Even though it has been almost a year since the release of EWM 9.4, I have had a few people questions me about these features. That is why I decided to write about this topic, please find below a short summary of each feature.
Batch Management at Plant Level
With this new feature businesses are able to have a unique batch number at warehouse level in EWM. The batch number is only known in the warehouse in which it was created, in case you transfer this batch to another warehouse. A new batch number will be created in the receiving warehouse, as the system does not adopt any data from the supplying warehouse.
MFS with TCP Communication
Everyone would have been waiting for this new enhancement, now EWM can directly communicate with the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) with the help of MFS. With the help of ABAP Push Channel TCP socket communication layer of SAP NetWeaver this enables EWM to communicate with the extern data sources such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) or Conveyor Belts. In the previous versions, there was a need for middleware for the communication. With the elimination of the additional middleware, a higher percentage of messages will be delivered correctly to the receiver.
Physical Inventory using Radio Frequency
Now you can perform the following actions with the Radio Frequency (RF) device:
- Perform Handling Unit (HU) count by entering the total count results without verifying each HU number.
- Product count by entering the product quantity of a full HU and the total number of HU’s plus the product quantity in partial HU’s instead of specifying each HU number.
- Create a physical inventory count document for a selected storage bin.
- Ad-hoc physical inventory count without having an upfront inventory document.
In the RF transaction you can perform a single pick confirmation for the total quantity of the combined warehouse tasks (WT), these WT’s can only be combined if they have the following matching attributes:
- Source bin
- Source HU
- Pick HU
- Stock key
- Alternative unit of measure
- WT consolidation group
RF Picking Performance
This feature enables you to optimize system performance during RF picking and the existing ability to activate asynchronous delivery updates during pick warehouse task confirmation, besides that you can now also activate asynchronous pick warehouse task confirmation.
Configure Pick by Voice
There are three things which can be done in this release:
- Determine validation profiles by data entry type
- Maintain voice properties for voice texts
- Maintain storage bin verification values for pick by voice
Now you can handle cargo that which needs to be screened or has already been screened for air cargo security and also handle seals in the transit warehouse:
- Air Cargo Security Handling: With this feature one can ensure that the official air cargo security requirements have been met before the transportation.
- Seals: To prevent fraud, theft or any other manipulation, seals are used in EWM and TM, these seals are applied to the HU-, TU containers and TU’s in EWM. This feature enables you to create/update seals and information transfer between EWM and TM.
Integration between TM and EWM
The improvement of the communication between TM and EWM, is one of the most important improvement. This also as there are rumours that TM will be embedded into the S/4 HANA next release of 1709 in September this year, as the second step of the integration. This means that the information flow will be changed in some cases, see below what the effects will be. Both systems update each other as soon as something takes place during the in- or outbound process.
The integration of MFS and TM are both the most important feature in the 9.4 release, also looking forward to the S/4 HANA 1709 release this year in which TM will be embedded. By removing the middleware and having to use IDOC’s, the reduced complexity will benefit the customers as less messages will be stuck in the queue and the efficiency of the operation will further improve.