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APO in a make-to-order environment

We are in a 4.6C environment using make-to-order to perform plastic injection molding business. In this business, we have a scenario called molding with a family mold. A family mold is a mold having multiple cavities capable of molding different products in one single shot. Say, if the mold is having 3 cavities capable of producing 1 pc of product A and 2 pcs of product B. Now, the customer orders 1000 pcs of product A and 1000 pcs of product B. What the molding company will do is that they picked all required raw materials and then starts the first 500 shots of molding (i.e. ideally produced 500 pcs of A and 1000 pcs of B). The technician then covers up the cavities of B of the same mold to prevent from producing in excess of B and then start the next 500 shots of molding for the remaining 500pcs of A.

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The question is how do we handle this scenario in SAP in terms of BOM setting, capacity requirement planning of the injection molding machine and production order handling? Shall we put A and B as two line items in the sales order?
The difficulty with this scenario is that you are using a make-to-order strategy to control your products. The MTO strategies create production orders and stock which ar tied directly to a sales order line, and to combine the 2 lines into 1 production order is not a standard way of working. Without doing some system testing, I'm not aware of any way around this, so you may need to consider a different planning strategy to control the products that come from family molds.

Once you have decided on the strategy I would suggest that you investigate the co-product functionality. What this will allow you to do is have one of the products as an co-product of the other. For your scenario product "A" could be the prime product for the BOM and you would add product "B" as a component with ?2 as the value. When you then create a production order for the 500 of product "A" you would also get a planned receipt of a 1000 of product "B". You could also have another BOM for product "A" without a co-product which you could use to produce the remaining 500 of product "A". I hope this answers your question, but if have any further questions you can email me paul.krant@diagonal-consulting.com.
 

This was first published in June 2003

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