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As follow up to the last MKS and, today I would like to explain the capabilities of the TM 9.1 3-D load plan visualization using SAP Visual Business. Of course SAP VB is included in the SAP TM license. Oh boy, this is going to be a colorful blog today.

Within the SAP TM 9.1 user interfaces supporting the load planning (Freight Order and Transportation Cockpit), it is possible to configure the load plan specific section in a way that it either displays the relevant information in a purely table based fashion, or combined together with a 3-D model to support the understanding of the load planning result. This 3-D model allows the planner to browse through the data, get the required information attached to the objects, highlight or hide objects and trigger custom actions.

Disclaimer: Some of the example screenshots might not fit to a real load plan regarding loading security. I did not switch on the required rule for height difference between stacks. Loading security is fore sure a good topic for an additional MKS. Don't worry, we keep that in mind.

In the basic view, the load plan including the items and resource is displayed in a perspective view. The cargo body of the resource displays grid lines for measure info. Axles are colored depending on the load distribution. Unloaded items are displayed in front of the vehicle. For each object a tooltip is available when hovering over it.

Load Plan 3-D visualization - perspective view with item tooltip

When left-clicking an object, a detailed information window is displayed.

Load Plan 3-D visualization - item details

A right-click on the scene opens up a menu. Here multiple functions are available. For example you can hide the resource or grid. Let's focus first on the view. It is possible to switch to different standard camera positions (of course you can also freely navigate through the scene by zooming and rotating it, if you like to see the truck from below, feel free to do so 🙂 ). For example we pick 'Top'.

Load Plan 3-D visualization - scene menu, switch to top view

Load Plan 3-D visualization - top view

Load Plan 3-D visualization - right side view

Did you notice the 3-D cube in the upper left corner? It shows the current rotation of the scene. By double clicking it you can always return to the standard perspective.

Next feature is the function to display unloaded items. To not mess up the 3-D scene with too many unloaded items when first displaying the load plan, only a single unloaded item is shown. Within the context menu, you can select 'Show all' and see all of them.

Load Plan 3-D visualization - show all unloaded items

Load Plan 3-D visualization - all unloaded items displayed

As promised, it is possible to browse the load plan. For example, the planner can color items by selected attributes like destination, product, or stackability.

Load Plan 3-D visualization - color items by...

Load Plan 3-D visualization - items colored by destination

Last feature for today is hiding specific items. From the item menu, you can select multiple functions to manipulate the scene the way you like. For example you can hide the complete level.

Load Plan 3-D visualization - Hide certain items

Load Plan 3-D visualization - Hidden level

Extension capabilities

What I have shown above is a set of standard functions within the 3-D model. In case this is not sufficient, it can be enhanced easily by using the provided enhancement spot. Here it is basically possible to manipulate anything starting from colors, information available in the tooltip or details window, up to attached functions in the menu. If the project requirements for example demand a different item coloring (by customer, dangerous goods relevance, ...), this can be done here. Also I can think of some project specific manual load plan adjustments....

We will come up with an enhancement guide similar to the TM&EM Geo-Map guide


Can I move items around within the 3-D model? No, but... The TM 9.1 load plan is a result of the automatic load planning including load distribution information. A manual change is not (yet) supported in standard. In general SAP Visual Business supports drag and drop, but we do not use it here (yet). For a customer project? I can imagine this very well... Maybe not completely freely in space, but having fixed rows. Or dropping an item onto another.

Merry Christmas!