Exploring Special Procurement Types: Phantom Assemblies
For a plant, the term ‘procurement’ refers to the process of getting inventory of a particular material. In a simple and broad classification, procurements can be:
- In-house production
- External procurement
In the simplest case of External procurement, an order is placed to a supplier for a material, and the supplier supplies it.
In the simplest case of In-house production, a product is manufactured in a plant location (work center) based on a Routing and a Bill of Material.
In practice, the procurement process can be more complex. The procurement type of a material may not be ‘the simplest in-house production’ or ‘the simplest external procurement’. In SAP, these complex procurement types are addressed by ‘special procurement types’ ‘that more closely defines the process of procurement’.
The special procurement keys are defined in OMD9 configuration. The configuration is stored in T460A configuration table. You can call this configuration alternatively by calling transaction SM30 and maintaining view V460A.
In this document we will try to explore special procurement type ’50’ Phantom Assemblies.
The special procurement type is maintained in Material Master MRP2 view (MARC – SOBSL). This is a plant level data field.
Phantom assemblies are ‘logical groupings’ of components, and they are ‘fictitious assemblies’ that never get produced. Their components are integrated with the higher level product. The basic reasons of the popular use of phantom assemblies are:
- Grouping by a logical process and creation of a ‘nomenclature’
- Simplicity in the BOM structure for a complex in-house product containing thousands of materials as BOM components.
Configuration setting for the special procurement type ‘Phantom Assemblies’:
Regarding master data difference of a phantom assembly and a real assembly is: a phantom assembly does not need a Routing, since it is not going to be produced. This derives the following consequences:
- There are no planned orders/ production orders for the phantom assemblies.
- There are no stocks of the phantom assemblies.
A phantom assembly, when used as a BOM component inside a superior assembly, system automatically updates the ‘phantom’ indicator in the BOM General Item view, as well as component detail data view.
The BOM of the phantom assembly is already exploded in the Routing component allocation screen, as well as inside Production order component overview:
The phantom assemblies are listed there for information purpose, and the indicators for phantom items are duly updated.
The MD04 list for the Phantom Assembly remains empty:
The components of the phantom assembly although shows the dependent requirements for the Phantom Assembly.
Multilevel Phantom assemblies are supported in the system.
If it is required that an assembly will be considered as phantom for one superior assembly, while it will be treated as a real assembly for another superior assembly; that flexibility can be controlled in the following two methods. Routing will be necessary since it is going to be treated as a real assembly.
- Defining the assembly as a real assembly in material master (procurement type E and no special procurement type), and mentioning it as a phantom assembly in BOM component details screen. To do the same, maintain the special procurement type for phantom assembly in the BOM component general data tab.
- Defining the phantom assembly as a phantom assembly, and use the explosion type configuration inside BOM component general data tab.
The ‘explosion type’ is configured in:
Accordingly, the consequences like ‘creation of planned orders by MRP’ will follow since it is being treated as a real assembly.
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