Technical Objects in SAP PM: Overview (Functional Location, Equipment, BOM)

Functional Location
The functional location represents the location, from a process point of view, where a particual function is carried out (e.g. Pumping Station) and where equipment are installed. Functional location is assigned to maintenance plant (location data) and to a maintenance planning plant (PM data). Functional location will be used to:

  • To descrive the locations in the plant in a structural way via structure indicator
  • To keep history track of maintenance activity at a particular place
  • To raise the Maintenance Notifications and Orders
  • To analyse the maintenance cost and performance


The equipment represents the individual physical object that carries out the function (e.g. pump A). Functional Location/Equipment is a “one-to-many” relationship: a piece of equipment is assigned to only one Functional Location but many pieces of equipment can (and normally are) be assigned to a Functional Location. The Equipment also represents the physical object that is installed in a Functional Location and that needs to be maintained. Each functional location has at least one equipment or has no equipment installed. Equipment is defined/set-up in the system based on at least one of the following reasons.

  • Store individual technical data of an object
  • Comply with regulatory/statutory requirements for regular maintenance
  • Record maintenance history for the object and keep history track of an equipment
  • To raise the Maintenance Notifications and Orders
  • To analyse the maintenance cost and performance

Bill of Material

It depicts the structure, in terms of assemblies, subassemblies, components and spare parts that constitude a technical object. Used in planning Work Orders and Task Lists to simplify selection and assignment of components (materials and spare parts) to operations. It enables planner to quickly select relevant materials for the object, without having to search for the single materials in the SAP Master Database

A BOM normally includes;

  • Assemblies
  • Components (stock, non-stock, or text materials without material number)

Assemblies can be:

  • “Physical” assemblies, i.e. materials made-up of physical components themselves, which can be stored and also have other materials assigned (e.g. pump seal assemblu which has individual parts assigned)
  • “Logical” assemblies which are only used for grouping together other materials in a BOM

Functional Location or Equipment that has specific spare part will be called Functional Location BOM or Equipment BOM

Spare part that can be used with many Functional Location or Equipment will be called Material BOM

Spare Part Complete Set can be used with many Equipment will be called Material BOM.

Class and Characteristics

The classification system uses classes and characteristics. Classes are used to catalogue and identify;

  • Functional Locations
  • Equipment
  • Measurement Data

Characteristics are predefined for each class and are used to document:

  • Technical Data
  • Inspection/Strategy type data
  • Values held in characteristics like equipment spec sheets

Work Centers:

A Work Center is a group of individuals providing necessary “working” capacity to perform maintenance works. They are usually organised by trade (mechanical, electrical, instrument etc.).

“Positions” (generally individuals) created in the HR (Human Resources) module, can be assigned to Works Centers. They are assigned to:

  • A Maintenance Plant
  • A Cost Center

They can be structured hierarchically. They are assigned to Operations during Work Orders planning.

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