This is addition to the document written by Jogeswara Rao Kavala.http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-43459.
Only step 5 is modified as following to make sure the automatic assignment for characteristics values.
Step 5. Create Configurable Material using MM01 transaction code and assign class “MOTOR_TYPES” in material classification with default values for characteristics.
Step 5.1 Assign configurable material in configuration data tab of equipment master using IE02 transaction code.
Please refer to http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-43459 for further details.
Configurable task list can be used in maintenance plan after implementing it with configurable material.