ME (Manufacturing Execution) stands as a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) in the SAP product portfolio. It provides visibility to production activities by recording production in a digital platform, enabling production process tracking, and reporting previously recorded production data with a user-friendly interface that maintains easy use.
What can be done in SAP ME?
– Activity Management and Production Operator Dashboards (POD)
Applications that can be done in ME are managed by activities the system includes:
master data maintenance by maintenance activities
displaying PODs by POD activities
accessing reports by report activities
Access authorization to activities can be personalized according to user groups that have been created. The user, who logged into the system, interacts with the system based on the access authority of the created user group that the user record has been assigned to. In such a way, ME gives an experience to the user that focuses on business needs.
To give you an idea, Production Operator Dashboards are designed for shop floor users to execute production at the shop floor within ME. By authorizing access of preferred POD activity to the user group that the shop floor user belongs to, ME’s functionality can be specialized. In addition to that, new PODs could be created based on standard PODs which ME has provided. A POD that is appropriate to the user needs could be created by including activities and editing layout placements of buttons that will be displayed on the screen. Production Operator Dashboards support touch-screen and mobile-screen device usage. Thus, ME provides transfer of shop floor activities to the system easily without creating over workload for the user, as shop floor activities occur.
Figure 1. Example of Shop Floor Control (SFC) Type Production Operator Dashboard
The POD in Figure 2 is created referencing the “Standard SFC Type Production Operator Dashboard”. “Substep List” button has been removed from the list of buttons on the right-hand side of the screen since there is no need and “POD-OEE” button added to the buttons at the bottom of the screen to navigate to an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) screen. The information columns will show details of the SFC in a new “POD Work List” area in the top half of the screen. “Resource” and “Quantity” selection areas have been added to the “POD Selection” area in the top right corner of the screen.
Figure 2. Example of Created SFC Type Production Operator Dashboard
When the operator enters the “SFC,” “Process Lot” or “Shop Order” information and clicks the “Retrieve” button, information can be seen in the “POD Work List” and “Operation List” areas. After this procedure, for example, starting an SFC can be done by selecting a row from the “POD Work List” area and clicking the “Start” button. By clicking the related POD button based on business needs, the preferred screen can be displayed and the process can proceed.
For instance, in the screen viewed in Figure 3, the user first selected SFC, secondly clicked the “Assemble” button and then displayed the related screen. The user displays components according to the shop order Bill of Materials (BOM) and allows component quantity entry on this screen.
Figure 3. Adding Component with “Assemble” Button on the POD
-Management of Master Data and Transactional Data in ME
Material, bill of material, routing, work center, and order data can be created with maintenance activities in ME. Execution of production can be handled only by ME but data can be shared with the integration and data transfer functionality between SAP ERP and ME systems. Related master data and transactional data that already exists in ERP can be transferred to ME and possible functions to data could be applied within ME. For instance, material, bill of material, routing, and work center master data together with transactional data such as created order information that already exist in SAP ERP can be transferred to ME. Similarly, production information records (e.g. activity confirmation, yield and scrap confirmation info given to the order) that are obtained in ME can be transferred to SAP ERP. Thus, related processes at pre-production and in-production are combined.
Figure 4. Example of Transferred Work Center Master Data from SAP ERP to ME
- Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
OEE, Quality, Performance, and Availability KPIs which are efficiency indicators of a defined resource within ME in a shift; can be calculated synchronously with production and can be displayed in real-time on the POD-OEE screen. In this way, production happens and efficiency results taken from the resource in a shift are displayed, additionally the information obtained from the production process is enriched.
Figure 5. Displaying KPI’s on the POD-OEE Screen
- Order Management and SFC in ME
SFCs (Shop Floor Control) that belong to the shop order are created for order management in ME. SFCs that are associated with the production order are used to execute the production process. Retrieving details of production order, releasing order to production, starting order, displaying BOM components and doing assembly, operating order proper to the routing, viewing work instructions, collecting attached data collection parameters, logging nonconformance with various NC codes, confirming yield sort of production-related activities can be applied according to the SFC in ME.
ME provides report activities with standard search filters specific to the report. Reports acknowledged from production activities can be viewed with the help of filtering. Thus, information about production activities occurring in real-time or previously in a specific date range can be obtained. Reports include for example: Shop Order Report, SFC Report, NC Log Report, and Data Collection Results Report.
Figure 6. Example of Shop Order Report
Figure 7. Example of Data Collection Results Report
Figure 8. Example of SFC Report
- Downtime and Malfunction Management
POD-OEE displays resource status to obtain information about resources defined in ME and used in production. For example, a resource may be in production, in scheduled downtime or unscheduled downtime status. For any reason, if a downtime occurs in the resource, the resource status can be changed and a downtime can be created within ME. In ME, OEE reason codes can be defined for time element types and a reason code can be logged to the downtime. Thus, any interruption that occurs while producing becomes visible.
In addition to that, in terms of integrating with SAP ERP, “Technical Location – Equipment” information can be defined in ME too. In this way, notifications related to interruptions can be transferred to ERP-PM. Thus, when a problem has occurred in the equipment on the shop floor the information can be transferred in real-time and the follow-up process can be accelerated to take action.
Figure 9. Downtime Management Screen
- Automation Integration
Preferred production line’s data collection parameters, production counter data and downtime information can be transferred to ME in real-time by connecting to automation via PCo (Plant Connectivity). Thus, production flow can be tracked without the operator’s manual information entry.
- Floor Stock Management
Floor stock management can be done with ME. For instance, floor stock can be maintained, current stocks can be displayed, and stocks can be reserved for production orders. At the same time, transfer of information about stock management can be made in terms of integration with SAP ERP and supported stock movements can be transferred between the two systems.
ME’s application features have been summarily described above with some examples to show that ME’s functionality covers rich solutions to production’s business needs by easily understandable and manageable user friendly screens. The product enables a wide variety of features that can be used based on requirements and can be specialized according to user groups.