Building discrete event simulation models for studying questions in production planning and control affords reasonable calculation time. Two main causes for increased calculation time are the level of model details as well as the experimental design. However, if the objective is to optimize parameters to investigate the parameter settings for materials, they have to be modelled in detail. As a consequence model details such as number of simulated materials or work stations in a production system have to be reduced. The challenge in real world applications with a high variant diversity of products is to select representative materials from the huge number of existing materials for building a simulation model on condition that the simulation results remain valid. Data mining methods, especially clustering can be used to perform this selection automatically. In this paper a procedure for data preparation and clustering of materials with different routings is shown and applied in a case study from sheet metal processing.