Assembly Processing in General
An assemble-to-order environment is one in which the product or service is assembled on receipt of the sales order. Key components are planned in anticipation of the sales order. Receipt of the order initiates assembly of the customized product. This business process is called assembly processing.
This process is used throughout SAP R/3 logistics applications to automatically generate the following order types:
- Planned order
- Production order
- Process order
- Service order
- Network (project)
The order that the system geneartes is sometimes referred to as an "assembly order".
There is no one object called an assembly order in the R/3 System. It is a generic term referring to all orders that can be created using assembly processing.
The order type used in the Project System is the network.
Assembly processing in the Project System uses the static procedure, in which there is only one network for each sales document item.
This section focuses on assembly processing in the Project System, with networks. For information about the other order types, refer toAssemble-to-order.
Assembly Processing in the Project System
Assembly processing is relevant for businesses using the Project System to plan products or services that are produced or carried out several times in a similar constellation. Although the projects , for example, for different customers, they consist of similar activities, but the structure of the project remains the same. Details, such as quantities or the amount of work involved, can differ.
You can account for different product alternatives by using variant configuration together with assembly processing. If you manufacture a product using the Project System offering various options, you can use variant configuration to plan the project based on the chosen options. When you create a sales order for the product, you are automatically prompted to enter the options the customer requires.
The IDES system uses an elevator as an example of assembly processing using configuration. Depending on the capacity of the elevator and whether the walls are to be made of wood, metal or glass, the elevator is designed differently. A heavier elevator requires a more powerful motor; the capacity of the elevator determines the size. When a sales order is created, the material (and subsequently the network) are configured to account for these differences.
For more information, seeVariant Configuration (LO-VC).
To use assembly processing in the Project System, you have to have created a standard network in the system. The system uses this standard network to create the executable network during assembly processing. For more information, seeMaintaining the Standard Network.
You need to have set up amaterial master that supports assembly processing.
You should maintain a link between the material master and the standard network. This is done in the Project System and is described inLinking Materials and Standard Networks. If you do not maintain this link, the system prompts you for the standard network during assembly processing.
If you wish to use configuration, you also have to have made the necessary settings. For more information, seeSettings for Configuration.
In the Project System only networks can be generated directly from a sales document during assembly processing. Indirectly the system can also generate work breakdown structures, when it creates the network.
- You start assembly processing by creating a sales document for a material. This sales
document can be
- An inquiry
- A quotation
- A sales order.
- The system then:
- Configures the material, if necessary
- Creates a network using the standard network as a template
- Configures the network, if necessary
- Schedules the network backwards from the required delivery date
- Checks material availability
- Costs the network and transfers these costs to the sales document.
- When you save the sales document, the system saves the network together with the sales document.
If applicable, it also generates a project definition and work breakdown structure. The project number is derived from the sales document number.
Advantages of Assembly Processing
Assembly processing creates a link between the sales document and the project. This means that the same information is available to the employees in the sales department and to project management. The system automatically updates changes to the sales document in the network and vice-versa.
Since the system schedules the network and checks material availability when you create a sales document, you can immediately inform the customer whether you can complete the project on the date he/she requested. If not, the system proposes a date on which it is possible to complete the project.
As of Release 4.6 it is possible to use assembly processing with project stock.There is now a logical connection between the sales order number and the stock segment. This means that you can create deliveries in the Sales and Distribution component for a project that has been generated using assembly processing. Subsequently you can use the standard delivery functions in this component. For more infrmation, seeDelivery Processing.
Alternatives to Assembly Processing
If you work with material components and want to allocate the components to the standard network, the details of the components should be known before you use assembly processing. In the case of configuration, possibly in the form of a maximum bill of material (BOM), in which all possible components are listed.
If the components in your project have not been decided on when you create the sales document, consider using theBOM/PS transfer function. Here you can create a link between the network and the bill of material, without having to know the details of the components. Changes to the bill of material can be updated in the network using this function. You can also use this function in conjunction with assembly processing. For instance, you can create the network structure using assembly processing and then use the BOM/PS transfer function to link the network to a bill of material.