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LMPC is one of the best product out of SAP Add-on tools library. As the name LMPC implicates, the tool is based on Lean Manufacturing principles vis-à-vis Heijunka and Rhytm Wheel.

The term Heijunka originates from Japan and it means Leveling. Heijunka is a Lean method for reducing the Bullwhip effect thus reducing fluctuations in inventory for low-level BOM. It helps to react to demand changes and optimize capacity.

Rhythm Wheel concept intends to achieve leveled capacity utilization and low inventory levels by strict production sequence and a repetitive production cycle which eases production, buffers demand volatility and lead to learning effects. Products are always scheduled in the optimal sequence with the lowest possible changeover times for capacity optimization.

The use case aims to solve simple problem rendered from MRP – Infinite Capacity Planning. As we know the MRP aims to ensure on-time material availability and considers the work center capacity as infinite. In most of the organizations, planner only use MRP – which is quantity based.

MRP generates the production plans (Planned Order/Production order) and then capacity leveling function can be used for scheduling/dispatching orders.

SAP realized the capacity planning and leveling functions like CM01/CM25 etc were under-used. Now there could be myriad reasons why capacity planning and leveling tools are rarely used in any organization running SAP Production Planning. SAP saw this gap and revamped capacity leveling tool under the new concept – LMPC replacing tons of CMXX transactions like CM01/CM02CM21/CM25 etc.

SAP offers two tools in the LMPC:

  • LEAN - Leveling of Planned Orders

  • Planning Board

Leveling Tool: Now imagine a situation where you receive a demand from customer for 2000 pcs in week 40. MRP generates a Planned order for 2000 pcs to cover the requirements. The production planner checks the schedule and gets terrified as its impossible to produce 2000 pieces in a day but unfortunately MRP don’t take capacities into account. This is where Leveling tools could help you solve the problem. Tool is equipped to run multiple algorithms that could level the demand fluctuations over time by adjusting planned order quantities in a selected time horizon. You can do leveling based on Fixed lot size or Max lot size or by calculating mean (average) of the production quantities in a planning horizon.

Leveling can also be referred as ‘Order Slicing’ means you could slice a big order into multiple small orders.

The tool is an extension of classical MRP (MD01) which can be used to run MRP based on multiple selection criteria. As you can see in the section highlighted above – Leveling tool runs classical MRP and then levels the Planned Orders based on the selected algorithms.

I only wish SAP could have used a better nomenclature for Transaction code /N/LMPC/Nivellierung.

Congratulation, LMPC- Leveling tool has leveled your orders. Now the production plan looks smooth & uncluttered and efficient. This also means the low-level materials are planned in a better way instead of inventory pilled up on the shop floor.

What next? Its time to sequence and schedule the orders.

Planning Board: If you are reading this post, you probably have seen the Capacity Leveling tool (CM25). The tool is used for leveling the capacities in a graphical format for the planning period and then dispatching the orders so that no work center is overloaded. It also makes sure that no two orders are scheduled to run on the same production line at the same time. User friendly drag and drop is a unique feature to reschedule order easily.

The LMPC planning board is built on top of CM25. It runs on the same concept – dispatching and sequencing the planned/production orders. Just like CM25, the tool displays graphical representation of orders and work center capacity load. However, LMPC Planning Board comes with additional features :

  1. Sequencing: Planner can prioritize and sequence the orders by just entering the sequence number against the order number. The tool sequence the order accordingly while dispatching the orders.

  2. ALV Grid: The tool features a ALV grid at the lower half of the planning tool. The ALV grid could display over 900 fields displaying almost any information that might be useful for planner. If you have a customized solution and you want to display some specific fields – No Problem, the ALV – grid can be extended.

  3. Production Cockpit: The ALV grid can be used as a production cockpit as it gives you flexibility to display any information relevant for Production. Also, Menus and buttons can be added in the ALV-Grid to call other transactions and functions.

  4. Alerts: Alerts can be setup e.g. if delivery date is exceeded or OK.

The LMPC Planning Board can be accessed via T-code /N/LMPC/HJPT (Heijunka-Plantafel)

Conclusion: LMPC is the perfect solution if you are looking for a tool which can level your work orders and then sequence and schedule them. LMPC is not only a great tool for LEAN manufacturing but can also be used as a Production Cockpit.

Happy LEAN Planning!

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