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SAP xMII for the Manufacturing Industries


The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) contains a collection of questions with answers to topics around SAP MII for the Manufacturing Industries.

General Questions

What are the Manufacturing Challenges today? What are the customer requirements for connecting the Plant to the Enterprise? What are the arguments for SAP as the right software-vendor to realize the issue of adaptive manufacturing? What is SAP xMII? What are the key functionalities from SAP xMII? What are the benefits from SAP xMII? What is the Unique Selling Proposition of SAP xMII? Why ist SAP xMII the solution regarding the pain-points and customer challenges?

Answers General Questions

What are the Manufacturing Challenges today?

Competitive pressures and commoditization is forcing the need to lower manufacturing costs. Manufacturing is becoming the de facto response buffer for supply chains continuing to become lean. Velocity is critical, time-to-market, time-to-customer are the keys to success. Visibility into the supply chain needs to be achieved to avoid additional costs and yet fulfill customer needs and increase order fulfillment rate. Stringent regulations are driving the need for product quality, reliability, batch tracking and compliance capabilities Production personnel lack mission critical decision support needed to respond to exceptions, or meet their targets. Decrease manual paperwork for Manufacturers to overcome these challenges and to deliver on their customer expectations connecting the Plant to the Enterprise and further to the Supply Chain is critical.

back to top\ What are the customer requirements for connecting the Plant to the Enterprise?

Minimization of the number of data interfaces and system layers Standardization of interfaces Collated visualization, analyses and reporting of manufacturing relevant data from all business process levels Logging and documentation of batch and resource data User-friendliness and end-to-end usability Integration and synchronization of master and transactional data

No redundant data maintenance Easy and intuitive to use, configured to meet the requirements of the production working

back to top\ What are the arguments for SAP as the right software-vendor to realize the issue of adaptive manufacturing? SAP is the most viable business application vendor in the world. Its traditional strengths of a vast customer base, global presence, deep and broad functionality, and its ability to invest more than any of its competitors in application R&D give it strong market appeal and an enormous competitive advantage. In addition, SAP's strong vertical-industry focus and its positioning as a solution for business problems (as opposed to a provider of leading-edge technology) puts the vendor more in tune than most of its competitors with a market focused on achieving business objectives. Only SAP Manufacturing delivers:

an integrated ERP Manufacturing Solution comprising planning, execution, quality, maintenance and EH&S management that enhances manufacturing performance thru higher visibility and responsiveness a robust, open standards, scalable integration platform for connecting Manufacturing with current Enterprise Business Processes (NetWeaver for Manufacturing), leveraging current investments and capabilities, to provide visibility into both intra and inter plants Manufacturing operations. role-specific views for production personnel with relevant manufacturing/business content, and decision support to drive responsiveness and performance. lower total cost of ownership (TCO) - by extending standardized applications and technologies across manufacturing operations

back to top\ What is SAP MII? SAP MII is the abbreviation for SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence. SAP MII enables the handling of manufacturing processes and their close ties to the enterprise and supply chain. It does so via two main components: manufacturing integration and manufacturing intelligence. SAP MII manufacturing integration functionality forms the backbone of SAP MII architecture by providing universal data connectivity to a variety of plant floor, enterprise, and other systems. Examples include plant floor systems from Invensys, Siemens, GE Fanuc, Visiprise, and Honeywell; enterprise systems from SAP, Oracle, and IFS; manufacturing execution systems (MES); laboratory information management systems (LIMS); and other legacy applications. SAP MII manufacturing integration functionality also supports manufacturing industry standards, such as ISA-S95, to integrate plant floor and enterprise systems.

SAP MII manufacturing intelligence functionality allows organizations to gather data from a variety of different systems - in shop floors, enterprises, and the supply chain - and model a composite application providing unified visibility into and handling of any manufacturing process. A classic example is the gathering, aggregation, and analysis of shop floor data; its display in the form of easily understood and easily used gadgets, graphics, and key performance indicators (KPIs); and the handling of associated events and alerts to support decision making by production personnel through role-based dashboards. Since manufacturing processes are highly specific, the strength of SAP MII manufacturing intelligence functionality lies in the simplicity it introduces to build an application adapted to theseindividual needs. For the most common processes of shop floor analytics, visualization, and integration to enterprise and legacy systems, manufacturing intelligence comes with a set of outofthe-box template applications, which can be adapted to individual scenarios. SAP MII synchronizes manufacturing operations with the enterprise to deliver "a single version of the truth" to drive manufacturing excellence. back to top\ What are the key functionalities from SAP MII? The key functionalities include the following topics:

Performance management Manufacturing analytics Synchronization

One key application area for SAP MII is performance management. The ability to manage performance metrics and feed back real-time achievements is a significant driver for improvement. Providing actionable intelligence around performance management allows all employees to drive continuous improvement initiatives. Latent feedback, such as reports that are a week or a month old, is not effective in driving behavioral change. Key performance indicators are generally created to allow workers to focus on areas they can affect. Dashboards that present these in real time, with drill downs to underlying data, assist in root-cause analysis of issues preventing performance. Performance management applications with SAP MII can be extended to many continuous improvement activities including Six Sigma and balanced scorecard. SAP MII dashboards are ideal for delivering performance metrics for these initiatives. Another key functionality is the Manufacturing Analytics. SAP MII provides a powerful environment for delivering manufacturing analytics to management, supply chain, quality, and plant floor operations personnel. Data can be delivered in the context of each individual's role. Contextual presentation of data enables multiple organizations to collaborate more effectively. Trending and statistical process control (SPC) functionality extends the value of manufacturing analytics assisting in rootcause analysis of performance deviations. SAP MII includes extensive SPC calculations and a wide range of variable and attribute chart types. It also includes the full Western Electric Rules set, which can trigger alerts based on rule violations. Companies can also easily generate custom rules. This improves quality by heading off control issues before the generation of substandard product. Charts can

incorporate attributes from multiple systems, simplifying root-cause analysis. A single view can relate customer orders to production lots and lab results. Further drill down of data by plant, production line, shift, operator, and machine allows for dramatic improvement in operational troubleshooting and customer quality. The main key functionality is the possibility to synchronize the Top Floor with the Shop Floor. Execution of plant work processes is another key functionality of SAP MII. The data services and business logic services available in SAP MII eliminate the task of manually inputting data into ERP software. Streamlined, real-time data gathering and delivery reduce workload, improve accuracy, and accelerate the supply chain. Results include reduced inventories, improved customer deliveries, and reduced cycle times. SAP MII also plays a key role in linking enterprise activities to plant floor workers. Companies can quickly deploy simplified user interfaces to allow plant floor workers to consume enterprise data (such as production orders, bills of materials, and material details) in the context of their local work processes. Equally important, interfaces enable shop floor workers to give appropriate feedback on production events and values associated with their work processes. Production confirmations, material transfers, quality characteristics, maintenance notifications, and other transactions can be simplified for the plant environment. Linking plant floor activities to the enterprise presents dramatic shifts in performance and increased value in a customer's ERP investment. Extending visibility to the plant and automating work processes provide superior decision support, increase accuracy, and drive business thinking to plant operations. back to top\ What are the benefits from SAP MII?

Faster time-to-value integrating SAP ERP to the Plant Floor Infrastructure Higher Asset Utilization through shared continuous Improvement practices Production personnel monitor, measure and control their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to deliver superior manufacturing performance Lower TCO 3 - 5X with productized integration of plant systems into SAP Take advantage of MII as a platform for creating a lean composite application. Have one solution for real time integration and transactional logic. Use out of the box connectivity to shopfloor and into SAP with consistency of data assured. Assure realtime communication. Assure interoperablity between parts outside and inside ERP. Production personnel need real-time decision support capabilities to respond to exceptions, or meet targets Higher asset utilization through shared continuous improvement practices Production personnel monitor, measure and control their Key Performance Indicators to deliver superior manufacturing performance

*SAP MII leverages existing investments in SAP ERP, BW and third-party manufacturing applications, to increase ROI and lower TCO. *SAP MII realize Adaptive Manufacturing which enables companies to synchronize operations and "Run Manufacturing at the Speed of Business. *SAP MII has Manufacturing Intelligence Dashboards which provide a snapshot of the Plant or Shift with relevant KPIs and alerts needed, on a single, intuitive UI

back to top\ What is the Unique Selling Proposition of SAP MII? SAP MII delivers a unique combination of core functionalities to enable vertical and horizontal integration in the manufacturing area. The combination of these core functionalities like the integration of the Shopfloor and the ERP layer, analytics, visualization and business logic on a decentral plant level is great. These combined with the SAP standards gives SAP MII a unique position in the manufacturing area. back to top\ Why is SAP MII the solution regarding the pain-points and customer challenges? SAP MII delivers a greater revenue because of

Increase in customer satisfaction (Improved order fill rates and on-time shipments) Reduction in manufacturing cycle times (Real-time visibility to orders and exceptions) Incremental revenue opportunities (Real-time visibility to on-hand inventory) Improvement of Return-On-Assets (Real-time analytics to measure product profitability)

and lower operating cost because of

Increase in capacity utilization (Advanced scheduling to optimize sequence and minimize overall setup times) Elimination of redundant data entry costs (ISA-95 compliant bi-directional flow of data across ERP and plant floor systems) Reduction in expedition costs (Faster, automated resolution of exceptions) Reduction in re-work and low quality grades (Six Sigma compliance) Increase in overall equipment effectiveness (Real-time performance measurement, predictive maintenance) Reduction in production cost variances (Real-time analytics to measure actual vs. budgeted production costs)

Finally SAP MII delivers a lower working capital requirement because of the opportunity to optimization of inventory levels (Accurate inventory visibility and exception based management).

SAP xMII System Overview

The SAP xApp Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP xMII), the world's first Manufacturing Intelligence Portal, helps companies transform themselves into emanufacturers by:

Web-enabling all existing manufacturing and information systems to provide a common interface to all users in the enterprise Directly supporting the wireless revolution allowing employees, customers, and supply chain partners to monitor critical information through personal digital assistants (PDAs), phones, and other internet appliances XML-enabling all plant floor systems to simplify integration into e-business applications such as ERP, CRM, and supply chain optimization through emerging standards such as Microsoft's BizTalk, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and others Enabling real-time views into the "make" portion of the supply chain to enable better decision making and available-to-promise (ATP) capabilities

The SAP xMII leverages advanced Web server technology to extract data from multiple data sources, aggregate the data at the server, transform it into a business context, and personalize and deliver results to users. The user community can include existing personal computers running Internet browsers, wireless PDAs, or other business applications. The SAP xMII is logically constructed as shown below.

The SAP xMII leverages existing legacy systems and unlocks data for casual users throughout the enterprise. By exposing data from existing databases, the SAP xMII provides

an environment to allow users to correlate data from multiple systems via a simple browser interface. The software does not need to be managed at the client site and no requirement for complex data warehouses or data models exist with an SAP xMII implementation.

Product Architecture
The SAP xMII was designed as an N-tier application that is platform and browser neutral, scalable, and extensible. Its basic architecture can be divided into three sections: the data source layer; the application layer consisting of connectors, transformation objects, and agents; and the user layer consisting of display components such as applets and reports or dynamically-generated XML content. All of the SAP xMII functionality is exposed using a standard Web services-based architecture via uniform resource identifier (URI) requests. Data and functionality with the SAP xMII can be accessed using standard transports such as HTTP, SMTP, FTP, and others. The SAP xMII can also function as a client to any Web service-based application via SOAP or other XML-based transactional interaction.

Application Layer
The application layer is based on a standard Web server (typically Microsoft IIS) with a servlet engine running Java servlet technology. The server side functions are designed to get data, transform it, and deliver it to any requesting client in a form that is compatible with the device. The SAP xMII currently renders data a variety formats: HTML, GIF, PNG, JPEG, BMP, WBMP, binary (for JAVA applet support), XML (virtually any format), WML, providing connectivity to any browser, micro-browser, XML-enabled application, PDA, internet-enabled phone or appliance. The SAP xMII core data representation is XML-based, allowing data manipulation, mapping, and transformations to/from almost any format. The SAP xMII abstracts the underlying data sources using connectors.

Connectors integrate any plant focused data source into the SAP xMII. The connectors provide data collection, conversion, aggregation and abstraction, allowing the SAP xMII to become the universal window in to all process and production related information. Importantly, while the SAP xMII is universal, it maintains appropriate context for the information it presents. All data, regardless of where the data resides, is abstracted as XML data streams.

Product Operation
Connectors run on the Web server and respond to authenticated requests for information from a client. The client identifies the server alias (defines the data source, type, and location), the mode or class of data requested (historical, current, command, etc.), the specific items requested, and the data rendering choice for the returned data. The connector protocol layer manages the request and returns the appropriate data in XML format to the data rendering

layer, which transforms the data to the requested output format. The SAP xMII uses standard HTTP and secure HTTP protocols (such as HTTPS), allowing it to work seamlessly with corporate firewalls and leverage Web and Web server security without the requirement for a custom "security" layer.

Protocol Layer
The protocol layer manages all of the communication to the plant data sources. Each connector contains protocol beans that convert data requests into device specific queries for the target data sources. Connectors understand the data types, structures and requests that a device supports. For user-created databases, all SAP xMII Manufacturing Intelligence Portals include the IDBC connector (SAP xMII DataBase Connector). IDBC allows users to define templates to integrate any ODBC or JDBC compatible datasource into the SAP xMII Web server. SAP xMII interfaces with proprietary interfaces using its Universal Data Connector (UDC) and Universal Data Server (UDS) technology, which use TCP/IP as their network transport.

Data Rendering Layer

Once the connector protocol layer has retrieved the data from the plant data source, SAP xMII 'renders' the information into the appropriate format for the client. The rendering layer abstracts the data source from the data presentation, allowing SAP xMII to support all existing (and future) communication standards. Current outputs and their typical uses include:

HTML (HyperText Mark-up Language) - the connector dynamically builds the Web page at the server. The connector supports 'server side includes' in SAP xMII report pages allowing complex Web pages, perhaps consisting of data from multiple sources, to be built on the fly. This output is supported by any browser and is ideal for reports, internet appliances, PDAs, and low bandwidth connections. SAP xMII Applets - the connector sends a highly optimized binary data stream to any applet created by SAP xMII or by a third party using the SAP xMII Client Toolkit. This output offers the most interactive user experience and is recommended for any JAVA-enabled browser. See the SAP xMII Client JAVA Applet User's Guide for more information on the availability and use of applets. Server-Side Images this renders the equivalent of an applets output to the client in a graphic/image format such as GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, or WBMP. Since the conversion is done on the Web server, it is ideal for displaying sophisticated graphical images (trends, charts, etc.) on a non-JAVA enabled browser or hand-held or embedding graphic images in reports. XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language) - the connector renders the data in XML, the new standard for application-to-application communications. XML allows any business application to directly access all plant data through SAP xMII. Typical applications include: ERP/MRP, Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain applications, Available-to-Promise, and Advanced Planning.

Productivity Tools

A variety of productivity tools are available to get you started immediately. The Template Editor makes constructing a query against a data source quick and easy. The Dynamic Page Generator allows any end user to create a dynamic, data connected HTML page with embedded applets with no knowledge of Web applications. An add-in for Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver provides both an easy way to construct applets and images from SAP xMII data sources, as well as providing a Script Assistant to help make pages more dynamic by linking applets together based on user interaction. Of course, experienced HTML and Web scripting authors can utilize the product in very exciting ways.

SPC Data Analysis

One of the options available with SAP xMII Manufacturing Portal is SPC data analysis. It includes a complete SPC analysis suite and a comprehensive set of SAP xMII SPC applets, which provide visual feedback to users. SPC data analysis takes advantage of the SAP xMII Application Layer and associated Data Connectors. Based on a user request (URL) or response to an SAP xMII Alert/Event, SAP xMII gathers data from existing data sources and streams the resulting query into an SPC calculation engine. The resulting quality calculations are abstracted into an XML layer and then delivered in a view through the SPC applet library. Furthermore, the calculation results may be interrogated by SAP xMII Agents, allowing for alert notifications of rule violations through email and other messaging services. Along with the calculation, SAP xMII provides a framework to store and persist calculation results, attribute data, comments, and other collaborative information useful in examining results in a continuous improvement initiative. The data queries, associated, attributes, comments and applet views may be stored and cataloged as iSPCChart objects. A description of these objects and their capabilities follows.