Release Two of the PLM System Integration for SAP S/4HANA to integrate Siemens Teamcenter

We are really proud of our second release of the PLM System Integration for S/4HANBA.  This release contains the functionality required for a lot of our potential customers – discrete manufacturing, engineering and other variant rich segments.

It covers processes for Configure-to-Order, regular NPDI, manufacturing engineering in Teamcenter and configuration management in Teamcenter. It also covers model unit effectivity on the bill of material and Bill of processes.

As a product owner I´m probably not exactly neutral, but the descriptions here should be factual and not too subjective.

In this post I´ll describe all major functionality in this release:

  1. Variant configuration across the integration
  2. Change processes – originating in TC and SAP
  3. The rather cool data federation – how to enable a view from TC into the transactional world of SAP and vice versa
  4. Transfer or materials to parts & items in Teamcenter
  5. Model unit effectivity
  6. Manufacturing engineering in Teamcenter

This is a set of features we are rather proud of – as we are now making it possible to bring in content from the product configurator and BOM variant formulas into SAP variant config. The integration first creates the 300 type class with characteristics and values, and can then create configurable materials, configuration profiles and object dependencies on the BOM.

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Variant config in TC

Release two brings in some fairly major improvements in this area. We are now able to have a process originating with a problem report  in SAP (both from a Change Master and from Change Record in SAP).  This is then sent to Teamcenter for the engineering group to assess it, create a change request and later send a product update to SAP via a Change Notice. The change can contain the relevant materials, BOM and documents but also include supporting documents added as attachments. Note that we decided on a min version of S/4HANA of 2020 Initial Shipment stack due to the functionality in change record from that release.

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Closed loop change process

Replication is cheap – but not necessarily cheerful… Some data should not be copied across – stuff like stock levels, cost prices – anything of a transient and transactional nature. To cater for this, the integration has a ready channel to transfer information between systems on demand. In SAP this is realized with two SAP Fiori apps so far – change object and material /product master. S

Standard  fields can be configured via PLMSI customizing, whereas more advanced stuff can be done in a user exit for the exact purpose. In Teamcenter this functionality is delivered as a set of ready-made style sheets in Active workspace.

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Data federation from SAP into TC Active Workspace – standard BADI for stock and price

Materials like commercial parts, consumables or raw materials might originate in SAP S/4HANA rather than Teamcenter. To make this process work nicely, the integration can transfer materials and material updates to TC from SAP based on e.g. change in material status. The mapping is done in  a way  that laters allow updates flowing bi-directionally. This includes plant data and classification data in addition of of basic data. The logic we already have to allow or block updates of fields with data depending on customizing is now rather handy.

Model unit effectivity used to to manage product configuration by using a reference to a (end) product and a serial number.

E.g. to say this bom line is valid for product Green from serial number 1-10, whereas the other bom line applies to product Green from serial number 11-UP, so any subsequent serial numbers. It is typically used in complex manufacturing where e.g tail number or serial number of the product is more relevant than a single date.

We bring over the BOM and Bill of process (BOP) operation occurrence effectivity from Teamcenter to SAP.  Note: this is not part of the  BC-set – so a few manual steps are required for parameter profile and template change.

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Teamcenter MU

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SAP MU

The integration can now transfer the bill of process with associated information from TC to SAP – component assignment, tool & workstation assignment as well as time/duration.   This includes operations with sub operations – all with component assignment. The integration can also carry over object dependencies/variant formulas for each operation to SAP. The same applies to model unit effectivity on the operation in TC.

Worth noting is that since the data model in Teamcenter is slightly different, the integration can either bring in sub-operations in TC as proper operations or as sub-operations in S/4HANA. The reason to bring them in as proper operations is when there is either component assignment, model unit assignment or object dependencies on the sub operation – as SAP deals with this on operation level and not sub-operation level.

Worth mentioning is that we can generate the BOM in SAP from the operation component assignment in TC, such that there is a perfect 1:1 match.

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Bill of process (routing) in Teamcenter

As part of the integration, Siemens is delivering a set of workflows, pipelines and preferences that match with the processes defined above.  They are connected with a change process for the outbound release and make the start of a project easier than starting from scratch.

  • Product engineering release
  • Variant definition release
  • Product manufacturing release

The same is also offered for the inbound:

  • Receive material/part
  • Receive changes – problem report & change requests.

Please see the Siemens documentation for a more comprehensive list of their deliveries – their delivery contains everything required to use the PLM System Integration.

Release two is the major go-to market release of our integration. It brings in enough functionality to make it valuable for a range of customers. We see two main target groups for this release: customers about to embark on a project for integrating SAP and Teamcenter – this is the natural target for those customers in terms of a new integration coming into the market when they need it.

The other key target group has more pressing needs – to get manufacturing information and variant config from Teamcenter to SAP. This is rather complex functionality and the effort involved to create this in a project setting is fairly large. The joint effort of Siemens and SAP in this area both in business process and technology should make it the logical integration option.

We know we are still missing some features that are relevant. Worth mentioning for the next release:

  1. Complex assembly using SAP Production Engineering and Operations with engineering in TC and execution in SAP S/4HANA
  2. Suppliers and supplier part numbers
  3. Extending the variant configuration to also include top level product rules (e.g. if 4WD then use large battery, if large motors use large brakes)
  4. Engineer to order with some exchange of project information and project/order BOM

As always – any feedback is appreciated – about the post or comments about the integration.