Major production types supported by SAP PP

In SAP PP one has to distinguish five major production types being supported by SAP:

  1. Discrete manufacturing
  2. Repetitive manufacturing
  3. Process manufacturing
  4. Kanban production
  5. Engineering-to-order production

Discrete manufacturing

Discrete manufacturing is applied when

  • products often change.
  • demand is very irregular and forecasting is very unreliable.
  • production is organized as a workshop with buffer storage between work centers / work stations.

Discrete manufacturing is single-slot order-based, meaning that

  • a production order is created.
  • the production order specifies quantity to be produced.
  • the production order specifies material required as input.
  • the production order specifies release date for the production of the finished good.

Repetitive manufacturing

Repetitive manufacturing is applied when 

  • demand is somewhat stable and predictable.
  • stability and predictability applies to timeline and demand in quantity per time unit or customer order.
  • production is organized in a continuous flow – the product moves from work center to work center without any intermediate inventory.

In repetitive manufacturing, SAP PP uses production versions to pair routings (combining several work centers to a route) and bill of materials (BOMs).

Usage of components is posted upon completion of finished product (“backflushing”).

In repetitive manufacturing work centers are referred to as production lines and routings are referred to as rate routings (with a specifies output rate [pcs/hr]).

Process manufacturing

Process manufacturing describes batch-oriented production that uses recipe-like ingredients lists.

In process manufacturing, co-products might be produced alongside the desired product.

Process types that can be applied to characterize the given manufacturing type are

  • continuous production process.
  • discontinuous production process (step-wise production, step-wise supply).
  • regulated production process.

Manufacturing begins when a process order is placed.

Control recipes are created once process order has been released.


Control-oriented production type that seeks to avoid requirements planning.

“Requirements oriented control” instead of “requirements planning”.

Only required parts are produced.

Automatic replenishment process.

Production plant is divided into production supply areas (PSAs), used for buffer storage.

PSAs are supplied by sources (work centers).

Multiple processes can take their demand from the same PSA.

PSA stock replenishment triggered as storage containers in PSA are emptied.

When a storage container becomes empty manual barcode scan sends kanban signal. Alternatively, “quantity” signals can be sent based on a quantity threshold.

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