Rack Interface and Terminal Automation

At ABS we are experts in implementing Rack Interfaces from Terminals to SAP and related terminal automation solutions.  Rack Interface refers to the mechanism that transfer movements (sales, transfer and purchases)  from various terminals and loading facilities to the ERP system for billing and other logistical and accounting entries.   Building such interfaces to SAP is highly complicated, time consuming and requires an array of technical and business experts.

We have a long history of implementing rack interfaces and Bill-of-Lading (BOL) processing systems for major companies. We have developed an SAP certified solution TMW (Transaction Management workbench) just for this purpose. By using TMW you will significantly reduce risk, cut the implementation time to a fraction of the usual time and save money


  •       SAP certified product
  •       Substantial savings on programming effort of up to 80%
  •       Lower maintenance costs
  •       Substantial savings in implementation time
  •       Accurate and faster billing, within minutes for ticket/BOL arrivals
  •       Full user interface within SAP
  •       Robust error handling functionality through user interface
  •       Fast interface deployment for Rack/Bulk and Crude oil transactions
  •       Handling of corrections including reversals and rebooks
  •       TMW is a configurable platform will accommodate your expanding business needs with ease
  •       TMW provides a central point to manage all of the BOL’s interfaces in the SAP environment
  •       Sarbanes-Oxley compliant with strong internal controls and audit traces
  •       Bill-Of-Lading’s statistics reports
  •       TMW provides a highly flexible method of viewing interface data in numerous ways
  •       Various actions can be/are automated, including reversals and reversal/rebooks
  •       Manual transactions can be processed in TMW
  •       Data can be transmitted to outside sources from TMW
  •       Deployment at loading racks with touch screens in for driver and loader interface (HMI).

Technical Overview of TMW

TMW is central point for the following:

  • Rack Transaction and Bills-of-Lading (BOLs)
  • Terminal movements
  • Manually ticketed transaction
  • Movement ticketed using TMW as HMI in the field.

All activity entering TMW will be validated based on specific business rules, movements activities, the use of a Middle Ware is optional. Once the BOL data is validated it passed to the actualization module of TMW in order to produce the required SAP documents.  During the processing of BOL activity TMW maintains robust error processing capabilities and full user interface.

Terminal Automation Hardware (Equipment)

TMW can be used to ticket terminal activity at loading racks in terminals of refineries, using touch screens (class 1 div 1 rated). TMW is able to communicate to scales and meters and record  BOL quantities then print the BOL.

Ticketing occurs by the driver or the loader, ticketing process starts by entering a planned order number or customer number.

The equipment used to ticket at class 1 div areas are purged systems.

Our Terminal Automation Methodology

Implementing a terminal automation system along with the backend office processing depends on the specific company requirements and needs, there are however common considerations. The following are some of the consideration that must assessed for each implementation:

  1. The number of feeds i.e. the number electric data formats of data.
  2. The level of translations needed in order translate (map) terminal codes to SAP codes, this includes customer codes, material codes, terminals codes and carrier codes.
  3. The number of business scenarios, for example sale from inventory, purchase to sale, exchange receipt to sale, exchange delivery etc.
  4. Handling of errors and validating the date prior to invoicing.
  5. The level of planning of rack or terminal transactions. Loading of fuels is not typically planned at load level other products like lubes are planned for each load.
  6. Special process for example milk runs and delivered metered off business.

Our methodology starts by addressing the above points at the start of the implementation of the rack (terminal) automation system. Based on the answers we get for the above points that we can predict the length of implementation and level of customization needed.


The following diagram explains the loading process with or without the use of planned orders. Planned orders are used when there is a need to pre-plan the load in advance, this common for Lubricants, Asphalt and Chemicals. The Planned Order is created based on a customer phone call, email or other means of communication. The planned order is communicated typical to the following parties:

  • Loading Terminal
  • Customer
  • Carrier

TMW provides a complete to solution to manage planned orders in SAP from START to FINISH.

Loading start by the driver or the loader interfacing with local automation system (TAS- Terminal Automation System) in one of 3 ways:

  • By entering planned order number OR
  • By number a customer (consignee) number
  • By entering deal number       

Note: TMW can be used as the local automation system (TAS) within the SAP environment.

Once loading is complete, a BOL is created and given to the driver and communicated to TMW automatically for customer billing.