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Monday Knowledge Snippet (MKS) – 83 Detailed Package Building – Multi Level Packaging

Even though I spoiled a bit with the last MKS82, I would like to spend today’s MKS on the topic multi level packaging. So far the SAP Supply Chain Execution Platform Package Builder officially did not support product -> carton -> pallet scenarios. It was possible to set this up and get it running, but I decided due to several gaps to not roll it out big time. Basically, the biggest flaw was that the PB was not capable to consolidate the created cartons correctly together on pallets. With a single carton type it was working okay, with multiple different carton times not so much. In addition, the combination of cartonized and directly palletized products was not working either. Nevertheless, some customer projects managed to get their scenario running okay. Also I have been approached by many customers stressing that this feature would boost the SCE PB.

Mixed Pallet containing different cartons

So this is the scope of multi level packaging supported now: With the new SCE PB version, it is possible to create mixed packages / pallets that can contain products packaged into multiple different carton types and also non-cartonized products. When packaging products into cartons, it is also possible to mix products.

The standard scenario is probably this: Customer packages to-be cartonized and non-cartonized products ending up on a single pallet type. For the cartonization the full package quantity is applied and with this the product is handled in stock cartons. The remaining quantities of the products shall then be packaged into pick cartons. Finally, customer can have pallets containing stock cartons, pick cartons, and directly palletized products. (of course you can imagine many deviating scenarios)

Example:

Water – directly palletized, 48 cases make a full pallet

Tea – cartonized, 33 pieces make a full stock carton, mixed product cartonization into a standard pick carton

Cofee – cartonized, 6 pieces make a full stock carton, mixed product cartonization into a standard pick carton

So an freight order could look like this:

After package building, the result would be this:

As you can see (even though it is no fancy FIORI, but simple SAP GUI), the item hierarchy now contains all types of expected packages (full and mixed, on both levels).

To set this up using reference materials, only the following product – package type assignments are required (of course all of the additional settings in here are also considered, but I focus on the assignments):

Note that for the packaging materials (cartons) it is required to have dedicated entries per material. Pattern entries or reference material entries are not supported (because I ran into too many issues to avoid unwanted further packaging – this might be improved, but currently it is what it is).

From a structural perspective the SCE PB also supports product -> small carton -> big carton -> pallet scenarios (to state it: an unrestricted number of packaging levels), but this was not the focus of the development nor the testing.

Also important to know:

  • PB will consider full package quantities maintained for the cartons: so if you say 40 pick cartons make a full pallet and you have 41, the result will be a full pallet using the master data defintions and a mixed pallet.
  • Currently the PB fills cartons using the volume based consolidation approach considering the target fill volume percentage, that can be maintained for the packaging material.

For me personally this part of the new features of the PB was the most challenging as it required huge internal restructurings, but in the end it brings also the greatest satisfaction to see it working.

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