Material classification in SAP is used to identify materials which have similar properties and constructs. This is called as variant configuration in SAP. This method reduces the number of material masters created for materials which has similar properties. Material classification can also be used maintain the material characteristics which describes the material separately so that we can maintain the material master and maintain its characteristic values separately.
For example, if we consider the car manufacturing process, color of a car can be considered as a characteristic of a car. We can maintain the material master for the car and create a material classification. Then we can create and assign the color as a characteristic to the material class.
Material Classification in SAP
Material classes are created and assigned to the material master. Material classification system in SAP mainly consists of classes and characteristics. Characteristics are used to capture the attributes of a material or an object. Below steps are used in SAP to define classes and assign it to the material master.
1. Create characteristics for each of the properties of the material.
2. Create a class. There are several class types available in SAP. For material classes we use the type 001. Below are some of the other class types available in SAP.
- 002 Equipment Class
- 003 Functional Location
- 005 Inspection Characteristics
- 006 Inspection Methods
- 007 Code Groups
- 008 Selected Sets
- 009 Production Resources and Tools
- 010 Vendor Class
- 011 Customer Class
- 018 Task List Class
- 019 Work Center Class
- 023 Batch Class
3. Link the characteristics and the class.
4. Assign the class to the material master.
Characteristics are used to describe the attributes and properties of a material. The properties can be quantitative or qualitative. For example, color is a qualitative characteristic while density, viscosity are quantitative characteristics of a material. Characteristics in SAP can be created with the transaction code CT04. Below are some of the key information entered during the characteristic definition.
- Characteristic name – Name is used to uniquely identify the characteristic.
- Description – Description of the characteristic.
- Status – Status of the characteristic. There are three statuses. In preparation, locked and released.
- Data type – This is the data type of the characteristic. It can be numeric, char or date time format.
- Number of chars – This is the number of characters the characteristic can contain.
- Decimal places – If the data type is numeric then we can give the decimal places.
- Entry Required – If the user has to record a value for the characteristic or if you want to make the recording mandatory, we can use this indicator.
- Values – In the values tab we can give different values that should be displayed by default. Then the user can select the value which is required.
- Restrictions – We can restrict the usage of the characteristic in classes. Eg:- If we want enable the characteristic to be used in only material classes, we can indicate that in the restrictions tab.
Create Class and Assign Characteristic in SAP
Once the characteristics are created, the next step is to create a class and assign the characteristics. As mentioned earlier there are many class types available in SAP. Classes can be created, changed, and displayed from the transaction codes CL01, CL02 and CL03. Below are the details which are maintained in a class.
- Class Name – This is the name of the class. We can use the name to uniquely identify the class.
- Class type – Based on the requirement, select the class type. For material classes select the type 001.
- Valid from – Date from which the class is valid.
- Description – Description of the class
- Char – In the char tab, we can maintain the characteristic which belongs to the class. Characteristic properties will be copied to the class.
We can’t assign the same characteristic to the same class and class type for more than once. However, we can assign the same characteristic to different classes of the same class type or different class types unless the characteristic is not restricted.
Assign Class to SAP Material Master
Final step of the material classification process is to assign the created classes to the material master. We can then update the characteristic values which are unique for that material. To add the class to the material master, the classification tab should be available. If the classification tab is not available, we can create it from the transaction code MM01. If the classification tab is already created, we can use the transaction code MM02 to add the class to the material master.
Once the class is entered, save the material master. We can use the same classification process if we want to use variant configuration. There are advance functions of classifications such as precondition, actions, and selection conditions. These are also known as object dependencies. This enables the users to maintain logical dependencies and grouping of characteristics with each other.
We can also use the transaction code CL24N to assign classes to a material. This transaction is dedicated for class assignment and processing.
Finding Objects in an SAP Class
Once the characteristic values are assigned in the material master, we can search for those from the transaction CL30N. This is useful to identify the objects which has a specific class assigned and the value assigned. Follow the below steps to find the objects.
- Enter the class name and the class type and enter.
- This will bring the characteristics assigned to that class.
- Enter the characteristic value that you want to search. Then click on the “find in initial class” button.
Now the system will bring up the objects which match the search results. There are several other options available in this view such as directly navigate to the material master edit mode and update the material, view the stock situation of the material, and save the current layout settings. This search function can be used for any class type, which is useful if material classification is enabled in SAP.
This concludes the material classification maintenance process in SAP.
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