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Batch vs. handling Unit

Hello All,

I am new to SAP and this is my first post. I have had experience in other ERP systems and my company is starting the initiative to convert to SAP. In the Blueprinting process we identified batch management to handle our QC and Certificate requirements. The are some people now suggesting that we handle the tracking of quality data etc by using Handling Unit instead of Batch. We are in a metals based industry and will need to track steel chemistry and physical properties from incoming steel coil through the finished goods. What is the basic difference between batch and handling unit and what are the implications in QM of using handling unit instead of batch?

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1 Answer

  • Posted on May 27, 2010 at 05:58 PM

    A handling unit is an object, (real or virtual), that contains something else. The something else can be one item or many items. Regardless of what you do, quality data is not linked to a handling unit. The quality is linked to the batch of the material or materials contained in the handling unit.

    You do not use HU's or batches. That's not the question. The question is do you use HU's WITH batches or do you use just batches and straight IM, non-HU managed warehouses.

    You might have 20 pallets.. each pallet is one handling unit and each HU contains one super sack. All twenty units have the same batch in them.

    You might have one HU with 5 different materials packed into it. Each material with multiple batches.

    HU's do not, in and of themseleves carry quality data along with them.

    You can't turn an HU of material X batch 1, and now say it is material Z batch 2. You must unpack the HU, move the material to the new material, and then repack the material.

    I would say that HU's are best used in areas where once the material is packed into an HU, you rarely, if ever intend to unpack it or remove it. That means it gets shipped out as the HU.

    I do not believe HU's are work well when used as intermediate products.

    HU's can add great value in warehouse operations, shipping and receiving and inventory control. Especially where RF scanners can be used.

    But from a quality perspective, you are still going to be dealing with batches primarily.


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