Efficient internal material transport is crucial for smooth workflows at company sites, especially in production and warehouse environments. A well-designed, systemically supported transport system helps to increase productivity, optimize stock levels and improve the overall efficiency of operational processes.
It is not uncommon for long search times, unreliable material supply and disposal and inefficient use of resources to occur within in-house material transport. There is also a lack of transparency with regard to stocks in the transportation process. The reasons for this are that transports are not handled in a system-supported or inter-system manner.
Smooth, efficient materials movement requires modern, system-supported solutions that ensure the objects arrive to the right place at the right time with minimal use of resources.
Körber has developed “K.Motion S/TCS” (Transport Control System), a powerful, SAP-integrated add-on, for precisely this purpose. The product, which was launched for the first time in 2018, was developed using modern SAP technologies. It follows a generic approach that ensures seamless interaction with various SAP modules such as PP, EWM or MM. K.Motion S/TCS offers a wide range of functions that enable the efficient, flexible planning and control of internal transport processes with maximum transparency.
As well as mandatory components for master data management, reporting and analytics, K.Motion S/TCS includes extensive functions for order management and packing, and also to plan and control internal transportation.
Order management: management of transport requirements and efficient allocation of vehicles and means of transport
K.Motion S/TCS can take undertake transport needs from connected modules or processes, and it can also generate transfer requirements autonomously, for example via material documents. The fact that even cross-platform processing is possible (parallel operation of SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA) should be emphasized. Together with the transfer or generation, transport stages are determined based on the stored network, and the transport orders, including any specific properties, are created. Properties can be requirements for the resource or simply a prioritization.
Packing: Bundling transport requirements for efficient transportation
For efficient processing, it is often necessary to pack materials into transport containers across multiple documents. Packing means bundling or consolidating any materials onto or into transport containers. Transport containers can be pallets, pallet cages or cartons. In SAP terms, transport containers correspond to an HU (Handling Unit). Pick HUs can be created in goods receipt and further consolidated into collective HUs. HUs are unique and the leading technical object for internal transportation processing. Materials can be packed or unpacked during transportation. In both cases, the packing process takes place via modern SAP UI5 dialogs.
Transport Control: Effective planning and control of transport movements
Transport Control comprises a range of functions that are required for planning and executing transports. Transportation needs can be planned either rule-based, automatically or manually based on resources. Of course, automated planning as far as possible is the aim. The rules are designed in such a way that they can be individually adapted to specific customer’s requirements. The resources are all types of industrial trucks such as forklifts, tugger trains or driverless transport systems. They are stored together with properties and schedules in the system’s master data.
The processing of transports is also supported by modern SAP UI5 dialogs. Users have access to numerous functions that can be operated on mobile data terminals.
Internal transportation consists of activities. Activities describe tasks that are to be carried out as part of the transport. The activities for which feedback is expected can be set individually. Activities and feedback reports can be used to track transports seamlessly and to determine key performance indicators.
Control workstations are provided to keep an overview at all times. Current information on resources, transport orders or packages (HUs) can be displayed depending on requirements. Reports on the stocks and contents of transport containers are also available.
Master data management: Flexible management of locations and networks
K.Motion S/TCS is an application that allows multi-location management. For internal transport processing, the locations must be described via networks consisting of locations (start, destination and transshipment points) and transportation relationships.
Summary: A powerful solution for internal transport logistics
Overall, K.Motion S/TCS offers a wide range of functions that ensure efficient control of internal transport processes. Seamless integration into SAP, flexible handling of packing processes, comprehensive master data management and efficient resource and order management make this add-on a holistic solution for companies looking to optimize their logistics processes.
The following is a further overview of the key performance features:
• Multi-location management
• Description of networks via locations and transport relationships
• Resource management (forklift, tugger train, ...) incl. compatibilities
• Module for swap body handling
• User exits to integrate customized strategies
• Packing in goods receipt (e.g. HU from pick order, collective HU)
• Packing in shipping
• Loading control
• Printing labels and loading lists
• Creation of deliveries and SAP transports
• Query of stocks at locations
• Query of container contents
• Takeover of transport needs from connected systems (SAP LES, SAP EWM, SAP MES, SAP PP, proprietary, ...)
• Transportation stage determination
• Status management
Planning and controlling
• Rule-based planning of transport orders on resources
• Manual assignment
• Planning point-to-point transports and multi-stop transports
• Planning route trains
• Planning based on timetables
• Push processing (transport order is assigned)
• Pull processing (resource selects transport order)
• Processing initiated by driver
• Monitoring via control workstations
• Support of various processing variants (e.g. load collective HU to resource; unload collective HU at rail station; distribution of HUs in building/hall circle)
• Acknowledgment of activities