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You can use this component to realize the exchange of production-relevant data between the ERP system and the independent production level (for example, machines, individuals, production control station).

The production level can be controlled as follows:

  • Manually

    The planned production steps are carried out manually by the machine operator

  • Partially automated

    The planned production steps are carried out both manually by a machine operator and automatically by a process control computer.

  • Automated

    The planned production steps are carried out automatically by a process control computer.

For a production order to be executed at this level and controlled, settled, or also changed in the ERP system, data such as product data, input materials, manufacturing and setup time specifications, setting parameters, recipe data, and target quantities must be transferred by the planning level (ERP) and the quantities actually produced, actual production times, scrap quantities and any other relevant data reported to the ERP system as promptly as possible.

The following user roles are involved in this process: work scheduler, foreman, production supervisor, production, warehouse, and transportation worker, maintenance technician, etc.


You can store manufacturing-relevant data in the routing or production order in the form of execution steps (XSteps). In the XSteps, you specify whether the information is to be forwarded to a machine operator or process control system.

The XSteps support the individuals involved at the manufacturing level as follows:

  • Transfer of any freely definable parameters in freely definable structure to any recipients at manufacturing level

  • Generation of variable, browser-based work instructions for the direct guidance of the machine operator

  • In the direct execution or derivation of confirmations from the work instructions or from process control computers by means of variable process messages

  • In the sending of these process messages to predefined message recipients (destinations) including the direct automatic posting of the confirmation data (actual time, material consumption, warehouse receipt, status progress etc.) in a production order.

Over and above the aforementioned possibilities, production-accompanying quality checks, the creation of a batch, and the determination of the batch or product characteristics can be carried out during the production process and goods movements posted in inventory management.

The functions of process integration are available to you in the SAP menu under   Logistics   Production   Shop Floor Control   Process Integration   .

Setup and Maintenance of Execution Steps

The setting up and maintenance of XSteps can be carried out by a suitably trained work scheduler with the following different options:

  • Setup and change in a standard XStep repository

    You will find the standard XStep repository in the SAP menu under   Logistics   Production   Master Data   Standard XStep repository.  

  • Setup and change in a routing

  • Setup and change in a standard XStep repository and copying to a routing

  • Setup and change in a standard XStep repository and referencing in a routing

The production supervisor, foreman, or MRP controller releases the production orders. As soon as a production order has been released for production and saved, the manufacturing-relevant data of the XSteps is consolidated to form control instructions (in sendable form) and sent to the relevant control instruction destination (machines, individuals, production control station, or machine, warehouse, or transportation control computer etc.) (see also Control Instructions ).

  • When control instructions are sent to a PC and the machine operator is working on the latter in dialog mode, the manufacturing data stored in the control instructions are prepared as text in the form of work instructions. The machine operator can then carry out his or her manufacturing steps with the aid of the work instructions (see also Work Instructions ).

  • If control instructions are sent to a process control computer (a production control station, for example) the manufacturing data stored in the control instructions are transferred in the form of parameters via an interface (PI-PCS or SAP ODA) and the process control computer processes this data for the preparation, execution, and control of the manufacturing process. (See also Use of Xsteps to Connect Up External Systems .)

The machine operator (or the control computer of a plant) processes the instructions to execute the work. During the processing of the work instructions in dialog mode or the automatic execution of worksteps by a machine control computer, process messages with the current manufacturing times and quantities are created automatically if this has been defined in the XSteps (see also Process Message Categories in Shop Floor Control ).

Following successful checking, these process messages are sent to the relevant message destination (the production order, for example). In addition to application programs, destinations can also be individuals (e-mail) and machines.

The following elements are available for the execution and monitoring of the send and receive operations: the mass-processing function (HVOM) for production orders, a control instruction monitor, a message monitor, and background programs (jobs) that should be used partly by the IT department and partly by the user department.