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Author's profile photo Marcus Zahn

Monday Knowledge Snippet (MKS) – 79 Supply Chain Execution Package Builder Enhancements: Detailed Package Building

After being quiet for some time now spending my time on finalizing huge developments for SAP Transportation Management 9.6 and S4 1809, I would like to kick-off a chain of MKSs to rollout the new features.

Key message: The SAP TM Load Planning journey continues! Having started this with TM 9.1 introducing the Load Plan Optimizer to create legally compliant truck, trailer and container load plans (see MKS37), taking a major step forward with TM 9.3 coming out with the Package Builder (see MKS53), offering Load Consolidation as new automated planning option starting with TM 9.4 (see MKS65), and going into detail for truck planning with flexible split deck planning in TM 9.5, we proved that we are committed to this topic. Next to the main developments, especially in the area of package building many small features have been added as a reaction to requirements of the growing number of customers.

Listening carefully to customers, we realized that even with the already existing load planning features another major investment would be required to finally become competitive. Building mixed packages just based on layers and volume proved to be not sufficient and it became clear that the SCE Package Builder had to move closer to reality. Luckily, we found a fantastic front-runner customer wanting to go this path together with us, and plenty others to verify the direction the Package Builder was taking.

The whole development of TM 9.6 in this area had actually 3 key topics:

  1. Detailed Package Building
  2. Consolidation Package Building as new SAP Transportation Management process to create mixed customer packages / pallets (MKS90)
  3. Package Unit as new SAP Transportation Management document (MKS91)

As soon as I have explained Detailed Package Building, I will add MKSs for the SAP TM specific topics.

So what does Detailed Package Building mean for us? Basically, it means that the SCE PB gets physically. So far driven by packaging rules (in short, but incomplete: 100 pieces make a full pallet, 10 pieces make a full layer, combine the rest using volume), it offers now a Package Builder Optimizer (PBO)  determining exact positions for all items to be packaged. What sounds so easy, gets really complex when thinking about different product sets and constraints that might influence such a detailed load plan per package. So here comes a list of what the new PB(O) supports (see also MKS87):

  • Product dimensions and weight
  • Product independent packaging definitions (MKS84)
  • Allowed product orientations (MKS80)
  • Support of cylindrical products (MKS92)
  • Stacking constraints (MKS88)
    • Stacking Factor
    • Stacking Sequence
    • Non-Flat stacking
    • Overhang stacking
  • Layer and Tower Mixed Pallet Layout (MKS95)
  • Product incompatibilities (MKS85)
  • Product grouping preferences (MKS89)
  • Full package quantity for product groups (MKS89)
  • Exclusive pallet for customer indicator (MKS93)
  • Location grouping constraints (MKS94)
  • Vehicle type height limit consideration
  • Different package material and limits for mixed package building (MKS82)
  • Full support of packaging hierarchy (product -> carton -> pallet) (MKS83)
  • Support of reference product for package building (reduction of packaging constraint definitions) (MKS81)
  • Package Building Test Report enhancements (MKS97)

Here comes a sneak preview out of the TM 9.6 demo system:


Looking forward to your feedback!

More info: TM Podcast Black Belt Edition – Package Builder

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      Author's profile photo Marcus Zahn
      Marcus Zahn
      Blog Post Author

      Here is the link to the LinkedIn discussion:

      Author's profile photo Karol Wacowski
      Karol Wacowski

      Hey Marcus,

      This is great. If there is already a support of cylindrical products for PB what happens if a cylindrical product is not palletized (eg. large rolls with cabels) - is load planning able to deal with such scenario?


      Author's profile photo Marcus Zahn
      Marcus Zahn
      Blog Post Author

      No, it can not.

      Author's profile photo Avni Rakicioglu
      Avni Rakicioglu

      Hi Marcus,

      Is it possible to  load/unload products manually to an already built mixed package?

      Author's profile photo Marcus Zahn
      Marcus Zahn
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, this is manually possible in SAP TM 9.6 in the load plan hierarchy.

      Author's profile photo Venkatesh Viswanathan
      Venkatesh Viswanathan

      Hi Marcus,

      Is there the feasibility to choose different packaging material based on the ordered qty?

      Let's consider the Product A (EA) which has UOM

      1 SBOX <- 10 EA

      1 MBOX <- 20 EA

      1 LBOX <- 30 EA

      Limitations are:

      • We are not using product package hierarchy rather the direct determination of package based on qty
      • Product.BP.Location is unique fields in the product package assignment - Thus we can't define a product with multiple package material and package type.
      Author's profile photo Marcus Zahn
      Marcus Zahn
      Blog Post Author

      No, this quantity based target package type determination is not yet supported and must be realized in a custom project.