Closing the Gap Between Shop Floor and SAP ERP with the Shop Floor Dispatching and Monitoring Tool

  • by Caetano Almeida, Senior Support Engineer, SAP
  • October 5, 2017
Understand the new features introduced by the new Shop Floor Dispatching and Monitoring Tool and how this tool can improve the short-term capacity leveling and order monitoring in SAP ERP.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will learn:

  • The architecture of the Shop Floor Dispatching and Monitoring (SFDM) Tool add-on
  • The differences between the SFDM Tool and standard capacity leveling
  • The steps for functional implementation of the SFDM Tool add-on in SAP ERP
  • Basic use of the SFDM Tool front end
  • The available customizing activities to enhance the use of the SFDM Tool
Key Concept
The Shop Floor Dispatching and Monitoring (SFDM) Tool improves the overall user experience of short-term capacity planning for production orders. It also provides additional monitoring functionalities, allowing a better visibility of the shop floor order execution, with alerts and detailed information about the orders.

For a long time, the standard capacity-leveling transactions, such as transaction codes CM21 and CM25, were the only tools available for capacity planning of production orders within the SAP ERP system. Even though those transactions can be effectively used for capacity planning, they were not designed to be used on a daily basis to monitor the production order execution in the shop floor.

The standard ERP capacity-leveling interface was originally developed focusing on the planning side, and users working on the shop floor always missed a graphical tool that could be used to control the execution of the production in a plant. In addition, the capacity-leveling user interface (UI) was developed within SAP GUI a long time ago, and there was also some room for improvement on the UI, especially if the idea was to use it to manage orders in the shop floor.

Of course, SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) was always an option for capacity planning. You could have also chosen external tools for planning, but the costs attached to a new system implementation and maintenance might have been high. In addition, PP/DS was also developed focused on the medium- and long-term capacity planning, and it is not a tool to be used on the shop floor to monitor and control the execution of a production order.

Aiming to fill this gap, SAP created an add-on to SAP ERP called the Shop Floor Dispatching and Monitoring (SFDM) Tool. Figure 1 shows the details about the SFDM Tool interface.

Figure 1
The SFDM Tool user interface

Architecture, Installation, and Prerequisites for the SFDM Tool Add-On

This add-on consists of a back-end ABAP component, which is installed in the ERP system, and a front-end Microsoft Windows application, which is installed in the user’s computer. The front end works only as a UI and does not store any kind of transactional or master data.

Caetano Almeida

Caetano Almeida is a computer engineer with an MBA in IT management. He has more than nine years of experience in production planning, with the last six years working at SAP Support, where he supports SAP customers and writes documentation and correction notes.

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