Configuration for Automatic packing in Outbound Delivery
Let me introduce you to the basics required to understand the Automatic packing concept in outbound delivery.
- Packing Materials are material that can be used to pack or transport goods.
- Items from an outbound delivery when packed into a packing material, the whole unit together is called the Handling Unit.
- Packing process in SAP is the process of assigning delivery items to packing materials, which will produce Handling Units, which will then be packed into additional packing materials. Which in turn will create a new handling unit, this process of packing one handling unit into another packing material is called Multi-level packing.
The packing function is available in:
- Orders (as Packing Instructions)
- Inbound Deliveries
- Outbound Deliveries
- Shipment Document
Packing can be done manually as well as automatically in outbound delivery. Manual packing is done in outbound delivery by choosing PACK button manually while automatic packing uses the Condition Technique to automatically identify the material to be packed and create handling units.
As most of us would be aware of how manual packing is done, in this document I have explained how automatic packing is configured for outbound delivery.
I have noted down few steps that would be required to configure Automatic packing, these are listed below:
a) Activate Delivery Document type with Automatic Packing – OVLK
b) Define Packaging material type- VHAR
c) Define Material Group for Packaging – VEGR
d) Define Allowed Packing Material – VHZU
e) Define Material Master Data – MM01
f) Maintain Packing Transaction Profile for Outbound delivery – OVHU2
g) Set up Condition Technique for Packing Instruction Determination
h) Create Packing Master Data – POP1
i) Maintain Packing Instruction Determination Master Data – POF1
Let us see how each of these steps are accomplished in SAP with screenshots
a) Activate delivery type with Automatic Packing
In this step you can activate the delivery type for automatic packing using the TCode OVLK as shown below.
Before moving further lets understand below mentioned SAP terminologies
Material – A product in outbound delivery that requires packing.
Material Group for packaging – This is a material master field used to group products requiring similar packing. For example say products A and B can be packed using similar pallets, in this case while creating product master data for A & B, we assign Material Group for Packaging, say 0001-pallets to indicate that both these material are packed using pallets.
Packing Material – The material used to pack the finished product in delivery.
Packaging Material Type – This is Material Master record field used to set up a Packing Material.(Applies to packing material master data) This field defines the family of packaging type to which this material belongs, for example Pallets, Truck, Container, Box, Crates, etc.
b) Define Packaging material types
You can define Packaging Material Types using TCode VHAR. As discussed earlier this field plays an important role in setting up a packing material master record.
Let’s say we use already defined packing material type 0001- pallets in our case.(If you want to create new please copy an existing one that matches your requirement and create one) PFB the screenshot for the same.
For packing material type you can set up
- How plant determination occurs for the packing material to which it is assigned.
- Packaging material category (whether packaging material, transport equipment, means of transport or Auxiliary packaging material)
- Assign a Number Range for the handling units that would be created in delivery.
- Define Output procedure and Output type.
- Handling Unit type
c) Define Material Group for Packaging Material
In this step you can define a Material Group for packaging material using TCode VEGR.
This is a field entered in the Material Master Sales: General/Plant data for materials that require packing. It is used to group together materials that require similar packaging materials.
In our case we defined material group 0001-Yard Mgmt using tcode VEGR.
d) Define allowed packaging material
This configuration plays an important role in packing for outbound delivery. In this step we define valid combinations of Packaging Material Type and Material Group for Packaging as shown below. We have defined a valid combination of “Material Group for Packaging”- 0001 Yard Mgmt and “Packaging Material type”- 0001 pallet for our scenario. It is maintained using TCode VHZU.
When packing an item in delivery, the system checks whether an entry for Material Group for Packaging for the delivery item and the Packaging Material Type for the packing material exists in Tcode VHZU.
By assigning Packaging Material Type to the Material Group for Packaging, you define which packaging materials are allowed for packing a delivery item.
For materials with no Material Group for Packaging Materials, no check is carried out on the eligibility of the packaging material. These materials can always be packed.
e) Define Material Master Data (Finished goods and Packing Material)
In this step create Material master record(MM01) for Finished goods and Packing Material based on the configuration done in the earlier steps.
Firstly define a FERT material code for Sales View having below data related to packaging.
As can be seen in above screen shots we have created a material TATA1 with Material Type FERT and Material Group for Packaging Material as 0001- Yard Mgmt.
Now, create another Material master record(MM01) with Material Type VERP (packing), so that this material could be used as a packing material in Deliveries.
Important information required for packing is shown in below:
- Item Category Group (Sales: Organisation 2 tab)
- Packing Material Data (Sales: General/Plant)
Packaging Material Type
As seen above we have created a packing material PACK1 with Item category group VERP, Packaging Material Type 0001-Pallet and allowed packing weight as 200kg.
f) Maintain Packing Transaction Profile
The configurations done from this step are specifically valid for Automatic packing in outbound delivery.
In this step, you can modify the Packing Transaction Profiles using TCode OVHU2.
For each application, in which the packing transaction can be used, there is a packing transaction profile. The profiles are set as standard in the system. You can change the descriptions and the settings for each profile. However, you cannot create new profiles, delete existing ones, or change the assignment of profile to application.
In our case we will use the transaction profile available for outbound delivery i.e. 0002- Outbound Delivery.
In each profile, the following parameters are set:
- display mode or change mode for HU proposals in the packing transaction
- the procedure used to automatically determine packing instructions
- whether the system expands packing instructions automatically when materials and quantities are entered or changed
- whether the system displays a selection dialog box in the automatic expansion process, so that the user can select a packing instruction from those proposed by the system (main packing instruction or alternative packing instruction)
- whether the system takes into account rounding and minimum quantities in the automatic expansion process
- whether the system also takes into account alternative packing instructions in automatic expansion, if the main packing instruction cannot pack the required quantity
- The expansion strategy. This controls whether
o Everything is to be packed automatically, that is, the system creates HU proposals for the complete quantity to be packed.
o Packages are to be created one at a time, that is, the system creates an HU proposal for exactly one main handling unit.
- the minimum packing status for packing instruction expansion
- the HU status of the handling units created
- The minimum packing status of HU proposals required to created HUs.
We have a Packing Instruction Determination Procedure ZSHIP1 assigned to the Packing Transaction Profile of Outbound delivery. This procedure uses the condition technique to identify Packing Instructions maintained as master data which will be discussed going ahead.
Also we have activated Start packing automatically, Respect Rounding Quantities and Respect Alternate Packing Instructions. Pack Strategy is set to pack all delivery items.
g) Set up Condition Technique for Packing Instruction Determination:
In this step you can set up condition technique for the packing instruction determination procedure i.e. ZSHIP1(assigned in the Outbound delivery Transaction Profile). You can set up Determination procedure, Determination type, Access Sequence & Condition table.
You can create each of the components of the condition technique using below Tcodes:
- Condition table – OFP8
- Access Sequence –OFP2
- Determination Type – OFP3
- Define Procedure – OFP4
I am not adding screenshots as this is done similar to any other condition technique setup.
h) Create packing master data – POP1
Once above SPRO configuration are done the only job remaining is to create packing master data.
Go to TCode POP1 and set up master data specifying what Material is to be packed and what is the material that will be used to for packing.
In our case the master record is maintained as shown below.
TATA1 is the material to be packed while PACK1 is the packing material. In the above master data set up I have specified that 1qty of PACK1 can be used to pack 4qtys of TATA1.
i) Maintain packing instruction determination record – POF1
The second master data that you need to maintain is how the packing instruction that was created in the previous step would be determined.
This can be created using TCode POF1.
PFB the screenshot maintained in our case.
In the above screenshot you can see that I have maintained a record for Determination Type SHIP in Procedure ZHSIP1. The condition table has the combination of Material & Ship-to party while packing instruction number specified is 231 which we have created in the previous step.
This means that whenever Material TATA1 and Ship-to 4000401 combination occurs in delivery type LF the packing instruction 231 would be identified by using Transaction profile of outbound delivery & Packing instruction procedure ZHSIP1. This will in turn pack the delivery items using the material specified in packing instruction number 231.
Once you configure all of the above steps Automatic packing would be active in Delivery and Handling Units would be automatically created based on the master data you have maintained.