Introduction to SAP PM

Introduction to SAP PM



The R/3 Plant Maintenance (PM) module is the application component that provides a comprehensive software solution for all maintenance activities that are performed within a company.

Data and functions of all maintenance procedures performed within a company can be fully interconnected making this module closely integrated with other modules like Materials Management (MM), Production Planning (PM), Sales & Distribution (SD), Controlling (CO). Data within this module is always kept current and processes that are necessary for Plant Maintenance and Customer Service are automatically triggered in other areas (A purchase requisition for non-stock material in the Materials Management/Purchasing areas).

The openness of the R/3 System enables you to use external systems that are integrated with the Plant Maintenance (PM) component, such as geographical information systems (GIS), computer-aided design (CAD) systems and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

The SAP Plant Maintenance (PM) comprises activities such as inspection,  measures and establishes the actual condition of a technical system, preventive maintenance to measure and maintain the ideal condition of a technical system, repair to measure and restore the ideal condition of a technical system and other measures that need to be taken using the
maintenance organization.

To fulfill these activities Plant Maintenance (PM) works with the following Sub modules:

  • Management of Technical Objects: includes master data objects such as functional locations and equipment master records.
  • Maintenance Processing: includes processing steps such as notifications and work orders.
  • Preventative Maintenance: includes maintenance planning and work scheduling tasks.


This makes SAP R/3’s PM module to function as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). So let’s define properly what these type of systems are:

A CMMS software package as properly  maintains a database of information about all maintenance operations within an organization . This information is intended to help maintenance workers do their jobs more effectively (for example, determining which storerooms contain the spare parts they need) and to help management make informed decisions (for example, calculating the cost of maintenance for each piece of equipment used by the organization, possibly leading to better allocation of resources). The information may also be useful when dealing with third parties; if, for example, an organization is involved in a liability case, the data in a CMMS database can serve as evidence that proper safety maintenance has been performed. These type of systems are a MUST for large enterprises in order to guarantee their work properly.

These type of packages typically deal with some or all of the following:

Work orders: Scheduling jobs, assigning personnel, reserving materials, recording costs, and tracking relevant information such as the cause of the problems, downtime involved, and recommendations for future action.

Preventive maintenance (PM): Keeping track of PM inspections and jobs, including step-by-step instructions or check-lists, lists of materials required, and other pertinent details. Typically, the CMMS schedules PM jobs automatically based on schedules and/or meter readings. Different software packages use different techniques for reporting when a job should be performed.

Asset management: Recording data about equipment and property including specifications, warranty information, service contracts, spare parts, purchase date, expected lifetime, and anything else that might be of help to management or maintenance workers.

Inventory control: Management of spare parts, tools, and other materials including the reservation of materials for particular jobs, recording where materials are stored, determining when more materials should be purchased, tracking shipment receipts, and taking inventory.

Safety: Management of permits and other documentation required for the processing of safety requirements. These safety requirements can include lockout-tagout, confined space, foreign material exclusion (FME), electrical safety, and others.

As you may see SAP has specific modules for handling all these activities mentioned. So SAP R/3’s Plant Maintenance (PM) module functions as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and is used to plan and schedule ongoing, daily facility maintenance fully integrating with all other SAP’ Modules.

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