‘Dog or Cat?’ This is probably the second most difficult question in the world.
Wondering what’s the most difficult one?
Here it is:
“Implement Discrete Manufacturing or Repetitive Manufacturing?”
As an SAP PP Consultant, you would find yourself in a dilemma whether to implement Repetitive Manufacturing or Discrete Manufacturing as correct production execution methodology is the backbone of an SAP Implementation. In this blogpost, we’ll discuss about different Production Execution methodologies i.e Repetitive Manufacturing and Discrete Manufacturing.
Well, Production Execution outlines the steps how a material is produced. Let’s see the necessary steps for production execution:
- Create a work order
- Goods Issue to work order
- Confirmation of activities
- Goods receipt of work order
Both the production methodologies in SAP are equipped to do the above steps. Let’s see what the differences between the two of them are and which one to implement in which scenario.
Repetitive manufacturing is a period-based production. The same product is manufactured over period of time, and they do not change frequently. This means production is carried against Planned order generated as a result of MRP (Material Requirement Planning).
The Planned order is quite a simple document containing only essential details like Material, Quantity, Production dates, Production Version and Components. The planned order disappears forever once the backflush is posted.
Discrete Manufacturing is an order based production. The materials are produced in lot or batches as the products changes quite frequently. The production is carried out against a Production order. The Production order can be created manually or converted from a Planned order (as a result of MRP).
The Production order is quite detailed document and contains tons of information in addition to the ones available in Planned order like Operation details, system status, user status, planned cost, actual cost. There are also lots of function available like Release, Cost, Availability check, capacity planning. You can also display goods movement, cost analysis, confirmation details etc.
The goods issue, activity confirmation and goods receipt process are simplified and executed in one step. This step is called as ‘Backflush’ in Repetitive manufacturing. You may post backflush for the material or Planned order. However, the Planned orders are mostly used for production planning only.
The goods issue, activity confirmation and goods receipt process are posted via different transaction in Discrete manufacturing. The goods issue and goods receipt can also be automated and posted together with activity confirmation. In Discrete manufacturing, ‘Backflush’ refers to automatic Goods Issue to Production order.
Usually same or similar products are manufactured in Repetitive manufacturing thus the set-up time or change-over between the materials is negligible.
Different materials are produced on the same production line thus considerable set-up time or change-over time is involved. In such cases, setup matrix should be used during capacity planning to minimize set-up times.
The strength of Repetitive manufacturing lies in the simplicity and effortlessness. Thus, it requires very less efforts from the business for backflush process.
The strength of Discrete manufacturing lies in the traceability as every aspect of the production can be traced back with respect to the production order. System status and user status is another incredible feature.
The cost of production is settled on a product cost collector which acts as a bucket for storing the cost of production. A product cost collector is created for Plant/Material/Production Version. The settlement in carried out periodically. (usually monthly)
The cost of production is settled at order level. The settlement receiver is usually a Material for Make-to-Stock production and Sales order for Make-to-order production.
In my opinion, Repetitive manufacturing is equipped to handle production execution pretty well. If you do not need traceability/status management etc then I would recommend using Repetitive manufacturing. The backflush process in REM is simple, effortless, and seamless as compared to Discrete manufacturing. Off course, should you need to trace every detail for the production process, then you must choose Discrete manufacturing.
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