and Production Execution for both for ECC and APO. He has 10 years of SAP experience and is certified in ECC Production Planning and APO Planning.  You can contact Brent via email at Brent.Bower@SAP.COM




With more and more manufacturing plants using PCs on the shop floor, the need to print paperwork for shop floor orders has decreased. As of SCM6.0 EHP 3, production order information can now be viewed and processed using process integration.  Process integration is made possible with the use of XSTEPs. This functionality was always available for process orders but is now available for production orders.


Process integration uses the XSTEP icon on the production order tool bar that looks like a white cube.  This icon was part of the production order for years but was not activated until SCM6.0 EHP3.  XSTEPs are written in a central repository and added to the routing master data.  The XSTEPs contain operation information that will be displayed to operators using the shop floor PCs. XSTEPs can be viewed in the production order by clicking on the XSTEP icon.






Process integration starts with the creation of the production order.  When the production order is created, a routing is selected and assigned during master data selection. Control instructions are created using the XSTEPS that are part of the routing. The control instructions contain the order information specific to the production order.  The control instructions are then sent to the SAP internal work instructions or to an external system outside of SAP.  Operators will view and update order information using the work instructions.  Standard updates to the order include goods issues, confirmations, and goods receipts.  Updated order information is contained in process messages.  Process messages are sent back to the SAP production order with update information.  The production order is then automatically updated.




Process integration allows information to be available to the shop floor operators using a paperless system.  Updates to the production order using process integration are also paperless. Work instructions are web based and can contain order information as well as links to other web information.


Additional information on XSTEPs is contained in SAP education training class SCM372 – Execution Steps (XSteps).  Information on master data for production orders is contained in PLM114 – Basic Data for Production and information on Production orders and configuration is contained in SCM310 – Production Orders.

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  • Xsteps look very different from what is in use now.  Change is slow.  This looks like a huge leap.  It does not look user friendly.  We have some different paperwork available via IPADs near the line. 

    This does not look web based.  If it is, my Grandma couldn’t use it.  That is the idea behind our web based development.

    Just my opinion – I really haven’t seen this work.