Posted by: ahmedashfaque | April 17, 2014

Batch management in SAP: Batch levels


In my previous post I explained the concept of batch in process industries. In this post I will explain how batch is set up in SAP.

Batch in SAP can be set up at 3 levels viz. material level, client level and plant level. When people learn batch management, they get confused about these levels. i will explain the difference first.

Plant level:

When the batch management is configured at plant level then a batch number will be unique inside that plant only. That means, in another plant the same batch number may be there but both these batches are not the same. Use this setting if you do not have inter plant transfer of materials. If you do then opt for a higher level of batch management. Example of batch numbers here:

  • Plant 1000 – material A – batch number 1001, material B – batch number 1002
  • Plant 2000 – material A – batch number 1001, material B – batch number 1003

Please note that material A – batch number 1001 in plant 1000 is not the same as material A – batch number 1001 in plant B. So never mix these 2 batches. You can see that if inter plant transfer of material is required then plant level batch management will not work.

Client level:

When the batch management is configured at client level then a batch number will be unique inside that client. That means, in another plant the same batch number may never be created as system will not allow you to do so. Use this setting if you do have inter plant transfer of materials. Example of batch numbers here:

  • Plant 1000 – material A – batch number 1001, material B – batch number 1002
  • Plant 2000 – material A – batch number 1003, material B – batch number 1004

You can see that if inter plant transfer of material is required then client level batch management will always work.

Material level:

When the batch management is configured at material level then a batch number – material number combination will be unique inside that client. That means, in another plant the same batch number – material number combination may never be created as system will not allow you to do so. Use this setting if you do have inter plant transfer of materials. Example of batch numbers here:

  • Plant 1000 – material A – batch number 1001, material B – batch number 1002
  • Plant 2000 – material A – batch number 1002, material B – batch number 1004

You can see that we have same batch number for material A – plant 1000 and material B – plant 2000. You can also see that if inter plant transfer of material is required then material level batch management will always work as material -batch number combination will always be unique through out the client.

Difference between material and client level:

In client level, any batch number created will always be unique whereas at material level, it may not be so as the same batch number can be assigned to another material. this means that there will be more number of batches created in client level setting compared to the material level. For this reason, if batch number is required to be absolutely unique then go for client level otherwise settle for material level.

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