SAP S/4HANA for manufacturing logistics 2111: an overview

in this blog post I will describe the three components of SAP S/4HANA for manufacturing logistics

  • route trains for production supply,
  • shuttle and
  • inbound cargo registration

in an high-level overview.

SAP S/4HANA for manufacturing logistics is available as an add-on to S/4HANA 2020 FP1 or SAP S/4HANA 2021 (see Product availability matrix)  and requires an EWM implementation as a basis for route train and shuttle.

In this document, I will describe the latest version 2111, which is available since November 30, 2021.

UI Technology

SAP S/4HANA for manufacturing logistics uses different UI technologies, depending on the solution component. UI technology decisions were taken with the general SAP strategy in mind but also considering a smooth integration into existing logistical processes in the warehouse.

The solution component “Route trains for production supply” is deeply integrated into SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) and uses the following technologies and integration points:

  • SAP Fiori apps for Master data maintenance of routes, stops etc.
  • Integration into SAP EWM warehouse management monitor
  • Integration into SAP EWM using RF framework for loading and unloading
  • Integration into SAP EWM using warehouse orders for loading and unloading based on distribution equipment

The solution component “Shuttle” also heavily uses standard EWM and TM objects like Handling Units and Freight Orders.

  • Integration into SAP EWM warehouse Management monitor
  • Integration into SAP EWM using RF framework for loading and unloading
  • Integration into SAP Transportation Management using Freight orders and Freight Units using WebDynpro apps integrated into SAP Fiori launchpad

Shuttle and Route train for production supply use the role SAP_BR_AML_WHS_CLERK.

The solution component “Inbound Cargo Registration” (ICR) integrates into SAP Transportation Management and SAP EWM using inbound deliveries and freight orders.
The used technology is WebDynpro, integrated into SAP Fiori launchpad.

Inbound Cargo Registration uses the role SAP_BR_AML_ADM_CLERK. 

Route train for production supply

“Route trains for production supply” is a solution component which is used to plan and execute EWM-managed delivery from the warehouse to the production supply areas (PSA). You need to set up your master data like stops (PSAs or transfer points), routes (these are the planned sequences of stops) etc.

The route train for production supply process is build on the EWM process of distribution equipment and supports the following EWM processes:

  • Internal stock transfer (WMR)
  • Internal stock transfer for JIT (WMR)
  • Production Material Request (PWR)
  • Posting Change (SPC)
  • Outbound Delivery Order (ODO) for Kanban

While routes are the planning objects and the routes are warehouse request items are assigned to a route, the execution of a route train instance is a “tour”. Tours can be either created upfront (scheduled tours), can be created by specific events (like e.g. all HUs for a specific tour are ready to be loaded) or manually. In a real world analogy, the route corresponds the bus schedule while the tour corresponds to a specific bus trip at a specific point in time.

For planning of warehouse request items to a route, SAP S/4HANA for manufacturing logistics uses condition technique to determine dynamically based on delivery item information like source storage type, destination PSA and delivery priority, which route shall be used for the supply process via route train.

When tours are created upfront for a scheduled delivery, then the system tries to determine a suitable tour based on the determined route and the loading and delivery data, which are maintained on the route, in order to arrive in time for the planned demand date and time on the PSA.

The tour and route information can be used to create separate picking waves leading to separate picking warehouse orders per tour (and route).

After picking, the picked HUs are loaded via logical RF transactions for manual loading and system-guided loading and can be then unloaded via logical transactions for unloading while the route train is travelling through the production area to the different PSAs.

SAP S/4HANA for manufacturing logistics offers different possibilities to monitor the tour execution:

  • EWM warehouse monitor node and
  • SAP Fiori app Manage Tours

Shuttle

The “Shuttle” concept can be used when a warehouse (specific: a EWM managed warehouse number) is scattered over different near-by locations and is separated via public roads. This concept is more and more used for pop-up warehouses for fluctuating demands and low-volume small warehouses for replenishment of a central warehouse.

Shuttles can be planned (with itineraries) or unplanned (on-demand). They are operated using standard RF framework loading and unloading transactions and can be monitored using EWM warehouse management monitor.

The shuttle process is based on layout-oriented storage control (LOSC) and can thus be used only for HUs. The layout and the routing from the outer warehouses to the inner warehouse (and vice versa) is maintained in a shuttle specific configuration, which is maintained as master data.

By evaluation of the shuttle-LOSC configuration, the system can create loading warehouse tasks to the shuttle. Once they are confirmed, the system automatically creates the unloading warehouse tasks from the shuttle to the unloading area in the receiving warehouse location.

The stock, which is loaded into the shuttle, sits on a specific shuttle bin. This bin can be used to monitor stock, which is under way. When unloading the shuttle, the stock is posted to the unloading storage bin in the receiving warehouse.

With external warehouses and pop-up warehouses using the shuttle, the stock situation and all movements of the HUs can be monitored in the standard EWM warehouse monitor. All shuttle movements are visible in SAP Transportation Management for planning and billing.

Inbound Cargo registration

The solution component “Inbound Cargo Registration” is build on top of “Advanced Shipping and Receiving” and integrates into SAP Transportation Management and SAP EWM.

It can be used to maintain or correct delivery note data, freight order or consignment related data. You can pack your inbound deliveries using different packing processes like e.g. the Unified Package Building rules.

It can be used for a mass goods receipt using an own logical RF transaction.

Outlook

I will write additional blog posts to give more details on the route train component providing more insights in the planning and execution part of route train operation.