Packing function in SAP system is very important for Distribution centers and Retail outlet stores in order to exchange their goods data requirements between suppliers and Ship-to parties. The Ship-to parties can scan and check the goods through Pallet/Carton label information. This will optimize their business process by knowing the product information with load carriers and their weight and volume. I would not like to repeat help.sap.com information here in this blog, but i would certainly cover the SAP packing functionality with business requirements.Using this SAP Packing function, you can assign your delivery items to delivery document to a package with packing slips and Pallet/Carton labels. You can also manage stocks of packaging materials and if required you can bill to your ship-to party.

SAP Packing Terminology:

Before describing more, we need to understand the packaging materials in detail. The finished or trading goods that are going to ship/receive will be packed in load carriers. The examples of load carriers (term packaging material in SAP) are containers, pallets, case cartons and inner-boxes. These packing materials need to be created in material master with material type “VERP”. The Physical unit of packaging material is called Handling unit (HU). This handling units will have a identification number in SAP by either internal or own international recognized SSCC numbers. You can enter vast amount of information in HUs like tracking numbers and texts apart from weight and volume.

There are several steps in packing function like manual packing and auto packing with single level and multi level packing. For Example, you first pack the delivery items into carton box, then pack the boxes on to pallets, and finally pack the pallets into containers. Here i can not put the screen shots for the below customization steps.

Packing Control:
In customizing, we can set the delivery item category is relevant for packing or not. In general, allow packing control column remains blank. use can also set “A” must pack and “B” cannot pack. For batches, if you set “column”K” indicator, the main item is packed but not the split item. i.e item for the total qty with out the batch details is packed.
Logistics Execution >Shipping>Packing> Packing control by item category.

Connection between “material to pack” and “packaging material”:
Packing materials using “Packaging material type” in customizing is as follows.
Logistics Execution >Shipping>Packing> Define Packing Material Types.
Important fields to know are “Plant determine”, “Pack matl cat”, “GenerateDlvitems”, “Number assignment”, “HU type”, “Int interval” and “Ext interval”. In general the structure of SSCC code is predefined. SSCC stands for “Serial Shipping Container Code”. I need to explore more on this SSCC18 structure. As of now with my experience i have two examples from two clients.
The number contains : 1+7+9+1 = 18 digit
begins with “3” + 7 digit ILN number + 9 digit consecutive number + one digit check

other client have like: 7+9+2 = 18 digit
7 digit ILN number + 9 digit consecutive number + two digit check

Group your Materials that are packed in the first instance with the same packing material
(such as boxes, pallets, inner-boxes)
Logistics Execution >Shipping>Packing> Define Material group for Packaging Material.

Combination of “packing material types” and “packing material groups”
Logistics Execution >Shipping>Packing> Define Allowed Packaging Material.

Master Data for Packing material:
Maintain the packing materials using the material type “VERP”.
The “Sales: general/Plant View: important fields “Pakaging mat. type”, “Matl Grp Pack Matls”, “allowed pkg weight”, and “allowed pkg volume” .
The “Sales: sales org.2: Item category group “VERP”.

Define number ranges for SSCC numbers:
Logistics General > Handling Unit management > External Identification > SSCC Generation Acc. to EAN 128 “ILN for SSCC Generation at Storage location Level.”

Manual Packing:
To understand Manual packing function first before going for automatic packing, the Tcode Vl02n is best. You can pack, unpack and delete the HU’s here.

Automatic Packing:
If you want to trigger automatic packing as soon as you have created the the delivery document, you have to select the “automatic packing” indicator at the Delivery Type level
Logistics Execution > Shipping > Deliveries and select delivery type “LF-Delivery”.
Automatic packing also supports the PACKMODI enhancement.

Packing proposal by packing instructions:
For this you need to make required customized settings, enter packing instructions and determine the rules via condition technique. This will not be covered in this blog post now. But by now you know all the important requirements in SAP packing function along with customization path.

Important Technical informations:
TCode
HU monitor: HUMO
Tables:
HU header : VEKP
HU item : VEPO
HU-TO table is : LTHU
Auto pack at Delivery creation: BADI_HU_AUTOPACK

Since this blog post had more packing funtionality but included some of the bar code technologies that are important for considering in a warehouse. So i would like to add few Bar code concepts here.

BAR Code

BAR code

Group of lines and spaces that can be recognized by an optical scanner.
For example, bar codes uniquely identify article data, production numbers or transport units. They can contain information such as batch number, expiration date, or weight.
Example
In the Logistics Execution System (LES), certain field entries can be represented by bar codes and printed on transfer documents. This simplifies data entry processes such as order confirmation.

A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data
Barcode technology helps to identify and track products since it is a simple and inexpensive method.
Barcode technology helps keep track of products and services that they identify, and therefore provide all necessary information about them.
Types of Barcodes
Barcodes come in different types. But most of the widely used barcodes in Supply Chain Management belongs to two types. They are mainly 1D and 2D Barcodes.

1D Barcode
Barcodes that represent data in widths (lines) and spacing’s of parallel lines, are called 1 dimensional (1D) barcodes

2D Barcode
Barcodes that come in patterns of squares, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns within images referred as 2 dimensional (2D) barcodes.

With the increased popularity of Barcodes in supply chain management, industry standards have been established for the customer’s use of bar-coding. Widely used Barcodes standards in Supply Chain Management are

Because of global networking between manufacturers, transportation service providers, dealers, and consumers, communication between the instances involved in the supply chain is becoming more important. The basis of efficient processing is a common numbering standard, which is defined by international standardization organizations (UCC, EAN International).
The UCC/EAN128 and one of its subcomponents, the Serialized Shipping Container Code (SSCC)/Number of the Shipping Unit (NSU), is defined as a part of these standards, and can be used to identify the handling units transported. This means that within the supply chain, the UCC/EAN128 and the SSCC can be used to transmit data about the handling unit from instance to instance, for example, via EDI with EDIFACT
You can uniquely assign SSCCs when you create handling units. SSCCs are used to identify and track handling units.
You can collate the SSCC and other parts of the UCC/EAN128 into a valid bar code chain, or extract them from a bar code chain. The system generates the SSCC using a separate number range object.

Before you can work with the EAN128 functions, you must request the basic number ILN2 (ILN = international location number) from either the UCC or EAN International.

EAN128 numbering is integrated into the packing functions.

When constructing handling units, you can use the packaging material to control that the system automatically assigns an SSCC/NSU. The number range used for this is determined by the system using the warehouse number. For more information, see in SAP EWM

(IMG) for Extended Warehouse Management under Cross-Process Settings > Handling Units > External Identification > SSCC Number Assignment According to EAN128 > Maintain SSCC Generation for Each Warehouse Number.
You can also assign the SSCC/NSU can be assigned externally, and can be checked against an external number range, which the system finds using the same logic.
At the same levels, you can enter the basis number for ILN2 that you require to generate the SSCC.  I may read more configuration details in my future posts.
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