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Operations are carried out at a work center. In the SAP system work centers are business objects that can represent the following real work centers, for example:

  • Machines, machine groups

  • Production lines

  • Assembly work centers

  • Employees, groups of employees


Together with bills of material and routings, work centers belong to the most important master data in the production planning and control system. Work centers are used in task list operations and work orders. Task lists are for example routings, maintenance task lists, inspection plans and standard networks. Work orders are created for production, quality assurance, plant maintenance and for the Project System as networks.

Data in work centers is used for

  • Scheduling

    Operating times and formulas are entered in the work center, so that the duration of an operation can be calculated.

  • Costing

    Formulas are entered in the work center, so that the costs of an operation can be calculated. A work center is also assigned to a cost center.

  • Capacity planning

    The available capacity and formulas for calculating capacity requirements are entered in the work center.

  • Simplifying operation maintenance

    Various default values for operations can be entered in the work center.

The following graphic illustrates the use of work center data.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text.

Use of work center data


A work center is created for a plant and is identified by a key. The work center category , which you define in Customizing the work center, determines which data can be maintained in the work center.

The data is grouped thematically together in screens and screen groups. Examples of such screen or screen groups are:

  • Basic Data

  • Assignments (to cost centers, Human Resource Management System (HR))

  • Capacities

  • Scheduling

  • Default values

  • Hierarchy

  • Technical data


Task Lists

Work centers are assigned to operations in task lists. If you change default values in a work center, the changes are effective in the task list if a reference indicator has been set for the default value.

Work Center Hierarchies

Work centers can be arranged in hierarchies. These are important in capacity planning. You use hierarchies to cumulate available capacities and capacity requirements in a hierarchy work center.

Assignments to Objects in the Human Resource Management System

A Logistics work center can be assigned to either an organizational unit or a work center in the Human Resource Management System (HRMS). Assignments to other HR-objects, for example employees or qualifications, can be maintained via the HR work center.