This paper presents a network-based procedure for selecting representative materials using routings of materials as features and applies this procedure to a sheet metal processing case study which is used for parameterizing discrete event simulation models for PPC control. The discrete event simulation model (simgen) is a generic and scalable model that is commonly used to deal with optimization problems in production planning and control, such as manufacturing resource planning. The preparatory steps of discrete event simulations for production planning and control are data preprocessing, parameterization, and experimental design. Given the complexity of the manufacturing environment, discrete event simulation models must incorporate appropriate model details for parameterization and a practical approach to experimental design to ensure efficient execution of simulation models in a reasonable time. The parameterization for discrete event simulation is not trivial; it requires optimizing parameter settings for different materials dependent on routing, bill of materials complexity, and other production process-related features. For a suitable parameterization that completes the execution of discrete event simulation in an expected time, we must reduce variant diversity to an optimized level that removes redundant materials and reflects the validity of the overall production scenario. We employ a network based approach by constructing a bipartite graph and Jaccard-index measure with an overlap threshold to group similar materials using routing features and identify representative materials and manufacturing subnetworks, thus reducing the complexity of products and manufacturing routes.