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Author's profile photo Manoel Costa

Random Inspection using Special Operation in SAP Digital Manufacturing


A special Operation Activity can be used to pull an SFC into an unplanned routing, like for example a Random Inspection routing, which only a few randomly selected SFCs should go through.

Special Operations play a crucial role in achieving more efficient and flexible processes by allowing for the seamless integration of unplanned activities into a production routing, enabling Inspection or Audit processes for example.

In this blog post, we will explore the concept of Special Operations and understand the setup and execution process of pulling an SFC into a Special Operation Activity.

The Concept

Imagine a situation where an SFC is being processed through the standard production routing, consisting of PREP, TEST, and SHIP operations.

During the TEST operation activity, an auditor identifies the need for additional inspections and decides to pull the SFC into a PMR (Post Manufacturing Review) routing for further scrutiny.

This scenario illustrates the flexibility and adaptability of Special Operations. See diagram below:


The configuration process is very simple and starts with the creation of a Special Operation Activity in Manage Operation Activities app as follows:

* You can create brand new Work Center, Resource and Resource Type objects locally, to perform Special Operations if needed.

* Make sure you assign the respective Work Center to your user in Manage User Assignments app.

Once a new Special Operation Activity is created, a Special Routing is automatically created as well, including the newly created Special Operation Activity as the first step of this special routing.

This Special Routing can be found in Manage Routings/Recipes app, where you can enhance it further by adding even more Steps or Actions.

For this example, I added Scrap and Return Actions as follows:

After adding extra Steps or Actions, they must be linked together in the desired sequence as follows:

Once you are done enhancing your Special Routing, save it and it is ready to be used.

Test it

Now that all needed configuration is in place, you can test it by finding an SFC which is in process at some other Operation Activity, like the one below, which is In Work at ASSEMBLY Operation:

Then, open Operation Activity POD and inform the SFC, the Special Operation Activity, the respective Resource and click Start, to pull the SFC and start it on the Special Operation Activity / Routing as follows:

Upon Complete, as defined in the Special Routing, the system will popup Scrap and Return Actions as follows:

For this example, I returned the SFC back to ASSEMBLY Operation Activity:

By checking back the ASSEMBLY Operation Activity, I can see the SFC is back In Queue over there:

Finally, you can check the SFC As Built report to see the flow the SFC went throught, including a Sign-Off from the ASSEMBLY Operation Activity in which it was In Work, and a Start/Complete in the Special Operation / Routing.


Special Operations are essential tools for modern manufacturing and production processes. They provide the necessary flexibility to accommodate unexpected events and tasks, ensuring that production remains efficient and responsive to changing needs. Understanding how to utilize these operations effectively can make a significant difference in optimizing production processes and meeting customer demands with excellence.


Do you like this post? Please let me know in the comments section what you think. Any feedback is highly appreciated.

Or, if you have any questions, please check SAP Community Q&A Area, or comment down below.


Manoel Costa

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      Author's profile photo Michael Koerner
      Michael Koerner

      Thanks for another great article.

      To add to it, you could use then random function inside a script task in an Production Process Design  to automatically pull out 5 or 10% of all SFCs, either of an order, passing through a Resource or an Operation Activity.

      What do you think?

      Author's profile photo Manoel Costa
      Manoel Costa
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for adding! That's definitely the way to go if you want to pull SFCs to a Special Operation automatically, instead of manually based on human decision.