Skip to Content

Why valuate batch characteristics

Oct 31, 2017 at 05:55 PM


avatar image

Hello all,

I am currently doing some research around Batch Derivation, and keep coming up against the same question. I have worked for sites that require all results from an inspection lot to be sent to the Batch Characteristics, and I have have seen where only a select few MIC's used for costing need to be linked.

Can someone please explain why a client would need every single MIC to be linked to a Batch Characteristic? (Note: assume no potency / active ingredient requirement)

10 |10000 characters needed characters left characters exceeded
* Please Login or Register to Answer, Follow or Comment.

1 Answer

Best Answer
Craig S
Nov 01, 2017 at 03:07 PM

You don't need every single one linked. It simply depends on the company design and needs. In some places it's "just done" because the majority of the characteristic values need to be there anyway.

In other places, they want batch values so other people can see the data. If you don't have the values in the batch, most other users of the system are not going to be able to navigate in QM to look up values. But usually everyone can display the batch using MSC3n.

Other places need them because they use the batch values to report values into the COA if they use the SAP COA functionality.

In other places it's because the batch is moved from plant to plant to plant. Batches are usually set up to be at the material or client level in which case the batch values are available in all plants for reporting, viewing or publishing on COA's.

Linking a MIC to a general characteristic really does very little harm. It can be very difficult to link a MIC that has been used to a general characteristic at a later date. So if there is any chance you might someday want to see the value in the batch, you might as well make the link right in the beginning. There is no requirement to put the general characteristic in the batch record just because you use the MIC in the inspection plan.

Not sure if that answers your question or not.

Show 5 Share
10 |10000 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Thanks, Craig. That does help.

You mentioned they may want to use batch values to report values on COA. But we can use MIC's for COA reporting, so what would the advantage be here?

I am just trying to understand, as it seems everything gets very locked down once you start linking:

- the MIC's are then reference characteristics so can't change in inspection plan. This means you must create thousands of MIC's to cater for every different spec of every test.

- The copy Characteristics from Task List in QC01 doesn't work if you are reporting using batch characteristics, so the user must type in every single one.

Having come from the Super User side in such a plant, I feel the amount of data maintenance involved in linking every MIC was unneccessarily overwhelming. I still wonder why they did it.


When you report MIC's on the COA those results need to come from an inspection lot in the plant. In many larger companies, manufacturing, (and hence inspection), facilities, often don't ship the product to customers. The material is shipped to a distribution center which is a different plant number. The COA production is designed to work at a client level, not really a plant level. When you specify MIC it looks for an inspection lot in the plant the shipping is being done from. It won't find an inspection lot in a distribution center or center warehouse since the insp. lot is over at the mfg. site. There are some developments you can do to get around that but its not standard SAP. However, if you report from the batch characteristics, they are usually set up at material or client level. And as a result the batch values are available in all plants for reporting batch values. In addition, batch values represent the last set of testing. So if you reinspect batches regularly to extend shelf life or something, the COA will always get the latest results.

You can change specs in the inspection plan. You must first unlock the reference in the inspection plan. Then you can assign a spec at the characteristic level, (obviously this is the most common spec in use), then under "dependent characteristics specs" button you can set specs for any material that needs to deviate from the general spec. The material must first be assigned to the plan.

If you leave the MIC locked, you can maintain a material spec using classification view of the material master. First you set the most common spec in the batch class for the characteristic. The you set different specs for materials that might deviate from the norm in the material master, in the classification view. You then need to maintain the spec, (QS61) and inspect by task list and mtrl spec in the inspection type setup. If you do this, the spec range in the classification view is copied into the inspection lot and replaces the MIC spec range. (when doing this the spec range must be set to the widest possible value expected) . This means the specs are basically maintained in the batch class, and materials that deviate from this are have the deviations maintained in the material master.

You are correct in that copy from task list would not work in QC01. But I find usually that once you have some COA profiles out there, you can usually copy from a related COA profile and get 80% of what you need. These are usually pretty static master data and shouldn't change very often.

Of course I can't comment on why they linked each one originally. Unless I was the one that did it! :-)


Thanks, Craig.

If you unlock the MIC, isn't the link to the Class Char broken, and then results won't transfer to the batch?

I have never seen the Dependent Characteristics Specs option used - sounds interesting.

I think you hit the nail on the head with the distribution centers. Though, if I had to choose : a) link every MIC to batch, or b) development... I much prefer the development option. Not only does option A mean more data setup forever and ever, but it's an extra layer of data to troubleshoot everytime you have to figure out why your COA didn't print! I imagine the easiest development would be (where there will only ever be one 04 lot per material & batch) just select the lot without referencing the plant code?

I have not yet worked with material specifications. If you know of any good blogs/videos on that one, please let me know!

Thanks again


I never got around to finishing this series of blogs. I need to at some point!

But this first one might help you.


Actually, it depends on the business. If you can maintain classes right, and then do the one-off specs in the material master, the maintenance is pretty easy. You assign the material to the class, make any one off changes in the material master, maintain QS61, (which is really just an execute and save, at one client we even had a batch job doing this at night for us). Assign the material to the plan. (which you have to do regardless.

But I've used this design in pharma and chemical companies. Several of those companies were Fortune 100 companies and had a huge number off products and SKU's. Most were international firms.