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A unique task consisting of one or more work elements that involve individuals, machines, or processes that are done in one location. An operation can involve the intentional change in a physical or chemical characteristic of a product. It can be accomplished through the assembly, disassembly or preparation for another operation. An operation normally contains setup information, instructions, material consumption, or the collection of product data.

Examples of operations are PAINT, DRY, ASSEMBLE, TEST, and PACK. When you use an operation on a routing, it becomes a routing step.


Operations can have the following attributes:

For more information, see Operation Maintenance and Operation Table.

Types of Operations

In Operation Maintenance, you must specify one of the following types of operation you are defining in the Operation Type field:

  • Normal

  • Test

  • Special

Most operations are Normal. A Normal operation is a process that commonly occurring on product being produced. A Test operation is a process where product is being tested on a resource determining the quality of the produced product.

Operators at Normal and Test operations can start only the SFC numbers that appear in their Work Lists (see POD Work List).

In the POD, operators can choose Browse next to the SFC field to view the Browse Work List for the selected operation. The SFC numbers that appear in the Browse Work List are SFC numbers that are waiting for the operation to be performed on them in manufacturing.

A Special operation is an operation that SFC numbers are not queued at during the normal manufacturing process. An operator enters the Special operation in the Operation field and enters the SFC number in the SFC field. By performing this action, the SFC number is pulled from the normal production routing into this Special operation. A Special operation can be used to pull work for random sampling and testing.

Note Note

To pull SFC numbers from another routing, the special operation must be the first step on a routing. Only Special routings can contain Special operations.

A Special operation can be the only step on a Special routing. For example, a special operation called Preliminary Material Review may be the only step on a PMR routing.

End of the note.


Operations and Routings

You can use a series of operations in Routing Maintenance to create routings that represent workflow on your floor. For example, you can create one routing with a set of operations you use to produce or assemble units. You can create another routing with a set of operations for reworking units that fail tests (see Routing).

When an operation is added to a routing step, the operation value is inherited by the routing step when added to the routing. If the value at the operation is updated, the routing step value is not updated.

Operations and Resource Types

When you release a shop order, the system creates an SFC number for each unit based upon the material lot size and places the SFC numbers in queue at the first operation on the routing. The operator who performs the operation logs on to the system, opens the Production Operator Dashboard (POD), and enters the operation to be performed in the Operation field and the resource being utilized in the Resource field.

In Operation Maintenance, you do not associate an operation with a resource. Instead, you associate it with a resource type. A resource type is a group of resources that can be used at the selected operation. By defining the resource type the system validates that the resource entered in the POD can perform the operation. If there is only one resource for a resource type, a default resource can be defined for the operation. If it contains a value, the default resource is automatically selected for the operator. A resource type and/or resources can be used at multiple operations on the routing if they perform a similar process.

For example, if the resource type of the ASSEMBLE operation is BENCH, and the BENCH resource type includes BENCH1, BENCH2, and BENCH3, an operator who enters ASSEMBLE as the operation in the PODs can enter BENCH1, BENCH2, or BENCH3 as the resource.

Operations and Nonconformance

Some operations on your floor may involve quality assurance processes, such as testing or inspection of units. At inspection and testing operations, operators analyze, inspect, and test production units. As a part of these quality steps, the system has a Nonconformance module to record defects that may be identified at these processes. In Operation Maintenance, you can specify a nonconformance client and a default NC code for these quality processes.

Operations and Certifications

Certifications allow you to control which users can perform specific operations. This feature helps you prevent operators without the proper expertise from performing certain tasks on your floor (see Certification).

Using Hook Point Activities with Operations

You can use activity hooks in the system for customer specific lookups or validation of attributes during the manufacturing process. For example, you can use an activity hook to validate the resource has the proper setup before product is produced. (see Hook Point Activity).

SAP ME ERP Integration

If you use the SAPMEINT component, see Transfer of Routing to Routing with Operations.