SAP Backflushing in Repetitive Manufacturing (REM)

SAP Backflushing in REMWelcome to the SAP Backflushing in Repetitive Manufacturing (REM) tutorial, a part of the SAP PP training course.  SAP backflushing is an essential concept when it comes to production planning and execution in SAP software. Backflushing is the automatic goods issue that happens during the production order confirmation. In SAP, the goods issue movement type is 261 and when this movement is carried out, materials will be consumed by the production order.

As an example, let’s consider manufacturing a car. To produce the finished goods, which is a car, let’s assume that we need tires and a chassis. By using the concept of backflushing, we can issue the tires and chassis at the point of confirming the finished goods production order. This is very useful in high-volume industries because separate goods issuances are not required.

Given below are some of the master data elements that can be used to control the backflush activity in SAP.

Material Master

To enable backflushing for a material, we can maintain the backflush indicator in the material master. The backflush indicator can be found in the MRP 2 tab of the material master. This field has three input options.

  1. Always backflush – When the always backflush indicator is set, the material will always be considered for backflush.
  2. Work Center decides whether to backflush – We can maintain the backflush indicator in the work center. By selecting this option, backflush will be enabled based on the values maintained in the work center.
  3. Blank – Backflush is not required for the material.

Work Center

We can maintain the backflush indicator in the work center. It is maintained in the basic data tab. When this indicator is set, task lists operations that have this work center will trigger the backflush during the confirmation. Work centers can be created from transaction code CR01.

Bill of Material (BOM)

The Bill of Materials or BOM must be maintained to create the link between the header material and the components. This link will be copied to the production order and during the order confirmation, which is useful in identifying the backflushing components. If the BOM is not available, we can add the components manually to the production order and then set the backflush indicator in the component overview screen, if it is not maintained in the material master. The BOM can be created from transaction code CS01.


Routing is the sequence of activities that need to be performed during production. During production order confirmation, by-default backflushing will happen during the confirmation of the first routing operation in the sequence. When we create routing, we can decide the operation counter where the backflushing needs to happen. This gives control over the backflushing of components and is matched with physical goods issuances on the shop floor.

SAP Backflushing in REM

Repetitive Manufacturing (REM) is a manufacturing methodology that is used to produce products in large volumes. High stability, low product complexity, and fixed operations are some of the common features of the products that undergo a REM process. Cars and electronics are some examples of industries that use the REM method.

The concept of SAP backflush in repetitive manufacturing is similar to the above-mentioned process that we discussed. But there are some key differences when it comes to the pre-requisites that need to be maintained.

Repetitive manufacturing is a period and quantity-based process. During REM, backflushing can be configured in a way so that it can be done at the end of a certain period. For example, this period can be the end of a shift or at the end of the day. This setting is controlled by the REM profile. To define the REM profile, follow the below IMG path:

IMG -> Production -> Repetitive manufacturing -> Create repetitive manufacturing profile using assistant.

We can create the REM profile using the profile assistant or we can define it manually. When it comes to backflushing, there are two options that we can select in the REM profile.

  1. Separated Backflush – Goods receipt and goods issues are done as separate activities. This means that we can decide whether to do the goods issue later or immediately. This is useful for products with large BOMs, and we can improve the system performance by selecting this option.
  2. No Separated Backflush – Here, goods issue and receipt happen simultaneously.

There are more settings that we can select in the REM profile that is related to backflushing. These include:

  • Reducing the production quantities at backflush – This setting determines which plan orders, or the run schedule quantities, are reduced during backflushing. Run schedule quantity is a type of plan order created in SAP for materials that have the REM indicator activated in the material master and the production version is maintained. Run schedule quantities are not required to be released or converted into production orders.
  • Recreate planned orders at backflush reversal – When a backflush is reversed, this setting determines how the system creates the planned orders which were previously reduced due to backflush. There are several options available.
    1. No planned order creation – plan orders will not be created based on the backflush reverse quantity.
    2. Create planned orders for the reversed GR quantity – Plan orders will be created based on the goods receipt reversal quantity.
    3. Create planned orders with asynchronous MRP – The MRP is executed immediately after the reversal and based on the requirements, planned orders will be created.

Order confirmation in REM is performed by using the transaction code MFBF. Plan orders are used in REM for production confirmation. Follow the below menu path:

SAP Menu -> Logistics -> Production -> Repetitive manufacturing -> Data entry -> Repetitive manufacturing confirmation

Repetitive manufacturing can be carried out for both make-to-order (MTO) and make-to-stock (MTS) production methods. To facilitate both production methods, the confirmation program has two tabs allocated for each method. The key difference between the two is that the MTO process is dependent on a sales order demand whereas MTS has no such dependency. MTS will be based on a planned independent requirement.

SAP Backflushing in REM During Order Confirmation

There are three confirmation types available in the confirmation program MFBF. Settings maintained in the REM profile will have higher priority than the settings in MFBF. If we have maintained goods issue in the REM profile, goods issue will happen irrespective of the below settings:

  1. Assembly backflush – Both goods issue and goods receipt will happen during the confirmation. This is a commonly used setting in REM. The material document will be created and it will have two entries for the goods receipt and goods issue. This is available for both MTO and MTS scenarios.
  2. Component backflush – Goods issue will happen during the confirmation, but the goods receipt and activity postings will not happen. This option is only available for the MTS scenario.
  3. Activity backflush – Here, only the activity backflush will happen. Goods receipt or goods issue will not happen. This option is only available for the MTS scenario.

Reporting Point Backflush in SAP

Reporting point backflush is used in REM to view the work in progress of a product. This is similar to the milestone operations that we use in discrete manufacturing. In the REM profile, we can maintain whether reporting point backflush is mandatory or optional.

SAP Backflushing in REM Movement Types 

There are different movement types used in REM for goods issue and goods receipt. It also varies between the MTO and MTS production scenarios. The movement types used are governed by the REM profile. While creating the REM profile, we can maintain the movement types.

Below are the default movement types used.

  • MTS production
    • 261 – Goods Issue
    • 131 – Goods receipt
  • MTO production
    • 572 E – Goods Issue
    • 571 E – Goods receipt

This concludes the SAP backflushing in repetitive manufacturing (REM) tutorial.

Did you like this tutorial? Have any questions or comments? We would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. It’d be a big help for us, and hopefully, it’s something we can address for you in the improvement of our free SAP PP tutorials.

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