In this article we are going to talk about one of the key features within the manufacturing process flow and that has two well-known actors in the SAP sector: the Batch and the Classification System

In certain sectors such as the chemical, pharmaceutical or food sectors, whether for regulatory/legal, safety and/or traceability reasons, both the quantities of the products obtained and the quantities of the components that make up the product must undergo batching.

The batch is no longer just an identification of the quantity of product manufactured under the same conditions and specifications, but can also contain complete and unequivocal information in the form of a “fingerprint” that stores the information of the logistic processes where it has been the protagonist. To record and use all this information, SAP offers the Batch Classification System as a standard feature.

This will be the starting point for the feature presented in this article, Active Substance Management in Manufacturing.

In addition, batch management will be the basis for other relevant features in other logistics processes, the most important of which are:

  • Batch Determination
  • Batch Derivation
  • Batch Status Management
  • Batch Registration
  • Active ingredient

Active substance management is commonly used in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries.

Normally, products from these industries have a bill of materials (BOM) where one or more active ingredients are found and, on the other hand, support materials, such as water or other impurities. The active ingredient is the substance of greatest interest in the bill of materials, the proportion of which may vary from batch to batch. Therefore, when you place a process order, the system must be able to select and adjust the batches needed to obtain the required amount of active ingredient.

It may also be necessary to adjust other BOM component quantities or recalculate the product quantity. All these calculations are performed in SAP using Material Quantity Calculation.

It should be noted that goods and stock movements of these materials are carried out in physical quantities. But valuation, costing, availability checks, sales, and planning are performed taking into account the quantity of the product’s active ingredient.

Finally, the restriction in EWM on the active substance management feature as well as on the use of the batch-specific unit explained below should be noted. This information can be found in the following OSS notes:

  • 2806070 – SAP S/4HANA 1909: Release information and restrictions for EWM in SAP S/4HANA.
  • 2668150- SAP S/4HANA 1809: Release information and restrictions for EWM in SAP S/4HANA.
  • 2494704- SAP S/4HANA 1709: Release information and restrictions for EWM in SAP S/4HANA

Therefore, given this restriction, batch determination must be done from the ERP.

Batch-specific unit of the material

To be able to use the active ingredient management feature, you need to create a second unit of measure with which you define the conversion to the base unit of measure.

From the general details of the process order, you can see both the quantity of the material in the base unit of measure and the conversion of this quantity into the alternative unit of measure.

The batch-specific material units of measure are:

Proportional unit of measure: Unit of measure in which the proportional quantities of a material are indicated. This is the unit to be used with the active ingredient management feature.
Product unit: Unit of measure indicating the total quantity of a material.

Using the alternative unit has the following benefits:

The material can be monitored throughout the production process in the alternative unit of measure.

The conversion ratio can be calculated automatically by entering batch dependency factors.
The value of the material is determined according to the amount of active substance available.

Planning the material requirements can be carried out according to the variable conversion ratio.

Determining the sales price can be carried out based on the quantity of active substance that the product contains. The sales price is updated based on the data in the material batch.

Batch Determination

Batch determination is a process where the system automatically searches for and finds suitable batches for the production order.

This function can be combined with active substance management, where the use of a certain batch can be restricted based on the percentage of active ingredient.

The system also indicates the required quantity that is needed in the unit of measure of the active ingredient, as well as the quantity of this material in the base unit of measure.

Once batch determination has been carried out, the availability of this material is carried out using the base unit of measure.

Material Quantity Calculation

In Material Quantity Calculation, you define the formulas needed to calculate the material quantities to be used or obtained in a production process. This is taken into account when performing the calculations:

The mixing ratios of the ingredients.
The performance ratios of the products and the remaining materials
The specific attributes of the material.

Where each value is represented as [ROW, COLUMN] of the image and the CQSM function is used to calculate the total of the physical batch quantities from the quantities of active substances in the batches according to the concentrations of active substances (the Title column in our case).

Similarly, other functions to calculate material quantity be used, which are explained below:

  • CNUM: function that determines the number of batches belonging to a material item.
  • CSUM: this function performs the sum of the batch quantities or the sum of the values of a characteristic.
  • CAMV: function that calculates the arithmetic mean of the batch quantities or values of a characteristic
  • CPSM: for each batch, this function multiplies the batch quantity by its characteristic value and then adds up all the values obtained from each batch.

Primarily, the material quantity calculation is used for the following functions:

  • To calculate the quantities of the components when different concentrations of active substance are available in the batches.
  • To calculate the product quantity, meaning, the order quantity if it has to be adjusted due to changes made to the components
  • To calculate the expected phase scrap if it is to be displayed in the phase data of the order
  • To calculate the operation and phase quantities if they are not identical to the product quantity