What Are the Key SAP Solutions for Industry 4.0?

With Industry 4.0 being a paradigm that now almost every business has to adopt, as one of the largest enterprise solution providers, SAP has a well-defined Industry 4.0 solution portfolio comprising the following four solution pillars.

  • Intelligent products
  • Intelligent factories
  • Intelligent assets
  • Empowered people

The objective is to provide a complete range of business solutions that customers may need to implement Industry 4.0. Typically, for a manufacturing organization, the Industry 4.0 paradigm comprises the product they make and deliver, how they make the product, how they manage the assets for manufacturing, and how the users in the organization are empowered with the new technologies and solutions.


SAP’s Industry 4.0 solution portfolio is shown below and will be explained in the following sections.


SAP’s Industry 4.0 Solution Portfolio


Intelligent Products

SAP’s intelligent products suite provides the functionality to manage product engineering and product catalogs, and enables the digital thread by managing the product data across its lifecycle. It consists of the following solutions: 

  • SAP S/4HANA Manufacturing for production engineering and operations (hereafter, production engineering and operations)
  • SAP Enterprise Product Development
  • SAP Teamcenter by Siemens

Production engineering and operations can be used to manage product and engineering data. It manages all engineering changes and helps in the engineering bill of materials (BOM) to manufacturing BOM conversions and defining the routing for complex assembly manufacturing, thus realizing the digital thread for the products.


SAP Enterprise Product Development is a SaaS solution on the cloud that complements the product lifecycle management (PLM) functionality in SAP S/4HANA with additional functionality of service parts creation and integrating with business networks for product data management. It provides the collaborative product management features along with insight into the product performance by integrating with IoT and other technologies. In addition, it helps capture ideas and track the product across its lifecycle.


SAP Teamcenter provides the integration with Siemens Teamcenter to leverage extensive PLM functionality from it, which is an industry-leading product for PLM. The intelligent product portfolio provides the functionality in a 3+1 paradigm as follows:

  • Define: Define product and engineering design.
  • Develop: Develop prototype and engineering objects.
  • Deliver: Manufacture complex assembly and configurable products.
  • Manage: Manage product data across the network and enterprise and improve design by continuous feedback throughout its lifecycle.

Intelligent Factories

SAP’s intelligent factories suite focuses on enabling the manufacturing processes with Industry 4.0 with planning, logistics, execution functionality providing intelligence, automation, and integrations to realize intelligent factories. Because manufacturing is one of the main industries to adopt Industry 4.0, these solutions are some of the most important ones for the SAP Industry 4.0 portfolio. It consists of the following solutions:

  • SAP S/4HANA Manufacturing
  • Embedded Extended Warehouse Management in SAP S/4HANA (embedded EWM)
  • SAP Digital Manufacturing (SaaS cloud) 1
  • SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII)
  • SAP Manufacturing Execution (SAP ME)

SAP S/4HANA Manufacturing is primarily concerned with production planning and quality management, which is used to manage the production data for execution and quality inspection. You can manage the master data such as material, work center, BOM, routing, quality inspection characteristics, planning profile, demands, and so on, and run the material requirement planning (MRP) to generate the production orders based on demands or forecast.



Embedded EWM is also part of SAP S/4HANA and provides the functionality for inventory management in warehouses or inventory locations (stock rooms) and also provides the options to integrate with automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for stock movement confirmations.


SAP Digital Manufacturing is SAP’s newest MES solution provided as a SaaS offering on the public cloud. It provides the functionality to manage the manufacturing execution processes end-to-end, along with the resource and worker task scheduling and integration capability to shop floor systems such as SCADA, DCS, historian, and PLCs through various protocols using the production connector. It integrates seamlessly with SAP S/4HANA or SAP ERP to get the relevant master data and production or process orders and then sends the confirmation, goods movement, batch details, quality inspection results back, for which the data is generated during the production execution. It also provides analytical capabilities to analyze the data on the shop floor.


SAP MII and SAP ME are the on-premise predecessors of SAP Digital Manufacturing. SAP provides the platform on SAP MII to integrate with various shop floor systems and enable easy and real-time analytics and monitoring of the manufacturing data and MES functionality in SAP ME. This suite of solutions is planned for end of maintenance by then end of 2027.


Intelligent Assets

SAP’s intelligent assets portfolio provides the asset management functionality with the flavor of Industry 4.0 for end-to-end asset maintenance with predictive analytics, asset risk and performance management, and integration with business networks for asset data and service management. It consists of the following solutions:

  • Enterprise asset management (EAM) with SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP Asset Performance Management, which consist of the following:
    • SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management
    • SAP Predictive Asset Insights

EAM with SAP S/4HANA is mainly focused on plant maintenance, which provides master data management of assets, planning, and execution functionality for plant maintenance. It also provides the asset central foundation functionality to sync the asset management data with the relevant cloud solutions.



SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management is a SaaS solution as part of the SAP Intelligent Asset Management portfolio that focuses on how to measure and improve the performance of assets, which is critical for asset reliability engineers. It helps to determine the risk score of the assets by various analytical methods, which assists with planning maintenance and operations.


SAP Predictive Asset Insights is also a SaaS solution as part of SAP Intelligent Asset Management and provides the functionality to create an asset digital twin to view asset conditions and ML models to predict asset failure probability and anomaly conditions of asset performance. It helps to digitalize the maintenance process with intelligence.


Empowered People

People are the critical cornerstone of any successful business and it’s no different for Industry 4.0. Ultimately, it’s the people as end users and stakeholders who use and get the benefits of the solutions. The promise of Industry 4.0 is to enable the users more digitally with automation and intelligence, thereby reducing manual errors and achieving more efficiency and productivity. Therefore, it’s no surprise the one of the important dimensions of SAP’s Industry 4.0 portfolio is empowered people, which consists of the following solutions:

  • Environment, health, and safety management (EHS) in SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP Service and Asset Manager
  • SAP 3D Visual Enterprise

EHS in SAP S/4HANA provides the functionality to track worker safety aspects and minimize them, which is critical for any manufacturing operations. You can use that to track the sustainability aspects such as emission, energy for assets, and locations in the manufacturing plants.


SAP Service and Asset Manager provides the mobile app that maintenance workers can use to work on maintenance or service activities with guided instructions and easy data recording. It provides the capability to view the maintenance and service notifications and create work orders and confirm them while on the go.


SAP 3D Visual Enterprise helps to generate 3D models of products and objects from CAD models, author them to add additional information and link with the different data models in ERP, and view the same for different business processes for easy understanding without textual guidance. This has wide applications for manufacturing execution, plant maintenance, and product engineering and development.


Apart from these solutions, SAP has a couple of horizontal solutions for managing the networks related to Industry 4.0:

  • SAP Business Network for Asset Management: This is a SaaS solution that provides the functionality to collaborate with different business partners related to assets such as OEM, service providers, and so on to manage asset data and maintenance operations digitally.
  • SAP Business Network for Logistics: This is a SaaS solution for logistics collaboration across suppliers, vendors, and customers for logistics management. It provides the solution for purchase material tracking through blockchain, freight collaboration with vendors for transportation management, and global track and trace for geotagged materials to track them across the value chain.

The major benefits of the business network solutions are enabling the horizontal integration across the different stakeholders and organizations that are relevant for a business process or function to enable faster and easier collaboration and therefore improve process efficiency.


Editor’s note: This post has been adapted from a section of the book Industry 4.0 with SAP by Dipankar Saha, Chandan Jash, Soumya Das, and Anupkumar Ketkale.


Industry 4.0 with SAP
Industry 4.0 with SAP

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