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Author's profile photo Craig S

Control indicators in QPMK and storage in field QPMK-STEUERKZ

A question was recently asked about how to read the various values from the QPMK (Master inspection characteristics), table.  One of the keys for understanding the values is knowing how to read the field QPMK-STEUERKZ.  This is a 30 character text field and when you display it, it looks like a jumble of X’s and miscellaneous characters.   However, this field is very important to QM and the master inspection characteristics.  SAP uses this field to store all the control indicators related to a master inspection characteristic, (MIC).

It is often very valuable to understand how to use this field to find out certain things about the MIC’s in the system.  Unfortunately, I have never seen an SAP help file or document that provides the means to decode this field and all the values for each character position.  I searched before writing this document and found several threads that explained parts of it and a few that had a list of the indicators, (actually, mostly old threads in various forums where I had responded!).  But I didn’t really find a good, complete document.  So I though it was time to put one up.

Knowing how to use this field can be especially valuable during spec writing, programming, data gathering, troubleshooting, verification of data loading, report writing, data analysis, and exporting to Excel or other external application, etc…

If you look at the field QPMK_STEUERKZ in any table view transaction you’ll see something like the screen shot below.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 7.58.09 AM.png

Each character of the field has meaning for a specific control indicator.  In most cases, the indicator is either selected (X) or not (null).  In a few cases, other characters might be used to indicated specific choices.

(Yes.. I know.. SAP could have just assigned 30 more single character fields to the table, given really nice help files on each field, and saved us a lot trouble from having to break this field apart and determine all the values for ourselves when ever we need to write a program.  But they didn’t, so get over it.  Plus it helps to keep consultants in business.)

Over the years, I have decoded MOST of the positional characters, but not all of them.  Some of the character positions I believe are not used and could be utilized for future releases.  Below is my list of the positions, their meaning, and notes on any special characters or usage that I am aware of.

Please… if you can add more information about any of the character positions or how they are utilized, or if you think I’ve gotten any of these wrong, PLEASE, let me know with a comment or message.  I will be sure to update the chart and credit the person making the contribution.  It would also be nice for folks to leave comments on how they used this info.  Was it in a report?  Data extraction?  etc..

Thanks!  I hope you find this information valuable.


Character position




Quant or Qual charac

X is quant, Null is Qual.


Record measured Values

X or Null, (set to null if 1 is qual)


Characteristic Attributes

X or Null


Upper Spec

X or Null


Lower Spec

X or Null


Target Value

X or Null



= is Fixed, > is Larger, < is smaller, Null is No Scope**


Long term inspection

X or Null


Recording type

+ is individual, null is summarized, – is no recording, * is classed recording



Null is no documentation

. (period) is doc required if rejected

+ is doc required


Charac. req. or not

X is required, Null is optional, + is after acceptance, – is after rejection


Synchronization is Active

X or Null


Additive charac.

X or Null


Destructive charac.

X or Null



Null is no formula, X is calculated chara, 1 is input processing


Sampling proc. Required

X or Null


Scrap Share/Q score

X or Null



X or Null – Ctrl indicators can not be changed


Record # defects

X or Null – Allows recording of # of defects in addition to # of nonconforming units



X or Null  – For control stations – Not QM relevant



X or Null  – Can Change specs


Test Equipment

X or Null


Defects recording

X or Null


RR Change Docs

X or Null


SPC charac.

X or Null



Null is print, X – Do no print, * is do not print at skip


Parameter Characteristic

X or Null  – Can be used as a Parameter characteristic


Process Characteristic

X or Null  – Characteristic of a the process





* Inferred from Table TQ27 and related F1 help.  I was not able to directly verify these fields by setting up MIC’s to reflect these values and then verify directly in the table QPMK.  But I believe them to be correct. – Using the TQ27 to figure out the ones I had missing was suggested by Martin Hinderer.  Thanks Martin for the suggestion to help fill in some of the fields.

** updated from information from Marc Werner.  Thanks Marc!

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      Author's profile photo Martin Hinderer
      Martin Hinderer

      Hi FF,


      I read once that table TQ27 contains the information on this field. There is e.g. the information that for position 10 the setting "Synchronisation is active" is set (fields of this table seem to be in the same order as within the STEUERKZ).


      Maybe this helps to complete this document?




      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Martin!  It looks like the fields match up with the control indicators but some of them I don't know how to actually confirm.  So I'm going to mark these as having been inferred from the table TQ27.


      Thanks for the lead!!!



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good one.. I used to refer only first 2 fields to differentiate Quant. & Qual. Characteristics. Its nice explanation about all characters.


      Of course, its bit tough to come across all characters.

      Author's profile photo Nitin Jinagal
      Nitin Jinagal


      Fantastic work Craig. Never thought of even exploring about such table. Only known thing to me was that we made the master data for MICs with several X but did not know about their significance in so much detail.





      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Nitin.  I hope it comes in handy someday for you.



      Author's profile photo Marc Werner
      Marc Werner

      Hi Craig,


      please have a look to documentation on the report RCPTRA01.


      We used this documentation for copying inspection plans from our old system (VAX).





      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, I've used that program.  But that doesn't really have anything to do with this topic does it?



      Author's profile photo John Lutz
      John Lutz

      That does have a fairly thorough overview of the control indicator settings...

      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      I'll go through it again but I didn't see where it explained how the values were stored.  I might have missed something though.  Wouldn't be the first time!



      Author's profile photo Martin Hinderer
      Martin Hinderer

      Interesting....the relevant section starts with  "BIPMK - Inspection characteristics" and does contain information about characteristics for operations in inspection plans beeing loaded to the system (so to my undestanding not referenced MICs, but ones directly added to the plan).


      I agree to John's statement, but it raises some questions. Lets take a look at inspection scope (Position 7):

      The information in this document here states : = is Fixed, + is Larger, - is smaller, Null is No Scope


      The information in the upload program documentation states:

      BIPMK-PUMFKZ Indicator: Inspection scope

      This indicator can have various values:

      Set " " for: scope not fixed

      Set "<" for: smaller scope

      Set ">" for: larger scope

      Set "=" for: fixed scope


      I would assume therefore that the program uses a different syntax than the SAP table where the information is stored. Nevertheless it might add some more value to this SCN document. To be verified...




      Author's profile photo Martin Hinderer
      Martin Hinderer

      I did some more investigation:

      • looking with SE11 in table TQ27 for the field PUMFKZ
      • this field links to domain QPUMFKZ
      • this domain has the value range as specified in the documentation to RCPTRA01 (with the > and <)


      I am not sure how the values + and - came into the document, I would assume that Craig provided them with the initial version? Which brings me to the assumption that in this case either both values (+,- or <,>) are working, or that we might have to correct this here. Within the system I am having here the table QPMK has (<,>) at this position.


      Craig S can you confim that?




      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      I will try to double check that this week.  The values I have posted came from a document I had for my own personal use from several years back.  Possibly as far back as 3.1 or 4.0.


      Is it possible that SAP changed these along the way?  I'll see what I can find out.



      Author's profile photo Diwakar Deshpande
      Diwakar Deshpande

      Very nice and Explanatory ....Thank you Craig...

      Author's profile photo Davide Borgonovo
      Davide Borgonovo

      Hi all,

      for my case the schema is't like yours.

      Little example:

      IN QPMK-STEUERKZ i have found value 'XX   ' I know it is a quantitative indicator.

      Another case is 'X    ' it is a qualitative indicator.

      So in my case Quant. or Qual. charac. is 2nd char not the 1st.

      So what is the first char???




      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      No.  the first character is qual or quant.


      In below examples I use ^ to represent a null value.


      XX is Quant with "record measured values" set.

      X^ is Quant  with "record measured values" not set.

      ^^ is Qual with "record measured value" not set.


      I do not believe you'll find the condition of ^X which would be Qualitative with "record measured values" set.


      If you do have a qualitative characteristic where QPMK-STEUERKZ starts with an "X" in the first characteristic I would be very interested in seeing the QPMK entry in a screen and a second & third screen shot seeing the 1st and 2nd page of control indicators.  Making sure that in all screen shots you can see the mic and version numbers.  But your QPMK table example MUST be exported to Excel and displayed in a non-proportional font.


      Be very careful when you display and look at QPMK-STEUERKZ.


      This screen shot is from the QPMK table display of a quantitative (A001001) and qualitative (A006005) MIC.

      In this shot it looks like the first characters X for both the quant and qual MIC.

      Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 1.26.06 PM.png

      This is the same data exported to Excel.  The Excel sheet is using an Arial 10 font by default.

      It now looks very much like an XX for the quant and a ^X for the qual.

      Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 1.28.40 PM.png

      In this screen shot, I selected column E and changed the font for that column to Courier New 10.

      Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 1.35.04 PM.png

      Courier New is a non-proportional font.  In non-proportional fonts, all letters AND spaces take up exactly the same space.  An i takes up the same space as a M.  Most displays and default fonts are proportional fonts where the space used by a letter is based on the size of the letter.


      I recommend when working with any master data conversions or examining data, switch to a non-proportional font.  It can help prevent errors and can speed up the review of large data sets.  Not a lot of people do this. This paragraph is a non-proportional font.



      Author's profile photo Davide Borgonovo
      Davide Borgonovo

      Thanks Craig for your explanation.

      Now it's much clear.

      So i can move  qpmk-steuerkz to structure QMKST and have result.


      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      I have no clue about the moving this stuff to a structure as I'm not an ABAP'er.  But I would assume you can copy it into a structure and than parse it as needed to use the data.



      Author's profile photo Vicente de Souza Pires
      Vicente de Souza Pires

      I bellieve the standard function module QSS0_QMKST_RQMST can help...


      If you fill in the import parameter QMKST_IMP using same values and positions of QPMK-STEUERKZ like below:


      After executing this function, it will give you the translation in the export parameter RQMST_EXP:


      Author's profile photo Verrazano Bell
      Verrazano Bell



      Fantastic!!  You mentioned this could be valuable "one day"... This was valuable TODAY!!!



      Author's profile photo Corne Ackermann
      Corne Ackermann

      It will also make it easier to download (read) the data when using SE16 instead of SE16N.



      Author's profile photo Talha Khan
      Talha Khan


      Using value of control indicator and structure QMKST.

      PLMK-STEUERKZ (inspection characteristic of plan)

      QPMK-STEUERKZ (master inspection characteristic)

      QAMV-STEUERKZ (inspection characteristic of lot)

      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      I'm not sure what point you are trying to get across.

      I think you mean that when programming you can use structure QMKST to pull out the values of the control indicators from those three objects?  Is that what you are saying? That was discussed I think in the comments above by Vicente.

      All three of those objects can have different values depending on configuration and design.  The values in QAMV and PLMK are copied in when those objects get created.  PLMK values can change if the MIC is unlocked in the plan and control indicators modified. QAMV values will reflect the settings the time the QAMV record was created.  PLMK or OPMK values could have lone since been changed/modified.

      The blog was originally intended to provided info on how to read this data primarily via table review in SE16. Not via programming.  To write a report, yes the programming structure can be used.  But I had often been asked where this data was stored.  Hence the blog.


      Author's profile photo Libor Stenzl, PMP
      Libor Stenzl, PMP

      Hello Craig,


      first of all, thanks for this article, it is really helpful.

      I have an issue understanding how the values from TQ27 are linked to values in QPMK table. I would have thought the STEURKZ field in QPMK would act as a secondary key to TQ27, but the values in this field in QPMK and TQ27 are completely different. Can you help understand this?



      Author's profile photo Craig S
      Craig S
      Blog Post Author

      What you see in the QPMK-STEURKZ is copied from the preset you choose.

      Table TQ27 is a config table and is simply a list of possible combinations of indicators.  You can pick one of these when creating a MIC or a characteristic in an inspection plan but it has no enforcement properties.

      When you specify a preset in the MIC creation, it looks up the presets values and sets the characteristic accordingly.  Nothing says you can't change any of the control indicators during the creation process.  It's just basically setting up default values for you.  The preset value is not stored anywhere in the QPMK table so there is no link between QPMK and TQ27.  There never was any intention to do so.  You are always free to change any control indicator in any MIC at anytime without any regard to any preset.

      The presets really come in handy when doing data loading for new systems as well migrations.  You can specify a preset and not have to worry about handling individual control indicators in a load program. Otherwise, once in production, I rarely see a use for the presets.

      I hope that helps.


      Author's profile photo Klaus Bader
      Klaus Bader

      I think what is really helpful in this context is structure QMKST