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End-to-End Process
Configure2Operate in
Mechanical & Plant Engineering

Triad to SAP Event Demo case mechanical and plant engineering, configure2operate

The digital value and supply chain with SAP using the example of FTS AG

Globalized markets with high pressure for change, enhanced customer orientation – in some cases even including bespoke production – and the trend towards more sustainability in the value and supply chains: The demands on mechanical and plant engineering are immense. In this challenging environment, end-to-end (E2E) digitized business processes give companies the agility and resilience they need to adapt to changing conditions and stay ahead of the competition. This is why valantic developed the end-to-end process Configure2Operate. It covers every phase of the product lifecycle – from machine or plant configuration through to operation.

Our system demo uses the example of the fictitious FTS Inc., a manufacturer of automated guided vehicles (AGV), to show which SAP solutions can be used in mechanical and plant engineering to digitize the value and supply chains end to end and improve their flexibility, resilience and sustainability. The focus is on the interaction of various SAP applications for the process steps Quotation and Configuration, Solution Order Management, Production Planning and Execution, Creation of the Digital Twin and Monitoring, Service Order Execution, and Data-Driven Controlling. These are state-of-the-art processes that are fully integrated in the SAP cloud solutions. Harmonized user interfaces ensure a largely uniform application experience across the entire process.

Sale. Manufacture. Maintenance.

With the end-to-end process Configure2Operate, FTS Inc. maps the entire business process – from preparing the quotation to delivery of an AGV, including its service and maintenance – using entirely standard SAP functionalities. The transport system is configured individually for the customer, produced in accordance with the parts list and modeled as a digital twin. This digital twin supports subsequent services and enables controlling over the entire product life cycle.

Configure2Operate consists of six seamlessly transitioning steps: Quotation and Configuration, Solution Order Management, Production Planning and Execution, Creation of the Digital Twin and Monitoring, Service Order Execution, and Data-Driven Controlling.

E-Book: The SAP E2E Process Configure2Operate
SAP End-to-End Prozess Configure2Operate to Read

You can learn more about our end-to-end process Configure2Operate for the machine and plant engineering sector in our e-book.

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Configure2Operate system landscape

FTS Inc. At a Glance

  1. FTS Inc. is a manufacturer of machines, systems and services for manufacturing and automation tasks, including automated guided vehicles.
  2. FTS’s solutions can be used across all industries. Important business areas are the international glass and building materials industry as well as intralogistics.
  3. FTS Inc. likes to offer customers turnkey solution packages that bundle products and services.
  4. The solution packages are configured individually for each customer, with modularization helping to reduce complexity.
  5. The company covers the entire product life cycle, from quotation and maintenance, to repair and controlling, in a single integrated process in SAP.

In the configurator, users are guided through an intuitive process in which the parts lists and price calculation function also run simultaneously. Discount options are available as well. The solution also informs of any decisions that need to be made. During configuration, sales staff have a wide range of templates available in different languages for conveniently generating all the necessary quotation documents. The quote can be sent directly from the solution, adjusted in accordance with the customer’s response and finally converted into an order in SAP S/4HANA.

Highlights of SAP Configure Price Quote (SAP CPQ)

  • Direct import of all customer data and quote information thanks to integration with SAP Sales Cloud
  • Access to the product catalog, including product search function
  • Structured, guided configuration process in which bills of materials and price calculation also run simultaneously
  • Customized discount options
  • Preparation of all quotation documents from templates available in multiple formats and languages
  • Direct dispatching of quotes to the customer
  • Integration with SAP S/4HANA for downstream order management, production, delivery and billing

Solution Order Management

After the customer has accepted the offer, SAP S/4HANA Cloud creates a solution order. This new object type allows FTS Inc. to seamlessly link its sales and service functions. Solution order management helps the company offer fully integrated solution packages and thus generate higher margins. These packages can include products as well as various one-off and recurring services, such as the installation and commissioning of the AGV and regular maintenance.

Customer service can access different object types in a solution order – such as the sales items of the AGV, as well as the service contract items, such as on-site installation and battery tests. Dependencies between the objects and order items can also be stored. To this end, products and services are added to the solution order and all relevant details, such as project schedule, organizational data and history, are taken over. In this way, it is possible to monitor the project’s progress and inform any involved parties about status changes. Based on the solution order, SAP S/4HANA creates various order types – such as sales or service orders – and combines these into a complete order. The solution order can be used to trigger overall invoicing. Comprehensive controlling is also possible.

Highlights of SAP S/4HANA Cloud Solution Order

  • New central solution portfolio
  • Ability to manage follow-up documents such as order, service contract, and service call
  • Ergonomic graphical representation
  • Status overview of follow-up documents
  • Serves as an overall controlling object for the turnkey solution
  • Single sales order reference applies to all invoices for the turnkey solution sold

During production execution, DMC triggers the provision of the required components through its integration with SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM). DMC assists  production workers with, among other things, a customizable dashboard that displays the pending worklist, a flexible assembly workflow, and automated checks during production. When the last operation of the production order is complete, DMC sends a final confirmation to SAP S/4HANA and, with the completion message, the creation of a digital twin is initiated in the SAP Asset Intelligence Network (SAP AIN) collaboration tool. In addition, the goods receipt is integrated in SAP EWM.

Highlights of SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud (SAP DMC)

  • Synchronization of the manufacturing order data between the integrated systems SAP DMC, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP EWM and SAP AIN
  • Defined production process designs (PPD) for interactions between machines, rules, actions and workflows for execution and automation on the shop floor
  • Triggering of component provisioning into SAP EWM
  • Staff scheduling and planning of manufacturing orders for the “last mile”, such as the next shift
  • Flexible, system-controlled assembly workflow
  • Automated inspection during production with integrated work instructions
  • Automatic updating of consumption postings with SAP EWM
  • Automatic posting of goods receipts with SAP EWM
  • Production reports for the order with standard functionalities
  • Creation of the digital twin and transfer to SAP AIN
  • 24/7 DMC Edge as a hybrid cloud edge option for manufacturers to reduce connectivity, latency and bandwidth dependencies

Creation of the Digital Twin and Monitoring

The collaboration tool SAP Asset Intelligence Network supports the cooperation between FTS Inc., its customers and spare parts suppliers via the digital twin of the transport robot concerned. The previously in Asset Central created digital twin receives basic information from other SAP systems within SAP AIN and is enriched with additional data relevant to the customer and other partners, such as location, installation date, spare part information, and technical documentation. Instructions for scheduled maintenance and photos of damage can also be stored. As soon as the equipment has been published in SAP AIN, all partners can work with the digital twin and view all the machine data that the equipment sends to the platform.

This allows monitoring and lets recommendations for action be derived. Users can determine, among other things, when scheduled maintenance is due or if a malfunction has occurred. In this case, AIN initiates the service process. In our scenario, the AGV’s battery has overheated. As soon as the physical equipment sends the appropriate real-time temperature data, that exceeds a limit value, AIN automatically sends an e-mail notification to the person responsible. This person, in turn, creates an emergency ticket with a status description for customer service directly in AIN which serves as the basis for the service order later on. In addition to the measured values a description of the condition can be added.

Highlights of SAP Asset Intelligence Network (SAP AIN)

  • Automatic creation of a digital twin as equipment
  • Equipment enriched with documentation and information
  • Information sharing with business partners and customers
  • Linking of the physical equipment with the digital twin for monitoring purposes

Highlights of SAP Field Service Management (SAP FSM)

  • Manual or automated scheduling of service technicians, taking into account their locations and qualifications
  • Transparent overview of service assignments
  • Mobile app for service technicians with checklists and relevant deployment information
  • Service feedback while on the road
  • Preparation of the service report with signature on the customer’s premises
  • Customizable configuration of various deployment types, such as maintenance or installation

Data-Driven Controlling

For the controlling and reporting of the solution order and other objects, FTS Inc. uses the analytics solution SAP Analytics Cloud. With this, FTS’s customer service determines all the relevant data, information and KPIs and prepares them for different stakeholders at the customer. SAP Analytics Cloud merges the information from various source systems, such as the digital twin in AIN, SAP S/4HANA, DMC, FSM and third-party solutions. SAP Analytics Cloud thus serves as a single point of truth and single point of entry.

Preparing and analyzing the data lets different information needs be addressed. Customer service can show, for example, whether the investment in the automation solution has paid off, the number of transports made with it per day, and the weight transported per trip. At the same time, automated forecasts and simulations can be prepared to clarify, for example, whether a lower weight per trip affects the loading cycles or maintenance intervals. For the customer, this is important information for optimizing operations.

Highlights of SAP Analytics Cloud

  • Merging of information from different source systems in a single tool
  • Aggregation and preparation of data in accordance with different stakeholders’ information needs
  • Numerous visualization options
  • Automatic forecasts that can be prepared and implemented based on customized parameters
  • Automatic grouping of data and analysis of outliers

Your Contact

Picture of Fabian Stocker, Partner und Vice President Integrated Business Planning (SAP IBP) at valantic

Fabian Stocker