N:N Batch Traceability on a Production Order Using WIP Batches

  • by Caetano Almeida, Senior Support Engineer, SAP
  • December 29, 2015
Learn how to activate a work in process (WIP) batch and how to use it achieve an N:N batch traceability on a single production order. See how to activate the WIP batch functionality and the necessary customizing settings to use it.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn:

  • What N:N batch traceability is
  • How to activate the work in process (WIP) batch business function
  • The necessary customizing and master data settings to use WIP batches on a production order
  • How to post an order confirmation using WIP batches
  • How to analyze the batch where-used list using WIP batches
  • Additional benefits of the WIP batch functionality
Key Concept

The work in process (WIP) batch is used to keep the batch traceability on a production order when several batches of raw material are consumed and several batches of finished product are generated.

Batch traceability is a key functionality not only in the chemical and food industries but also in almost all industries. SAP delivers the batch where-used list (transaction code MB56) in SAP ERP Central Component (ECC). The where-used list enables you to trace the batch from the finished product to the raw material (top down) or from the raw material to the finished product (bottom up).

I focus on the work in process (WIP) batch functionality that is available in ECC for production and process orders in enhancement package 4. More specifically, I explain how to enhance the batch where-used list to show a link between each raw material batch consumed and the respective finished product batch produced on a production order.

This transaction works perfectly in most cases. However, there is a limitation on a production order with N:N batches. On this specific case, it is necessary to consume several batches of raw material, generating one batch of finished product for each batch of raw material. On a standard production order, there is no link between the raw material batch consumed and the finished product batch received; therefore, the batch where-used list would determine all the batches of raw material for each batch of the finished product.

Consider a scenario that involves a simple production order with two operations and a single component. For this order, you consume the batches RM_BATCH_1 and RM_BATCH_2 of the raw material and generate the batches FG_BATCH_1 and FG_BATCH_2 of finished product.

Now after you execute transaction code MB56 to generate the top-down batch where-used list for FG_BATCH_1, you can observe on the results screen that both batches of components were determined (Figure 1).


Figure 1
Batch where-used list for batch FG_BATCH_1

The same thing happens when you generate the where-used list for FG_BATCH_2, so it is clear that you cannot identify exactly which batch of raw material was used to produce each batch of finished product (Figure 2).


Figure 2
Batch where-used list for batch FG_BATCH_2

Consider, for example, that a problem was detected in one of the raw material batches after the production. In this case, it would not be possible to identify exactly which batch of finished product was produced with this problematic batch of raw material.

On previous releases, the only solution for this scenario was to create separate production orders for each raw material batch, but that would require more bureaucracy and manual work.

As of ECC enhancement package 4, the WIP batch functionality delivers a solution for this scenario, with some additional advantages.

Caetano Almeida

Caetano Almeida is a computer engineer with an MBA in IT management. He has more than nine years of experience in production planning, with the last six years working at SAP Support, where he supports SAP customers and writes documentation and correction notes.

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