Understanding the primary differences between OPM and Discrete processes

A friend asked me to explain the primary differences in how Oracle Advanced Supply Chain Planning supports Oracle Process Manufacturing vs Discrete manufacturing. I thought this might be of general interest, so I am reposting part of my response here.

One of the primary differences between OPM and Discrete Manufacturing applications is the Process that is used to define a batch. In Discrete, you have a BOM and a Routing that define the manufacturing process (released as a discrete job). In OPM, you have a Formula and a Recipe that are used to define the manufacturing process (released as a batch). A key point here is that certain factors (validity rules) like date and quantity determine which formula and recipe combination is used to make a specific batch.

ASCP maps these formulas and recipes into similar BOM and Routing structures, so that similar planning functionality can be utilized by both source systems.

The OPM Product structure is characterized by:
Formula: Defines the components required to make the product and can be considered the equivalent of a BOM structure. If a formula is used in multiple recipes which have different Validity Rules, these formulas are considered equivalent to alternate BOM structures. ASCP expects only one product to be produced per BOM structure. In OPM it is common to have co-products produced which are represented in ASCP as byproducts (negative usage values) on the same BOM.

Recipe – Defines the process for making the product. A Recipe and its associated Validity Rules define the process of using a specific formula and its equivalent Routing to make a product.

Validity Rules – Associated to the Recipe to provide additional logic such as:

  1. Start and End Effective date ranges.
  2. Minimum and quantity ranges.
  3. Preference to use in ties.

There are many other differences between OPM and Discrete such as how operations are scheduled and MTQ quantities handled. It would be useful to review the ASCP release notes for release 11.5.10 and release 12 . Many of the recent ASCP enhancements were designed to handle these specific OPM scheduling requirements.

A great place to start to learn these processes is by reviewing the “Oracle Process Manufacturing Using Oracle Advanced Planning and Scheduling with Oracle Process Manufacturing” User Guide, Part No. A81002-06, last updated May 2004.

You can find this by following the “online documentation” link from

Kevin Creel

Kevin Creel | Key Contributor

Kevin Creel is a co-founder of Inspirage and currently serves as President, Strategy and Business Development. Mr. Creel leads the global business strategy and development organizations at Inspirage. He is a recognized subject matter expert for supply chain management business process and system design. Kevin frequently presents at industry and analyst events on subjects such as cloud supply chain systems. Prior to founding Inspirage, Kevin worked for Oracle Corporation as a product manager leading supply chain systems design with a focus on high tech and configure to order products. In this design role he acted as a “voice for the customer” leveraging his 15+ years of experience in business leadership and system engineering roles in the high tech and semiconductor industries. In 2008, Kevin was recognized by the Oracle Technical Network as an Oracle ACE for his thought leadership and educational contributions within the Oracle professional and user community.