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Author's profile photo Arshad Ansary

Product Structure Using iPPE in PLM


Integrated Product and Process Engineering – iPPE is a module in PLM which helps in modeling multi-variant products in SAP. This module is basically used in design phase of the Product. Once the product is designed we can handover this product for manufacturing. It can also be converted to Bill of Material in Logistics.

iPPE is comprised of three areas –

1 Product Structure

It contains details about the design of Product and its different components. For example a car has different components like Engine, Chassis, Wheel, etc.

2 Process Structure

It contains details about the processes/routing involved in the manufacturing process of the product. For example, for car manufacturing different process are involved like Stamping, Welding, Painting, Engine Assembly, Inspection etc.

3 Factory Structure

It contains details of stations and production lines involved in the manufacturing process.

In this document we will focus on configuring Product Structure part of iPPE. We will explore how a product can be designed using iPPE Workbench.

We will design a Car which essentially comes in two variants Economy and Luxury. The car has essentially three components for simplicity – Engine, Chassis, Wheels. The components have different variants like below –

Engine – 200HP, 400HP
Chassis – STND (Standard), SPCL (Special)
Wheels – STEW (Steel wheel), ALUW (Aluminum Wheel)

The below diagram depicts the entire hierarchy of the Car Product structure  that we are going to design
Product Structure Hierachy.jpg
Steps invloved in designing using iPPE work Bench are as follows
1 Create Characteristics
2 Create Class

3 Assigning Material to Class

4 Product Structure Design using iPPE Workbench

    a Create Access Node

    b Create Access variants for Access node

    c Create Components of Car

    d Assign Characteristic Values using iPPE Workbench



Create Characteristics:

First we need to model these components as Characteristics with its expected values. For creating/maintaining Characteristics we can use transaction CT04.

Mention the available expected values for this characteristic in ‘Values’ tab. As our Engine is available in two formats 200 HP and 400 HP, we will create two values for the same.

Similarly we will create Characteristics for chassis of the car as CHASIS_AR (which has STND and SPCL variants) and wheels of the car as WHEEL_AR (which has ALUW for Aluminum Wheel and STEW for Steel Wheel)

Create Class:

We need to create a Class which accommodates all this above created Characteristics. This Class can be reused across Materials which inherit all these Characteristics.

We can use transaction CL01 to create a Class CL_PPE_CAR. We will assign the above created Characteristics to the ‘Char.’ tab of the Class.


Assigning Material to Class:

Now we have our Classification data available, we need to assign this Class data to Material so that the material inherits all the Characteristics.


For this Material should be of type Configurable Material. We create material using MM01 transaction.


Now we need to choose the Classification View also to enter the Class name for the Material.


Once you click on the Classification tab of material master, you can assign Class value CL_PPE_CAR.

As of now we will not assign any values to the Characteristics of this material. We will assign the values later using the iPPE workbench (Transaction PDN).


Now we need to assign a configuration Profile to this Configurable material. Configuration profile is assigned to Configurable material via transaction CU41. Configuration profile for Material decides the Process Structure as well as BOM Explosion settings


We will mention the Configuration Profile as ‘Order BoM’ as it is Engineer to Order Product.


Similarly we create configurable material for Luxury Car Model PPE_LUXURY_CAR2 by copying PPE_ECONOMY_CAR2 and create configuration profile for the material PPE_LUXURY_CAR2.

Similarly we will create Materials for different Chassis types (SPCL, STND), Engines (200HP, 400HP), and Wheels (ALUW, STEW). These materials will be used while we transfer the Product Design Structure in iPPE to Bill of Material side.

Product Structure Design using iPPE Workbench:

We have created the base data, now we need to design our Car using iPPE Workbench. The iPPE Workbench can be accessed using transaction PDN.

Product Structure Hierachy.jpg

In iPPE we have our Car as the header Object; we create this as Access Node. The Car access node is an abstract object and car instances/variants are created out of that.

Create Access Node

In PDN transaction, click the create button to create Access node PPE_CAR_AR.Object 


We need to give Application as ‘Product Structure’ and Type as ‘Access Node’ and Class as ‘CL_PPE_CAR’ that we have created in the earlier step.


Create Access variants for Access node:

After creating Access node we need to mention the variants Economy (PPE_ECON), Luxury (PPE_LUX) in access variants tab like below. These access variants are customized products which the car company sells to its customers.



Also we need to mention the configurable materials for these access variants.

Mention the BoM usage and Plant in the ‘Acesses’ tab of the Access variant.


Create components of the Car:

We need to create Components which make up this car like Engine, Wheel, and Chassis. We create them as Structural nodes in iPPE Workbench.

These structural nodes have different item variants like 200HP, 400HP for Engine. For creating Structural nodes right click on access node -> create relationship -> Structure Node.



Here we have created Structural node ST_PPE_ENGINE. In variants tab we need to mention the different component variants available for Structural Node.


We need to mention the material that we created for 200HP as well as 400HP Engine. We need to also mention the object dependencies in ‘Object Dependencies ‘ Tab .Object dependencies links the Characteristic value with Item variant that we select .We need to select the variance schema and assign values for each Item variants


Similarly we create the Structural node variant ST_PPE_CHASIS with variant SPCL and STND and Structural node variant ST_PPE_WHEEL with variant STEW and ALUW. We need to maintain Object dependencies for the above structural nodes also.



Now we have done our Product design the Product structure Hierarchy will look like below –


Assign Characteristic Values using iPPE Workbench:

We have the entire Product design with all the available variants. Now the Car Company got an order for an economy car. We assign Characteristic values via the filter button in iPPE Workbench.

In the filter we enter the Configurable Economy car material and Plant, Usage details.


In ‘Char. Val. Asmt’ tab we have option ‘Change Valuation’ –


Once we click the same, it will take to the value assignment of Characteristics.


Once you have assigned the values these values will appear in the filter.


We need to save this filter for future reuse and once we refresh the Navigation tree only those nodes for Economy car and component variants of Economy car will be displayed in the tree as below.



The above document just describes how a multivariant product can be designed in iPPE workbench .This is just the basics of iPPE . It has integrations with Material Master, Classification as explained in the above document.It has further functionalities like  Color Schema,Assembly,Focus nodes,Alternatives  etc

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Arshad,

      Nice explanation on basic building blocks of IPPE and the scenario.

      When we store or create a filter. If we need to retrieve the data, what are the tables or function modules to be used. I am trying to retrieve node names, materials, quantity etc., for one of the filters created. Could you pl provide some details on this.


      Author's profile photo Pjotr Dassen
      Pjotr Dassen

      Hi Arshad,

      Really nice explanation, not sure yet how it will work for us yet.

      I am trying to set up IPPE for acceses usage ENG, Configuration Control Workbench after maintenance.

      Is the configuration profile same for Production and Engineering?

      Author's profile photo Ramesha Kalammanavar
      Ramesha Kalammanavar

      Dear Pjotr,

      Hope at this point of time , we are clear on how to set up SAP EAM hierarchy configuration checks wrt  allowed configuration in iPPE 🙂

      Thanks for your help in integrating MDG EAM and iPPE checks.

      Author's profile photo Cristian Szabo Cserbar
      Cristian Szabo Cserbar


      Are there any other examples for the creation of process structure, line design. Unfortunately, I can only find sap help documentation but not example like yours, which I found very useful.

      Author's profile photo Ramesha Kalammanavar
      Ramesha Kalammanavar

      Clear explanation with simple example - by the way the subject is deeply integrated to SAP EAM via Configuration Control and equipment connections with iPPE Access node and Structure nodes. Document is very useful, thanks.

      Author's profile photo Ahmet DOGAN
      Ahmet DOGAN


      Thank you for the valuable information you provided.

      Does this filter have BAPI so I can get it via function?