SAP Plant Maintenance Guide

Get to know the SAP Plant Maintenance (PM) module and its mobile apps included in the RFgen MobileEdge™ for SAP solution. RFgen®’s PM mobile apps suite optimizes maintenance orders, inquiries, and notifications.

What is SAP Plant Maintenance (PM)?

SAP Plant Maintenance (PM) is a module within the SAP ERP system that helps organizations efficiently manage and maintain equipment and facilities. It handles the scheduling and execution of maintenance tasks, optimizing operations, and reducing interruptions.

How It Works

SAP Plant Maintenance works by integrating various maintenance activities and processes within an organization, ensuring efficient coordination and execution of maintenance tasks.

Within SAP Plant Maintenance (PM), users can schedule preventative maintenance, manage repair activities, track equipment health, and analyze maintenance data.

SAP PM typically follows this process:

  1. Maintenance Planning
  2. Maintenance Notification
  3. Maintenance Order Creation
  4. Order Execution
  5. Recording and Feedback
  6. Analysis and Reporting

Understanding SAP Plant Maintenance

Organizational Structures

In order to tailor the PM module to your organization’s needs, users must understand the following organizational hierarchy and structure:

  • Maintenance Plant: A facility where maintenance tasks are executed.
  • Planning Plant: Responsible for the planning and scheduling of maintenance tasks. Can be the same or different from the maintenance plant.
  • Work Centers: Represent locations where operations or activities are executed.

Technical Objects

Central to the PM module, technical objects store vital information about assets. Common technical objects include:

  • Functional Locations: Locations where maintenance is performed. They give a structured representation of the installed assets and include history and tracking of maintenance tasks. Hierarchical structures allow representation from site level to individual components.
  • Equipment: Tangible objects that need maintenance. These can be serialized for tracking, installed at functional locations, and hold data about warranties, manufacturers, and more.
  • Bills of Material (BOMs): A list of parts/components for equipment or functional locations. Useful for maintenance planning, BOMs can be directly integrated with the Material Management (MM) module for procurement.

Maintenance Processing

SAP PM enables end-to-end management of maintenance operations by utilizing the following execution steps:

  • Maintenance Plans for scheduling routine maintenance tasks. Can be time-based (e.g., every month) or performance-based (e.g., every 1000 operations). Plans can be used to automatically generate maintenance orders when due.
  • Maintenance Notifications that capture initial information about faults or malfunctions in equipment, then notify the user with detailed information about the issue, urgency, and necessary actions. Notifications can also be used to track statuses like ‘in progress’, ‘completed,’ etc.
  • Maintenance Orders which provide detailed work instructions, such as information about costs, materials, labor, and so on. Orders can be created for different types of maintenance, like preventive, corrective, and predictive.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance ensures equipment is maintained at regular intervals to proactively reduce breakdowns or work stoppages.

A maintenance strategy may be used to define sequences of preventive tasks, such as doing a check every month, a minor service every quarter, and a major service annually.

Task lists provide a step-by-step set of “to-dos” for specific maintenance jobs. They can be reused in multiple maintenance orders.

Breakdown Maintenance

Breakdown maintenance is used to manage unexpected equipment malfunctions. SAP PM assists by providing quick creation of notifications and maintenance orders to minimize downtime.

Reporting and Analysis

SAP Plant Maintenance offers comprehensive reporting capabilities. Using this data, users can analyze costs, performance, breakdown statistics, and other KPIs, as desired. In addition to standard reports, users can create custom reports to fit organizational needs.

Integration with Other SAP Modules

SAP Plant Maintenance can be integrated with other SAP modules, such as:

  • Material Management (MM) for procurement of spares and tools.
  • Production Planning (PP) for integrating downtimes and ensuring seamless production.
  • Controlling (CO) to track maintenance costs.
  • Human Resources (HR) for labor time management and qualifications.

RFgen®’s Role in SAP Plant Maintenance

RFgen® puts SAP Plant Maintenance into the hands of maintenance technicians. Techs can instantly access SAP maintenance orders and part data to increase the efficiency of maintenance activities.

RFgen®’s SAP Plant Maintenance Suite works in conjunction with these other SAP mobile app suites:mobile UI screenshot of RFgen Mobile Edge for SAP inventory count screen for EWM suite

Mobile Inventory Applications for SAP Plant Maintenance (PM)

RFgen® for SAP includes mobile applications for many transactions in its SAP Plant Maintenance Suite, providing mobile automation for inquiring on, creating, and managing notifications and PM orders.

Maintenance Orders

This functionality allows PM orders to be created or issued materials directly from a mobile device.


Using this functionality, users can search for notifications and relevant information associated with those notifications, modify existing notifications, or create new notifications for needed maintenance work.

Best Practices for SAP Plant Maintenance

Implementing best practices is essential to getting the most out of SAP Plant Maintenance. Best practices include:

  • Properly define and structure organizational units and technical objects.
  • Regularly train users and keep documentation updated.
  • Optimize preventive maintenance to reduce unexpected breakdowns.
  • Utilize reporting to continuously monitor and improve processes.
  • Eliminate paper processes with real-time mobile software.
  • Implement offline/disconnected capabilities for field technicians.
  • Perform regular system audits and updates.

Training and Support Resources

The SAP community offers much in the way of training and support. Some helpful resources include:

Community and online forums also offer ways to engage with the SAP community for advice, best practices, and problem-solving strategies.

Resolving Common Issues in Inventory Management

If you’re experiencing issues using SAP Plant Maintenance, try visiting the SAP Support Portal.

For RFgen® users, contact technical support.

For non-customers, contact us directly to learn more about what RFgen®’s Inventory Management Suite can do for you.

You may also wish to visit our resource detailing the problems we solve.

Transform SAP Plant Maintenance Today