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The specified order dates or production dates (scheduled dates) form the starting point for scheduling an order and the scheduling type determines whether the start or finish date is required to do this (see Date Determination on Order Creation ). Since d isturbances and delays in the production process can never be completely avoided, you can plan in additional time floats at the beginning and end of an order (float before production, float after production). You define the duration of these floats in the master record of the material to be produced. Scheduling determines the required dates using these floats.


The order start date and the order finish date form the framework within which a production order is to be executed. Since malfunctions and disturbances in the production process can never be fully prevented, the system uses particular floats in a production order. The system takes into account so-called "before and after production floats" when scheduling an order.

The float before production is a start float. It has two functions:

  • It can compensate for delays in the staging of the material components.

  • If there is a capacity bottleneck at the work centers involved, the production dates can be moved forward in the future. In this way it serves as a float for capacity leveling.

The float after production is a finish float. It is used to compensate for unexpected disturbances in the production process, so that they do not delay the scheduled finish date.

The floats before and after production are defined for each material using a scheduling margin key. This scheduling margin key is automatically transferred from the material master when an order is created. However, you can change the times in the order.

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The system calculates the scheduled start of the order by adding the float before production to the order start date. It calculates the scheduled finish of the order by subtracting the float after production from the order finish date.

The system deducts the number of days defined in the release period from the scheduled start of the order and thus determines the scheduled release date of the order. This date can be used for collective release.

Scheduling margin key

The float before production, float after production and the relea se period are defined in the scheduling margin key (Customizing for Shop Floor Control, by choosing   Operations   Scheduling   Define Scheduling Margin Key   ) . The scheduling margin key is assigned to the material ( MRP area in the material master) and is transferred when the production order is created. These values can be changed in the production order.

When is an order scheduled?

When you create a production order it is always automatically scheduled. In the scheduling parameters (Customizing for Shop Floor Control by choosing   Operations   Scheduling   Define Scheduling Parameters   ) you can define that, after every change relevant to scheduling, the production order is also automatically rescheduled before saving ( Automatic scheduling indicator) .