Manage Test Equipment Calibration Processes with SAP Plant Maintenance and Quality Management

  • by Gaetano Altavilla, Senior SAP Practice Manager
  • October 27, 2017
Learn how to manage the calibration processes for a plant’s test equipment using the Plant Maintenance (PM) and Quality Management (QM) functionalities with options available in the SAP system. In particular, find out how to manage your calibration activities to complete business transactions using master data from integrated modules and configuration done based on a company’s business processes and strategies using standard options available in the SAP system.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you’ll learn:

  • SAP Plant Maintenance (PM) and Quality Management (QM) functionalities to manage  calibration activities
  • The most important master data transactional data relevant for the entire process
  • The most important customizing parameters across affected modules
  • How this process is integrated with PM and QM
  • Quality notification management for a vendor’s non-conformance
  • The processes involved in calibrating your equipment using PM and QM modules 
  • Details about the main master data and transaction data to be posted
  • Details about the customizing settings to be done in the system
Key Concept

In a company, the test equipment (i.e., measurement tools) should be checked regularly. Planning and execution are performed using a maintenance plan that automatically generates an inspection lot. In the SAP Quality Management (QM) component, the measurement readings for the characteristics Length and Diameter of a test probe pin are entered for this inspection lot. A test probe pin is a physical device used to connect electronic test equipment to a device under test (DUT). Usually these devices are used in case of electronic test requirements. If measurement readings lie outside of the tolerances, for example, and adjustment is necessary, the status of the gauge is changed accordingly and a malfunction report is generated with the appropriate error code. The integration of Plant Maintenance (PM) and QM is divided into two areas: test equipment management (calibration inspection) and enhanced measurement reading entry.

To ensure that specified performance criteria are always met, the test equipment being used must be regularly checked and calibrated. You can use the functions of test equipment management to perform the following actions:

  • Manage equipment
  • Plan and schedule inspections
  • Execute orders and inspection lots for processing calibration inspections on equipment

The business transactional flow for the calibration activities is managed mainly by the Plant Maintenance (PM) and Quality Management (QM) modules, as shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1
Main activities related to calibration services in SAP QM and PM

The business activities that are shown in the system are outlined in Table 1.

Main master data preparation Main transactional data
Test equipment: Test equipment has its own tab on which the specific data relating to the production resources/tools (PRTs) is to be maintained. Note that you can manage the test equipment itself as equipment master records equipment.
Create maintenance plan
Schedule maintenance plan
Display and process calibration order: time confirmation and technical completion
Create a Master Inspection Characteristics (MIC): Describe the properties that must be measured
Display and process inspection lot: Record results recording, record errors, and perform usage decision (UD)
Work center: The task list usage is important here so that the relevant test equipment can be used in maintenance-specific task lists.
Display PM Notification
Maintenance plan: Generates an order and an inspection lot. Contains an inspection plan for the test equipment.
Verify equipment status change, change cycle modification, and update measurement documents

Table 1
Business activities in the SAP system related to calibration services

Let’s delve deeper into these steps in the SAP system now.

Main Master Data Preparation

As shown in Table 1, main master data preparation consists of maintaining production resources or tools (PRTs) in equipment, creating a Master Inspection Characteristic (MIC), creating a task list, and creating a maintenance plan. I now walk you through each of these steps.

Maintain the PRT in the Equipment

The PM department can maintain the PRT data in the equipment master data either by using transaction code IE02 or by following menu path SAP Menu > Plant Maintenance > Management of Technical Objects > Equipment > Change. Then, enter the equipment number you need to update and press Enter. This action opens the screen in Figure 2.


Figure 2
PRT view of equipment

In the PRT data tab in Figure 2, you need to maintain the Task list usage, Start reference, and End reference fields.

Gaetano Altavilla

Dr. Gaetano Altavilla is a senior SAP practice manager. His focus is on pre-sales, delivery of SAP application solutions for large international corporations, and SAP knowledge management in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

In his 18 years of SAP application experience working for many multinational companies, such as Procter & Gamble and Hewlett-Packard, he has covered a wide range of ERP logistic areas, focusing on the MM, WM, SD, LES, PP, PP-PI, PLM (QM, PM, PS) modules, as welll as CRM (TFM), SRM (EBP), SCM (SAP APO), and MES (ME) components.

Dr. Altavilla holds a degree with first-class honors in mathematics from the University of Naples and is certified in many SAP modules: SAP Logistics Bootcamp, SAP MM, SD, LE (SHP/WM/LE), PP, PLM (PM, QM, PS), SRM, CRM, SCM (APO), SCM (TM), FI, CO, and Solution Manager. He also has experience in ABAP/4 and application link enabling (ALE) and IDocs. He has participated in numerous industry conferences, such as the SAP Skills Conference in Walldorf at SAP SE.

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