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Combined Production Orders with APO integration


I wanted to understand if anyone has had experience in dealing with the Mill/Paper environment where an APO integration was involved. To be more specific, these industries need, what we call the "combined production orders". While we can use Block planning in APO (alongwith CDP) & promise orders using Capable-to-Promise to customers, what has remained a question to my mind is how do we create the combined production orders automatically (via CIF) once we've set the conversion from APO?

Most of the implementations use some kind of external Trim optimization engines (greycon, X-trim, I see that SAP has a tool called TrimLight). SAP clearly has made provisions within the APO programming to connect with the trim tools. Are there instances of implementations that do not use these Trim tools & yet combine orders in ECC? If yes, how? I know the IS-Mill functionality has provisions to combine Sales Orders, Plnd Orders & Production Orders.


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2 Answers

  • Best Answer
    Nov 02, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Hi Andy,

    the fuctionality of order combination (IS-MILL) is not released for SAP APO ( Please check SAP note 1406424 for more details

    The "Interface for Industry-Specific Optimizer" of SAP APO can be used to connect external trim optimization tools: This functionallity is not based on the order combination in IS-MILL.

    Best regards


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    • Hi Kai,

      Thanks for the reference to the notes. Have reviewed 'em all & below are my thoughts -

      From note 1406424:

      To add char reqts to the I/p node we need a BADI? if we do not maintain this we won't get the reqts tab on I/p nodes?

      In case of non-config BOM it is poss to set default reqts by maintaining batch classfn on BOM?

      From the rest of the notes on this topic:

      Over-all, looks like SAP (via all the myriad notes) dissuades implementations from trying to combine APO (Block planning) scheduled orders in ECC, using the Combine Order function. A custom MOD is being referred to, however, question to me is - once a "scheduled" Prodn order from APO is combined (using a MOD) in ECC, doesn't this order get rescheduled in ECC? If Yes, then how is the execution of such an order managed?


  • Nov 02, 2015 at 02:01 PM

    While I totally agree with what was written by Kai Aldinger, the question could be taken beyond the functionality of the Mill "order combination" itself. Basically you want orders to reflect the result of an (external) trim optimization. There is the obvious solution: APO creates a trim order which is later send to ERP.

    But there are a number of options seen at paper companies which all have in common they are not SAP standard rather than consulting solutions. One idea is using the CIF (without an APO connected) to trigger the creation of a trim order anyway. This allows the creation of an order which offers all the specifics in like settlement rules for trim.

    Others customers stick with "normal" production orders and introduce the result of trim (like the knive positions) to the configuration of the orders. Orders are kept as individual orders and you need to take care of them being scheduled together, maybe even in a certain way. Obviously you still need to take care of cost settlement.

    Others tried to enforce the creation of a combined order based on non-ERP data.

    I cannot estimate cost nor success of those projects but I'm aware there a number of paper companies being live with such scenarios.



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    • "Use APO scheduled order while combining in ECC" - this is done automatically when the APO Trim Order is sent to ERP and creates a Trim Order there. We never thought about offering a logic which converts an APO Trim Order to a ERP Combined Order.

      The scenario without APO is the interesting one and the approaches I described above are referring to that.

      To what you've written in response to Kai: The issue is really that an order which was created by an external system (e.g. APO - from ERP point of view) should not be rescheduled anymore. This is because ERP doesn't know about the scheduling logic which was applied earlier. For this reason even a standard Trim Order which was triggered from APO cannot be changed in ERP.