The Basics of Process Management in PP-PI

  • by Jawad Akhtar, Head of SAP Delivery, AbacusConsulting
  • November 10, 2011
Understand the basics of the process management functionality in Production Planning for Process Industries (PP-PI). Learn how to set up process management in your SAP system and follow examples that show the benefits of its many features.
Key Concept
Production Planning for Process Industries (PP-PI) offers the standard functionality of process management, which captures and records all plant parameters. This process of capturing plant parameters can be automatic, if the SAP system is integrated with a distributed control system or a process control system (an independent, third-party software used to run and control the process parameters of a plant), or manual, if the data is sent to a process instruction sheet.

Manufacturing organizations are required to monitor performance and plant parameters on a constant basis and make a record of it. For example, when the production of a certain item is scheduled, the plant operator needs to have a series of clear and comprehensive instructions to follow. Similarly, the plant operator is required to record and report back data, such as steam temperature twice a shift or an abnormal vibration in the suction pump, so that it will be available for future reference or corrective action.

They are, therefore, in a need of functionality in the SAP system that is able to transfer and communicate all such information in a timely manner. All the above has been made possible by the process management functionality in SAP’s Production Planning for Process Industries (PP-PI) module.

While transmitting information between an SAP system and a process control system (PCS) is possible by defining the type of the control recipe destination, I focus on the transfer to process instruction sheets to show that implementing process management can still yield significant added value without integrating SAP with a PCS.
I have come across many clients who don’t see the need to implement process management functionality, despite the fact that it is delivered as a standard SAP functionality, simply because they don’t wish to connect their process control system (PCS) with their SAP system. Some think that process management will not improve their business processes or that implementation of their SAP systems alone is a big enough change. They don’t wish to take the risk of exposing their PCS to the ABAP development needed to connect to the SAP system until the SAP system has matured.  

Jawad Akhtar

Jawad Akhtar earned his chemical engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has 17 years of professional experience, of which nine years are in SAP. He has completed eight end-to-end SAP project implementation lifecycles in the areas of PP, QM, MM, PM, and DMS in the steel, automobile, chemical, fertilizer, FMCG, and building products industries. He also has worked as an SAP integration manager and an SAP project manager. He has been proactively involved in a business development and solution architect role for seven years. He is the author of Production Planning and Control with SAP ERP, it's filled with in-depth infomation on discrete, process, and repetitive manufacturing types. His profile on LinkedIn is at You may follow Jawad on Twitter @jawadahl. Currently, he is associated with AbacusConsulting as Head of SAP Delivery.

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