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Handling Unit Management




Handling Unit Management

  • A combination of packaging materials and goods is known as handling unit it could be one product or multiple product with single or multiple packaging materials.

  • Handling Unit Management can use to reflect packaging-based logistics structure in the SAP system. Using this method, you can track the movements of entire handling units and the materials they contain rather than tracking each material individually.

  • The logistics processing with handling units, goods movements is made easier which optimize all logistics operations.

  • In the system the handling unit expands on the shipping unit. Handling unit can be nested, which means that you can create new handling units from several handling units as often as you like. At the material item level, HUs contain the complete material identification, the quantity, and, in the cases of serial numbers, the respective object list. Handling Units have unique, scan able identification numbers that can be developed according to standard such as EAN 128 or SSCC.

  • Handling units contains all inventory management information of the materials they contain that are maintained in inventory management. There are also status message that you can call up at any time that indicate whether a handling unit is only planned or if the ship-to party has been notified of the arrival of this handling unit. The integrated history function also records for each business process in the life cycle of each handling unit.

  • In HU managed storage locations, all goods movements are executed through the specification of the respective HUs, and inventory management is performed through handling unit. If not using HU-managed storage locations, you can use handling units (without stock information) as before in the delivery the shipment.

  • In HU managed storage locations, material can be managed in HUs only. Mixed stock (stock made up of packed and non-packed materials within the same storage location) is not supported. HUs can also be managed in interim storage types. Unpacking materials from an HU means that the stock of material is posted to a storage location that is not HU managed.

Handling Unit Definition

  • A handling unit is a physical unit consisting of packaging materials (load carriers/packing material) and the goods contained on/in it. A handling unit is always a combination of materials and packaging materials. All the information contained in the product items, for example, about batches, is retained in the handling units and is always available.

  • Handling units can be nested, and you can create a new handling unit from several other handling units.

  • A handling unit has a unique, scannable identification number that you can construct according to industry standards such as GSI-128 or SSCC.




Structure


The object "Handling Unit" contains the following attributes:

  • Identification number

  • Dimension

  • Weight

  • Volume

  • Status

  • Materials and quantities

  • Packaging material

  • Packing instruction

A handling unit consists of a handling unit header and handling unit items. It receives a unique number that is used for identification purposes.


Handling Unit Header


The header data of a handling unit is divided in the following way:

Weight/volume/dimension

  • General data

  • Means-of-transport data

  • Additional data

  • Output determination procedure

Status


The handling unit is linked to general status management. In this way, the various physical states (planned or implemented) and other attributes (weighed, loaded, blocked or posted goods issue) of handling units can be documented.

You can use the HU_ST_INIT user parameter when you create handling units without object reference to set which initial status the handling unit is to have when it is created.

If you want to implement a status of your own, you can define a user-specific procedure for the packaging material type (see also Define Packaging Material Types)


Handling Unit Item


  • The items of a handling unit can consist of material items, packaging materials or other handling units that appear in an overview. .


  • To access the item data of an individual handling unit, select the handling unit concerned and choose Go to Detailed HU data Contents.

Packaging Material Definition


Packaging materials are intended to enclose or hold together the materials that are to be packed. In addition, the material that is to be packed can be packed into or onto the packaging material. The packaging material can be a load carrier. The most important packaging materials include crates, boxes, containers, wire baskets, and pallets.



You have to maintain the material master data for each packaging material you want to use. When creating material master records for packaging materials, enter either material type VERP (packaging) or a customer-specific material type that you have already set in Customizing. Material type VERP contains additional packing-relevant fields ( Sales: General/Plant Data screen). You can use the field selection to make the additional fields available for input for all of the material types.

The gross weight and the volume that you enter in the material master have special

significance for packing. When you create a handling unit (HU), the system automatically copies the packaging material’s master data and uses the gross weight and volume as the packaging material's tare weight and tare volume.


Structure


If you choose the Sales: General/Plant Data view in the material master data of the packaging material, you can maintain the following data on the Packaging material data section of the screen:

Packaging material type

  • The packaging material type is a grouping of packaging materials with several control parameters, which is defined in Customizing for packing and which controls the following:

  • Sorting in the handling unit display, so that the packaging materials can be displayed in order of size, for example.

  • An output determination procedure in which handling unit outputs can be defined.

  • A packaging material category, which subdivides the packaging materials. For example, in handling units with a packaging material category of means of transport, it dictates that additional fields, such as Driver and Alternate driver are available for input.

  • A plant determination rule that defines, in delivery processing, the plant from which the packaging material is to be debited if delivery items are created from handling units in the delivery.

  • Whether delivery items are to be generated for the packaging material and if so, under which conditions.

  • Number assignment for handling units.

  • Whether the packaging material's tare weight is variable.

Material group packaging material


The material group packaging material is a grouping parameter that can be used to group materials that need similar packaging materials. For example, material group 005 can group small parts that are to be packed in small packages.

  • Allowed packing weight

In this field, you can enter a maximum total weight for a handling unit. If the allowed weight for packing is reached, a system message to this effect appears and further packing operations are carried out using a new handling unit, if necessary.

  • Allowed packing volume

In this field, you can enter a maximum loading volume for a handling unit. If the allowed volume for packing is reached, a system message to this effect appears and further packing operations are carried out in a new handling unit, if necessary.

  • Stackability factor

The stackability factor indicates how many items of packaging material, such as pallets, can be stacked on top of one another. It is not a control and is therefore for information purposes only.

  • Filling level

The filling level is the percentage to which a handling unit should be filled. It is not a control and is therefore for information purposes only.

  • Excess weight tolerance

In this field, you can enter a percentage tolerance limit, up to which the allowed packing weight of a handling unit can be exceeded.

  • Excess volume tolerance

In this field, you can enter a percentage tolerance limit, up to which the allowed packing volume of a handling unit can be exceeded.

  • Closed

This field allows you to control whether the total volume will be changed or remain the same during packing


Definition Control Parameters


You can use control parameters to make settings in the SAP System for the packing and handling unit (HU) functions.

1. In order for you to implement the packing function , your system administrator must maintain the following parameters for packing in the Implementation Guide (IMG):

  • Define Number Ranges for Handling Units

  • Define Packaging Material Types

  • Define Allowed Packaging Materials

  • Define Material Group for Packaging Material

If you want to use the additional fields that are available for customer-defined modifications of the packing function, choose the Use Handling Unit Supplements activity.

2. You can also maintain the following control parameters for packing in delivery processing :

  • Packing Control by Item Category

  • Define Requirements for Packing in the Delivery

3. If you want to use the HU function in other processes besides delivery processing, you must ensure unique identification of handling units .


Packing Instruction


A packing instruction serves as a template for the creation of a handling unit. In a packing instruction, you define the materials and packaging materials to be packed in a handling unit.

This enables you to reproduce specific customer packaging requirements in the system. You can also automate the packing process by creating a proposal for a handling unit, based on a packing instruction.

Materials

The packing instruction specifies which materials in which quantities are to be packed in one handling unit.

Multi-level packing instructions

The are two types of packing instructions: single-level, which describe only one packing level, and multi-level, which describe several packing levels ("nested" handling units). Multi-level packing instructions, therefore, contain subordinate packing instructions. If you want to create handling units with labels (identified HUs) for each packing level, you require one subordinate packing instruction per packing level.

Using one packing instruction for several materials

Many parts are packed in a similar way. If certain materials differ in only one characteristic (for example, color), having to maintain a packing instruction for each of these materials results in a considerable workload. Therefore, you can create a reference material and add this reference material to the corresponding material master data (Basic data 1 tab, Packaging material data section) of the parts to be packed similar. When you create the packing instruction, you add the packaging material (load carrier) and the reference material (item category R). The packing instruction will then be used in packing for all materials which do have the reference material assigned. This reduces the amount of data to be maintained and also saves you a lot of time.

Dimensions, weight and volume

The dimensions, weight and volume of the handling unit are entered in the packing instruction. You can copy these entries to the HU proposal.

Documents and Short texts

The packing instruction can be linked to documents in the Document Management System (DMS), enabling you to provide packing personnel with a detailed description of the packing procedure. Shorter descriptions can be entered as text items in the packing instruction.

Items not relevant for HU

Any item that you want to appear in the HU proposal but not in the final HU can be flagged as Not relevant for HU. You use this flag, for example, when a material is only relevant for packing information and not for the HU itself, but its consumption must be mapped in the system.

User-defined fields

On the Administrative data tab page in the packing instruction, there are 5 user-defined fields, which also appear in the HU proposal and later in the HU. These fields are also included in the print program for the HU label, so that a certain value in a certain field triggers a certain action, for example, an asterisk on the printed label.

Status management

You assign a packing status check profile to a packing instruction. In this check profile, you assign packing statuses to the possible ways in which an HU proposal can vary from the packing instruction. For each individual way that an HU proposal can vary from a packing instruction, you can define whether handling unit creation is permitted with this variance (variance from the target quantity, for example).


Unique Identification of Handling Units


In a customer system, a handling unit is identified uniquely across all locations. The uniqueness of handling unit numbers is ensured by using the following number range objects:

  • HU_VEKP for handling unit numbering

  • LE_SSCC or customer number range object for Serial Shipping Container Codes (SSCC) numbering

  • HU_GTL or customer number range object for Global Transport Label (GTL) numbering

Prerequisites

  • To ensure unique number assignment, set the indicator in Customizing for Logistics General Handling Unit Management External Identification Set Unique Number Assignment for HU Identification.

  • Maintain the number ranges for the number assignment for handling unit identification in Customizing for Logistics General Handling Unit Management External Identification Number Range Maintenance for HU Identification.

  • To generate Global Transport Label (GTL) numbers, define the issuing agency code in Customizing for Logistics General Handling Unit Management External Identification Define Issuing Agency Code (IAC).

Internal Numbering

With the number range object HU_VEKP, internal intervals are defined, which are used for the automatic numbering of handling units. You define these settings in Customizing for Logistics General Handling Unit Management External Identification Number Range Maintenance for HU Identification (indicator External is not set).


External Numbering

With the number range object HU_VEKP, also external intervals are defined, which can be used to check external handling unit numbers. External numbers are only accepted as valid numbers if they lie within the defined external number range or if they are lower than the current internal number range counter. Additionally, there mustn’t exist a handling unit with the same number.

Serial Shipping Container Codes (SSCC)

For SSCC, you define the internal and external number range objects via the number range object LE_SSCC or a customer number range object and assign them to plants and storage locations along with ILN basis number. You define the settings in Customizing for Logistics General Handling Unit Management External Identification SSCC Generation Acc. to EAN128.

External SSCC numbers are only accepted as valid numbers if their sequential numbers lie within the external number range or if they are lower than the current internal number range counter. Furthermore, the ILN basis number of the SSCC must match the ILN basis number defined and a proper check digit must be specified. Additionally, there mustn’t exist a handling unit with the same SSCC number.

Note

If you want to activate system-wide SSCC number assignment, execute the activity in Customizing for Logistic Execution under Warehouse Management Storage Units Master Data Define Number Ranges. Make sure that in the Conversion exit for storage unit number step of this activity, you set the numbers for SSCC to 18 characters.


Global Transport Label (GTL)


For GTL, you define the internal and external number range objects via the number range object HU_GTL or your customer number range object and assign them to plants and storage locations in order to ensure gap-less HU numbering. You define the settings in Customizing for Logistics General Handling Unit Management External Identification GTL Number Generation.

The system accepts external GTL numbers as valid numbers if they the following prerequisites are fulfilled:

  • Contains an equal Issuing Agency Code (IAC) and a Company Identification Number (CIN) code of your own system.

  • Must be part of your defined and valid external number range intervals.

  • Does not already exist in your system.

Global, warehouse-number-independent data pertaining to the storage of the product can be found on the Storage tab page. This tab page is also displayed in product master maintenance.

The following warehouse-number-independent data on the storage of a product is adopted in EWM from the ERP system.

  • Handling unit types

  • Warehouse product group

  • Warehouse storage condition

  • Warehouse handling indicator

  • Serial number profiles

  • Quality inspection groups



Rajesh Sharma

SAP WM/EWM Functional Consultant

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