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SAP MII and PCo

What can these applications do for your company?

Manoel Costa
May - 2010

Contents
1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................... 3
2. EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE .......................................................................................... 3
2.1 Without SAP MII and SAP PCo........................................................................... 3
2.2 With SAP MII and SAP PCo ................................................................................ 4
3. PRODUCTIONS EXECUTION.......................................................................................... 4
4. QUALITIY CONTROL ....................................................................................................... 4
5. CONCLUSION................................................................................................................... 5

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1. Introduction
SAP MII now has a high performance connector targeted for shop-floor systems - the SAP PCo.
SAP PCo was conceived to address much waited functionality: to process event notifications
coming from external systems. The keywords are EVENTS and NOTIFICATIONS.
SAP PCo is a robust structure that monitors systems like MES, PIMS, Historians and other shopfloor applications by sending notifications of events occurred, which is based on certain defined
rules and criteria. But what can this tool do for your company? As a way to better answer the
question, the following paragraphs will put forth different cases where SAP MII and SAP PCo
applications could radically and quickly change the results of conventional and known scenarios.

2. Equipment maintenance
We begin by inviting you to imagine a company where bureaucratic barriers delay and postpone
the resolution of problems in real time; for instance, a plant having continuous non-programmed
stops or interruptions of production due to equipment breakdowns. These breakdowns are one
component of the delays, however any sluggishness of the repair process or response times will
lead the company to obtain a high level of productivity loss. With SAP MII and SAP PCo,,
equipment breakdown, non-programmed stops or any other factory floor event, could be
visualized in real time, directly by the person(s) responsible for correcting the defects according
to the causes pointed out bypassing bureaucratic barriers or slow internal notification
processes.
Now you are invited to imagine another scenario: A dashboard displayed in the maintenance
sector showing the entire plant and highlighting all equipment and their respective status with
colors. All your equipment are green, signaling that everything is running quite fine. But the
world it is not a ideal place. At some point, one of the equipment within your wrapping line
suddenly breaks down. This critical line is responsible for wrapping finished goods coming from
three different production lines. Now, to continue your exercise, you could imagine two different
scenarios:

2.1 Without SAP MII and SAP PCo


Several units of the finished goods begin to accumulate in the entrance of the wrapping line.
Your productive lines continue to produce, with all steam. The space available in the wrapping
line buffer area is being reduced quickly.
Organizing and identifying all the finished goods or product lots is becoming difficult: the
wrapping line buffer area increasingly keeps being filled and the product lots produced are
starting to get mixed up. This occurs because the lots identification, as well as the finished
goods identification, only occurs at the end of the wrapping line. There is no more room in the
buffer area. The security system stops the productive lines, so it doesnt cause bigger damage,
by mixing more of the lots or damaging the goods. At this point the maintenance sector receives
the line stop information and should start to address the problem.

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2.2 With SAP MII and SAP PCo


Before a breakdown, the equipment normally slows down. Practically all breaks give some signal
before they occur. With SAP MII and SAP PCo, the maintenance sectors dashboard starts to
show this equipment indicated by a yellow color. The SAP MII application sends an alert (e-mail
or SMS) about the equipment with lower speed. The information that something is going wrong is
already known and the sense of urgency keeps them alert.
When there is a breakdown, the equipment finally gets red status, identifying that the machines
stopped, the damage and identified by location: in the wrapping line equipment. A PM
notification (also known as plant maintenance notification) is automatically opened, arriving in the
maintenance sector, and anyone has to start it. The packaging line returns in few minutes. It
should turn the impact of this damage in the production line almost imperceptive.

3. Productions Execution
Raw material production line feeding, whether in the process industry or in a discrete
manufacturing environment, could be a hard task to administrate. Take for instance a kind of
high tech industry like a computer factory, where types of raw materials in small dimensions with
a high price (computer memories and processors) exist, and share the space with another type
of good with bigger dimensions and cheaper costs (case, power box and motherboard). Now
imagine an eminent risk of inventory breakdown or damage of the raw material at the head of the
production line caused by the bad administration of the materials demand. This occurrence looks
like a great problem, right? Not necessarily. If the productive line could request a raw material
by demand in smaller lots, wouldnt it be safer and simpler to direct this stock to the productive
lines head?
Now, change the scenario:
A productive line has a mediation point where the finished goods exit, in other words, each
finished good that exits the line sends a signal (an event); lets call this a final individual
production. This event can go to SAP MII via SAP PCo and generate an infinity of actions like
consumption and materials movement, implement several kind of controls, etc. though this is not
our focus. Lets say that this event only increases a control variable that stores the number of
equipments produced.
With this information on hand, you can define the size of the raw material lots that will be sent to
the head of the product line and the point of resupply for each new batch. With the final
individual production informed by SAP PCo, the lot size and the point of resupply definition, new
materials movements could be requested on demand. This would happen at the exact time frame
that you need to separate and deliver the raw material, thereby also giving you the time to well
organize the storage space at the production lines head.
Doesnt it seem simpler/elegant/safer?

4. Quality Control
Lets say that in your modern and automated industry, process or discrete manufacturing types,
you can find several checkpoints (benchmarking, measuring) for the control of production quality
requirements. Lets also say that, in its process, the variation range acceptable for a critical
variable targeting the final products quality is low and that control happens in several moments
across the product production.

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Due to its modernization and extreme automation, your productive line automatically dismisses
products that have quality lower than the minimal limit. All data is stored in a historian, with
enough details like the value of variables out of boundaries, the reasons of the quality variation,
the quantity dismissed and the time of the loss by lack of quality.
Incredible! All of this data about the quality variations that happens in the plant are available and
stored. However, they are stored just like data and not as usable information. They are also
isolated and stopped at the shop-floor level.
Now imagine the advantages of a scenario where each quality variation registered at the shopfloor automatically generates an event at SAP PCo, via SAP MII. This event triggers a QM
notification (also known as quality management notification or just quality notification) with all the
relevant information directly in the companys enterprise resource planner (ERP).
This is shown in the flow below:

Here is a small list of the benefits:


1. Creates QM notes and quality visualization in real time in the ERP.
2. No more information gaps between the shop-floor and the ERP.

5. Conclusion
With SAP MII and SAP PCo acting together the word is REAL TIME.
The events creation in real time will become a stimulus to start processes or is a turning point
decision, whether it is due to a breakdown of the equipment, the product line or lack of space in
the wrapping line buffer, as detailed herein. REAL TIME is a determinant factor to increase
production, reduce costs and mainly - it is another step ahead in the direction of the perfect plant.

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