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As follow up to the last MKS http://scn.sap.com/community/scm/transportation-management/blog/2013/11/25/monday-knowledge-snippet-mks–37-tm-91-load-planning and http://scn.sap.com/community/scm/transportation-management/blog/2013/12/09/monday-knowledge-snippet-mks–38-tm-91-load-planning-prepare-your-resources, today I would like to explain the capabilities of the TM 9.1 3-D load plan visualization using SAP Visual Business. Of course SAP VB is included in the SAP TM license. Oh boy, this is going to be a colorful blog today.

Within the SAP TM 9.1 user interfaces supporting the load planning (Freight Order and Transportation Cockpit), it is possible to configure the load plan specific section in a way that it either displays the relevant information in a purely table based fashion, or combined together with a 3-D model to support the understanding of the load planning result. This 3-D model allows the planner to browse through the data, get the required information attached to the objects, highlight or hide objects and trigger custom actions.

Disclaimer: Some of the example screenshots might not fit to a real load plan regarding loading security. I did not switch on the required rule for height difference between stacks. Loading security is fore sure a good topic for an additional MKS. Don’t worry, we keep that in mind.

In the basic view, the load plan including the items and resource is displayed in a perspective view. The cargo body of the resource displays grid lines for measure info. Axles are colored depending on the load distribution. Unloaded items are displayed in front of the vehicle. For each object a tooltip is available when hovering over it.

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – perspective view with item tooltip

When left-clicking an object, a detailed information window is displayed.

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – item details

A right-click on the scene opens up a menu. Here multiple functions are available. For example you can hide the resource or grid. Let’s focus first on the view. It is possible to switch to different standard camera positions (of course you can also freely navigate through the scene by zooming and rotating it, if you like to see the truck from below, feel free to do so 🙂 ). For example we pick ‘Top’.

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – scene menu, switch to top view

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – top view

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – right side view

Did you notice the 3-D cube in the upper left corner? It shows the current rotation of the scene. By double clicking it you can always return to the standard perspective.

Next feature is the function to display unloaded items. To not mess up the 3-D scene with too many unloaded items when first displaying the load plan, only a single unloaded item is shown. Within the context menu, you can select ‘Show all’ and see all of them.

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – show all unloaded items

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – all unloaded items displayed

As promised, it is possible to browse the load plan. For example, the planner can color items by selected attributes like destination, product, or stackability.

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – color items by…

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – items colored by destination

Last feature for today is hiding specific items. From the item menu, you can select multiple functions to manipulate the scene the way you like. For example you can hide the complete level.

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – Hide certain items

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Load Plan 3-D visualization – Hidden level

Extension capabilities

What I have shown above is a set of standard functions within the 3-D model. In case this is not sufficient, it can be enhanced easily by using the provided enhancement spot. Here it is basically possible to manipulate anything starting from colors, information available in the tooltip or details window, up to attached functions in the menu. If the project requirements for example demand a different item coloring (by customer, dangerous goods relevance, …), this can be done here. Also I can think of some project specific manual load plan adjustments….

We will come up with an enhancement guide similar to the TM&EM Geo-Map guide http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-50073.

Limitations

Can I move items around within the 3-D model? No, but… The TM 9.1 load plan is a result of the automatic load planning including load distribution information. A manual change is not (yet) supported in standard. In general SAP Visual Business supports drag and drop, but we do not use it here (yet). For a customer project? I can imagine this very well… Maybe not completely freely in space, but having fixed rows. Or dropping an item onto another.

Merry Christmas!

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21 Comments

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  1. Luciano Barros Fialho

    Hello Marcus,

     

       First of all, thanks for this MKS.

       Could you please help me with the scenario below?

       In my business we deal with heavy and light products (example: wire rods and welded mesh). During the load planning we need to avoid that welded mesh (light) stay down wire rods (heavy). Is there a standard rule to do this?

    Best regards,

    Luciano Fialho.

    .

    (0) 
    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      Hello,

      sure. The stacking of items can be manipulated with different rules. This includes of course the option to not stack heavy stuff on light stuff.

      In addition to the standard rules the enhancement spot gives the option to define a stacking matrix on item level.

      Marcus

      (0) 
  2. Eduardo Chagas

    I saw a presentation from Cam Patter during the SAP Forum 2014 in Brazil! I got impressed with the capabilities on Load Planning! Really amazing!

    (0) 
    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      The load information is attached to the item of the freight order. They can be added to the order outbound message (within CD project).

      (0) 
  3. Rajiv Lund

    Hi Marcus,

    as usual very specific question from my side. I have read als MKK about load planning and also consumed the Load Optimization podcast. In general it seems to me, that there exists only one business scenario with automatic loading optimization.

    Is there also a possibility to perform a manual Load Plan (not in VB, I understand that this does not work yet). On screenshots I do not see any functions in the load plan list.

    What I could imagine that a planner enters the row/stack information manually and uses VB for vizualizing.

    I would test it in the customer system, however it is not yet fully set up. For customer it would be very interessting, if such manual load planning (in the list at least) would be possible.

    We are talking about a 9.1 system (and chance to upgrade to 9.2). Thanks a lot. I will give my best to convince the customer about the Load Plan und maybe one day about the Load Optimization. 🙂

    Best regards,

    Rajiv

    (0) 
  4. Neeraj Lal

    Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for sharing this useful information.

    Some queries:

    1. Do TM9.1 consider if Business is mixing different package size in a truck. There may be chances in some cases t due to package dimension variation truck is not able to fill completely? It will be great if you can provide some input on this.

    2. In ERP Material master if Alternative UOM is maintained length, Width, height. Do still it is needed to maintain package dimension in Freight order.

    3. Do maintaining axle and axle weight  is mandatory? In many case business do not have limitation of axle weight. In such case only effective arrangement of different package size to completely fill the truck space is important.

    Regards

    (0) 
    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      1.) The TM 9.1 Load Planning is capable of mixing different package sizes.

      2.) The relevant handling unit (pallet/package) must have those dimension attributes on Freight Order item level. Using the TM 9.3 poackage builder, those fields will be filled automatically.

      3.) No, the TM load planning work then just like filling up a container.

      (0) 
  5. Michel Matoso Silveira

    Hi Marcus,

    We are facing some problems with 3D visualization on PRD environment here. The Load Plan process itself is doing a great job. 

    The 3D visualization on our DEV and QAS environment is working without problems. But on PRD environment we got a blank screen.

    I think it is a basis (component, or visual business) problem.

    If you have any hint, I would appreciate.

    My best,

    Michel Matoso.

    (0) 
    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      Hello,

      would not expect it to be an VB problem, but rather the UI layers below (WD, FPM and so on). With blank screen you mean a white screen area where the 3-D model should be displayed?

      You should check notes 2228080 and 2228101. Hope this helps.

      Marcus

      (0) 
      1. Michel Matoso Silveira

        Hi Marcus,

        We have checked these notes, and our Basis team is working on it.

        The notes referred on note 2154957 were not applied on PRD, only on DEV and QAS. This explains the different behaviors among the environments.

        Appreciate your help and attention.

        My best,

        Michel Matoso.

        (0) 

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