Constraints planning

Every production process has to deal with varied restrictions, e.g. the availability of machines, personnel and production resources. With the solution concept of "Constraints", the production planning cockpit "PPC" has created a possibility to map these restrictions in SAP in a simple and efficient way for planning purposes.

Constraints planning

In an Advanced Planning System (APS) it is crucial to be able to depict the restrictions that often occur in reality in an understandable and effective way.

For example, machines and personnel cannot work an infinite number of hours, not all machines and personnel can handle all work processes, storage and delivery capacities are scarce, and the quantity throughput in production is limited.

Restrictions in planning

Image 3
  • machine availability
  • runtimes
  • multi-use resource
Image 4
  • not all personnel can operate with all machines and execute all operations
Image 5
  • e.g. catalyst, pressing tool,
  • extrusion tool
Image 3
  • in sequence
  • with overlap
  • parallel
  • buffers
Image 5
  • max. WIP: restricted space
  • min. WIP: guarantee material provision
  • provision
Image 4
  • scheduling in order groups
  • group via SD criteria

In SAP, these restrictions are often modelled using work centers and capacity categories. However, this representation can also be too complex and cumbersome and unsuitable for use in algorithms/heuristics. For this reason, ITeanova has developed a method of mapping some restrictions using product allocation. The term for this in the production planning cockpit "PPC" is constraints.

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What are constraints exactly?

Constraints generally map restrictions per period, that is, any key figures available in the production planning cockpit PPC can be used for this. Additional conditions can also be used and added to the list of constraints, for example, any characteristics available in the production planning cockpit can be formulated in conditions.

An example of a simple constraint

General scenario

Parts are painted in different colours on a production line.

Key figure for the restriction

The amount of parts being painted.


The amount of time, one day.


The restriction is valid for parts that have to be painted in a special colour.

In short the restriction is

Only 1000 parts per day can be painted in a special colour, on one production line.

An example linking constraints

8 employees are to be sent to a training. For this they need both a flight (preferably: business class) and a designated hotel. August is the preferred period (month), but both a month earlier and a month later are available, earlier is better than later (time tolerance).

An example linking constraints

Details on functionalities in the production planning cockpit "PPC" with constraints

  • Constraints as a reporting tool: It is clearly shown which constraint consumptions exist in which period (e.g. for each painting line how many parts per day are painted in a particular colour).
  • Exceeding the defined maximum values per period can trigger alerts
  • Constraints are used as restriction checks; any number of constraints can be checked at the same time:
  • Constraints can be checked together with conventional capacity planning, e.g. each painting process to be dispatched must find capacity on the corresponding painting line and at the same time meet the constraint for the special colours.
  • Based solely on constraints, a restriction check can be carried out without capacity planning.

Customer scenario

The screenshot shows a customer scenario. The orders or bottleneck operations of the orders displayed in the lower screenshot are checked using the following constraints:

Key figure for the check: order quantities

Conditions for the check: Both constraints are for the respective configurable materials in the orders, in the customer example: type of chairs produced.

The advantage of using a combination SAP PP/DS with the production planning cockpit is that product allocations can also be used in production and in combination with capacity restrictions.


  • Simple, flexible rule set for planning (several constraints can be combined)
  • Integration with many SAP modules (MM, PP, SD, CS, PM)
  • Sales CTP: Check directly from the sales order
  • Can be combined with restrictions from conventional capacity planning
  • A wide range of reporting options
constaints features
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