This topic describes how the batch balancing process is supported.
In the batch balancing process, the amount of ingredients to use in a production batch is calculated from the concentration of active ingredients in selected product batches.
Products that have an active ingredient
A product can be defined by its concentration of an active ingredient. The active ingredient of a product is modeled by using a product-specific batch attribute that has a minimum value, a maximum value, and a target level.
The target level of a batch attribute represents the estimated percentage of an active ingredient in a product. The minimum and maximum values represent the accepted deviation from the target level. They can be used, for example, as an accepted tolerance for batches at product receipt.
A product can have only one active ingredient. To specify the active ingredient of a product, you must first define a product-specific batch attribute. You then associate the attribute as a base attribute of the product.
On the product level, you must also specify how the level of the active ingredient for a batch of the product should be recorded: as part of the purchase receipt process or as part of a quality order process.
To associate a base attribute with a product, the following setup is required:
The product must be batch-controlled. To make a product batch-controlled, you must assign a tracking dimension group to the product that has an active Batch dimension.
The attribute that indicates the ingredient levels must be defined as a product-specific batch attribute for the product.
You can look up and edit the actual value of the active ingredient for a batch on the Inventory batch attributes page.
- Select Inventory management > Inquiries and reports > Tracking dimensions > Batches > Inventory batch attributes.
Ingredient types and how they interact in the batch balancing process
A formula line that is created can have one of these ingredient types:
The rest of this section provides examples that show how each ingredient type works. The examples are based on the following formula that has a total batch size of 100 liters.
|Ingredient type||Item number||Formula line quantity||Unit|
When a product that has a base attribute is added to a formula line, it's referred to as an active ingredient of the formula. Batch orders that have formulas that include active ingredients can be used for the batch balancing process. For each ingredient in the formula, the batch balancing process estimates the amount that is required to produce the product. The estimate of amounts is based on the concentration of active ingredients in the selected batches.
Ingredient B has base attribute X and a target level of 30, and it's included in a formula that requires 30 liters of ingredient B for every 100 liters of the product. A batch order is created that has a batch size of 100 liters. The batch order is started, and during the batch balancing process, the user selects a batch of ingredient B that has a potency level of 35. Because the potency level of 35 is higher than the target level of 30, the balanced quantity of ingredient B is reduced by using the ratio of the potency value to the target level of the batch, which is multiplied by the estimated quantity. The calculation of the balanced quantity looks like this:
(30 ÷ 35) × 30 liters = 25.71 liters
|Item number||Ingredient type||Estimated quantity||Balanced quantity||Active quantity||Unit||Base value|
When you apply the batch balancing process when the ingredient type is None, the estimated quantity and the balanced quantity of the formula line in the batch order are the same.
Ingredient A is assigned to an ingredient of the None type and added to a formula for a finished product. The formula requires 10 liters of ingredient A for every 100 liters of the finished product. When a batch order requires 200 liters, both the estimated quantity and the balanced quantity of ingredient A are calculated as 20 liters.
A compensating ingredient can either offset or complement the effect of the active ingredient in a product. Therefore, the quantity of a compensating ingredient that is consumed depends on the potency of the product:
Opposing effect – If the amount of the active ingredient is more than anticipated, you must add less of the compensating ingredient.
Complementary effect – If the amount of the active ingredient is less than anticipated, you must add more of the compensating ingredient.
The relation between an active ingredient and a complementary ingredient is set up on the Compensating principle page.
Follow these steps to set up relations between ingredients.
Select Product information management > Bills and materials and formulas > Formulas, open a formula line, and then select Ingredients to open the Compensating principle page.
Select the line that represents a compensating principle, and then select the active ingredient to compensate.
In the compensating principle, you also enter a positive or negative compensating factor to specify how much to compensate for, and whether the principle should be opposing or complementary. A positive factor indicates a complementary effect, and a negative factor indicates an opposing effect.
Ingredient B is an active ingredient that has base attribute X and a target level of 30. It's included in a formula that requires 30 liters of ingredient B for every 100 liters of the product. Ingredient C is a compensating ingredient, and a quantity of 10 is included in the same formula. A compensating factor of 1.10 is set up for the compensating principle. Therefore, the balanced quantity of the compensating ingredient will be reduced by the difference between the active ingredient's balanced quantity and the estimated required quantity multiplied by 1.10.
In the example for the Active ingredient type, the balanced quantity of the required active ingredient was calculated as 25.71, and the estimated required quantity was calculated as 30. In this case, the balanced quantity of the compensating ingredient will be calculated like this:
- The difference between the estimated and the balanced quantity is determined:
25.71 – 30 = –4.29
- The result is multiplied by the compensating factor:
4.29 × 1.10 = –4.72
- The estimated compensating quantity is reduced by –4.72 to determine the balanced compensating quantity:
10 – (–4.72) = 14.72
Because 1.10 is a positive compensating factor, this compensating principle has a complementary effect. In this case, the active ingredient is more potent than anticipated. Therefore, more of the compensating ingredient is required.
A filler ingredient is a neutral ingredient that is used to reach the desired output quantity of the finished product. Adjustments to filler quantities are calculated based on variations in the active ingredient and the compensating ingredient compared to the standard quantity.
You've formulated a product that includes ingredients A, B, C, and D for a formula size of 100 liters. You've calculated the balanced quantity of all the ingredient types except the Filler ingredient type that is used on one line. The balanced quantity of the filler ingredient is calculated as the difference between the batch size of 100 liters and the sum of ingredients A, B, and C:
100 – (20 + 25.71 + 14.72) = 39.57
The batch balancing process
The batch balancing process is performed from the Batch balancing page. Select Cost management > Batch orders, and then, on the Process tab, select Batch balancing. Batch balancing is available for batch orders that have a status of Started.
In general, batch balancing can be applied to batch orders if the formula has at least one formula line where the ingredient type is Active. (For the exception to this rule, see the "Batch orders that aren't applicable for batch balancing" section later in this topic.)
The batch balancing process can be divided into two subprocesses:
Balance batch ingredients
Confirm and release the formula
Balance batch ingredients
In the Balance batch ingredients subprocess, the amount of ingredients to use for the production batch is calculated based on the selected batches that have active ingredients. As a rule, the calculation can be completed only if there is full coverage of all ingredients. You can't balance only part of the batch that the batch order is set up to produce.
[!NOTE] You can't save a calculation and then complete the batch balancing process later. If you close the Batch balancing page, you must repeat the calculation to complete the process.
Confirm and release the formula
After the ingredient quantities have been calculated, you can confirm and release the formula. The release process differs, depending on whether the products are enabled for the warehouse management processes:
- If a product is enabled for the warehouse management processes, the formula line is released to the warehouse according to the principles for the warehouse management processes. The formula line is released in quantities that match the balanced quantities, and it's released for the specific batches that are selected for the active ingredients.
Formula lines can be released to warehouse only as part of the batch balancing process. Although there are other options for releasing materials for production to warehouse, those options can't be used for formula lines.
- If a product isn't enabled for the warehouse management processes, a production picking list is created for the product when you confirm and release the formula.
In a single formula, you can combine products that are enabled for the warehouse management processes and products that aren't enabled for the warehouse management processes. When the two types of products are included in one formula, the products that are enabled for the warehouse management processes are released to warehouse. For the products that aren't enabled for the warehouse management processes, a picking list is created when the formula is confirmed and released.
Batch orders that aren't applicable for batch balancing
There is one exception to the rule that batch orders are applicable for batch balancing if the formula has at least one formula line where the ingredient type is Active.
If a formula contains an active ingredient for a product that is enabled for the warehouse management processes, but Batch number is below Location in the reservation hierarchy, the batch order isn't applicable for batch balancing.
A batch order that isn't applicable for batch balancing goes through the regular process cycle for batch orders.