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 Mobile Data Entry 

Purpose

Currently, the work process in the warehouse is characterized by speed, reliability, and precision in processing individual goods movements. To make sure that work is performed efficiently and at a reasonable cost, the warehouse staff requires simple and easy-to-view control of each individual process. The radio frequency (RF) solution provides fast and error-free data communication through the use of mobile RF terminals. This, in turn, provides a high standard of quality.

The RF terminals receive data directly from the SAP System and transmit the results back to the system. You can scan the information that needs to be recorded, such as storage unit numbers, using a bar code (for example, based on UCC/EAN128 standards), and also use the bar code scan to verify the storage bins.

The display of information on the RF terminal is possible with a graphical user interface. You can execute the individual functions using pushbuttons on a touch screen. If you are using a character-based device, SAP provides a special, non-graphic user interface.

Integration

In handling unit-managed storage locations, the RF solution supports the movement of goods through the specification of the respective handling units. If you are working without handling unit-managed storage locations, you can work with handling units as up to now in the delivery and in the shipment. For more information, see

Handling Unit Management.

Features

RF devices utilize the standard SAPGui (GUI = Graphical User Interface) screen management environment to interact with the users. The screens are designed for normal device functions, such as the use of pushbuttons and reduced screen size.

Currently, two device types are supported:

  1. GUI devices (with graphical user interface) that run on Windows 3.x/95
  2. Character devices (that is, character-based) under terminal emulation mode

The same set of screens is used by the GUI and character-based environments.

GUI Devices

These devices are connected to the SAP System just like any other client-dependent PC. The screens can be touch screens, using predefined pushbuttons, or they can operate using a keyboard. If you are using touch screens, you simply "touch" the appropriate positions on the touch screen instead of clicking with the mouse on a pushbutton.

System fonts and size should correspond to the guidelines provided in order to achieve optimal utilization of the screen size.

Character-Based Devices

These devices are linked to the system through an SAP standard interface called the SAPConsole. The SAPConsole operates on a Windows NT platform and interacts with the RF terminals connected to it. This concept is currently supported by the leading providers of RF terminals.

The actual communication between the SAPConsole and the terminals can be achieved either through the use of a standard Telnet server or through an optimized server that is provided by the RF terminal vendor. These specific I/O engines are integrated into the SAPConsole, which is based on the COM technology.

The following two industry standards for screen sizes are supported:

  1. Devices for forklifts: 8 lines by 40 characters each
  2. Portable handheld devices: 16 lines by 20 characters each

In addition, with user exits, you can define user-specific display sizes that allow every device type to be supported.

With all device types, navigation takes place through function codes that have to be defined on the keyboard.

Settings for Function Keys

Due to the character mode of the RF devices, pushbuttons must be used for all available functions. You should set up the RF device so that it corresponds to the standard function keys.

The standard layout of the RF screens is designed in such a way that the pushbuttons for the key functions are located in the upper half of the screen, while additional pushbuttons are set in the lower half of the screen.

The settings for the function keys are explained in the relevant sections.

Pushbutton Enter:

  • As a stand-alone pushbutton, you can use Enter to check the verification fields.
    • In Customizing for Mobile Data Entry you can replace up to five pushbuttons in a sequence with one click on Enter. Customize this substitution by choosing Default Enter Function (Navigation with Bar Code Scanner). First, assign types to the physical screen by selecting Default Enter Function (Navigation with Bar Code Scanner) ® Categorization of Physical Screens. In the second table, Default Enter Function (Navigation with Bar Code Scanner) ® Pushbutton Sequence, define which pushbuttons are to be activated by using Enter.

    The above mentioned tables contain a Customizing proposal for the Enter pushbutton. For more information, see description in the Implementation Guide (IMG)

    Default Enter Function.

    Supported pushbutton codes and the corresponding activity:

    Function Code

    Activity

    PGDN

    Proceed to next item

    SAVE

    Save

    CMPL

    Save and proceed to next screen

    BACK

    Go back to previous screen (only supported for source screens)

     

    Flexibility of the RF Solution

    Different user-specific application options are available in the Customizing application:

    • User-defined screen management enables you to customize the size and the number of screens.
    • User-defined menu management enables you to assign certain transactions to user roles.
    • Definition of fields to be verified, such as storage bin or storage unit
    • Support of different bar code types and the use of application identifiers (AI), also for combined bar codes
    • User exits to control the sequence during transfer order processing

    Integrated RF Solution Versus IDoc Solution

    Radio Frequency

    WM WCU / MM MOB

    Integrated solution

    Asynchronous solution

    No middleware

    Partner software

    Immediate system response enables the user to react instantly

    Entry control in the SAP System only possible with time delay

    Latest functions available after each new release

    Static solution

    Standard screens can be customized

    Dialogs can be customized individually using partner software

     

    Since the RF solution is an integral part of the standard SAP System, you can access the RF transactions either directly through the SAP menu or from mobile data-entry devices (graphical and non-graphical). Generated information is available to the RF user immediately and transmitted back to the SAP database instantly.

    User Management

    Each RF user must be assigned to the following parameters, which have to be entered in the Customizing for Mobile Data Entry by choosing RF-Queue Management ® Assign Processor to Queues. The main screen, screen format, and screen variant can be changed during logon by the relevant user. To change the warehouse number and the queue, choose Internal Warehouse Processes ® Queue Change.

    • Main Menu:
    • Identifies the group of functions provided for the relevant user.
    • Warehouse Number:
    • Each user can have only one warehouse number assigned at any one time.
    • Queue:
    • Determines the area in the warehouse where the user executes operations and the specific types of operations.
    • Screen Format (Presentation Type):
    • Each user can select one of the two standard presentation types (8x40 and 16x20) to match the device type used.
    • Screen Variant (User Exit Version):
    • Several or all screens can be customized with respect to size and the scope of information displayed. It is possible to set one screen that uses the user exit and another screen that uses the standard screens, based on the selected presentation type.

    Menu Management

    You can change the proposed

    RF Menu and adjust it according to your own preferences in Customizing for Mobile Data Entry by choosing Define Menu Management.

    The menu paths in the respective chapters are valid only for the delivered RF Menu.

    RF-Supported Processes

    The RF solution guides the user through each activity that is executed in the warehouse. Limited information is displayed to the users, which they must then verify by scanning bar codes.

    The following internal and external warehouse activities are supported by the RF connection:

    • Goods receipt
    • Goods issue
    • Putaway
    • Interleaving
    • Picking
    • Pick and pack
    • Inventory
    • Posting changes
    • Pack/unpack
    • Load/unload
    • Various inquiry options

    For an overview of RF-supported handling unit processes, see also

    Radio Frequency.

    Depending upon the required Customizing settings, the following rules apply:

    • Queue assignment:

    The user assigned to a queue may only perform the activities allowed for this queue (for example, picking) if the

    access to transfer orders is limited.
    • Two-step confirmation:

    Material picking and material transfer are confirmed in two separate steps, and the data is updated in the database after each of these physical steps. This forms the basis of the recovery functionality, that is, resuming the transaction or activity without loss of data.