Apologies for the cut/paste response, but the Manhattan help files have a pretty good starting point:
Cubing is performed during the by Warehouse Management (WM) to automatically determine what SKUs should be packed in cartons and how these cartons should be packed. There are two ways outbound container information can be determined: Either the user tells WM, or WM determines for the user. The latter is called cubing (or cartonization).
During the picking wave, the system determines the carton and pallet content for each pickticket. This carton-level information can be used to produce labels, to facilitate picking, or to interface to Material Handling Equipment (MHE). A Cubing indicator is sent from the host in the pickticket file, which tells WM if Cubing should be performed, and if so, what type of Cubing to use (such as Cartonize to Capacity and Cartonize Single SKU Only). Pickers will pick and pack items directly into the carton(s) specified by WM.
In Cartonizing to Capacity, the units on the picktickets are cubed into shipping cartons using the SKU weight, volume, and critical dimensions. Critical dimensions of a SKU refer to the special or unique dimensions that dictate how the SKU should be cubed (such as the length of a golf club). For WM to perform Cubing, valid carton sizes and carton types must be set up in the table. The carton type may be obtained from the pickticket detail bridged down from the host. If the carton type is not sent by the host, then WM will reference this information from the Item Master and if needed, the default value from the Warehouse Master will be used. Once the carton size and type are setup, WM calculates the best size carton to assign SKUs to.
Cartonizing Single SKUs means that WM will only cube one SKU in each carton.
If the Wave Processing Type (WPT) indicates that full LPN pulls are performed from reserve, then carton records are generated for these LPNs.
When Cubing is performed on loose units, WM first sequences the units using the following values:
Pallet Type - Pallet type is used to ensure that items with the same pallet type are processed together.
Carton Type - WM will sequence the carton type so that during Cubing, items with the same carton type are processed together.
Carton Break Attribute - This value can be found in the pickticket detail table and can be maintained in the Item Master. The Carton Break Attribute tells WM the SKU(s) that are not to be packed with the current SKU in question (for example: Sugar should not be packed with water, so sugar has carton break attribute of water and vice versa).
Location ID - Location ID is sequenced so WM can cube items in the best pick sequence.
SKU ID - SKU ID is sequenced so similar items may be packed together.
After the units are sequenced, WM attempts to cube SKUs according to this sequenced list into the largest carton size based on volume. Next, WM determines whether the contents can fit in a smaller size box based on volume. If there is sufficient volume in the smaller size box, WM checks if the packed weight exceeds the weight tolerance of the carton and its critical dimensions. The process of selecting a smaller size container continues until the box fails on the volume. The last box that had sufficient volume for the items will be used.
Note Two SKUs with different Pallet Types will not be cubed together.
Based on the value set in Pallet Cubing Indicator, WM performs double cubing (also known as, pallet cubing) for the for cartons cubed from the pickticket in the wave. As cartons are palletized, WM tracks the total weight, volume, and number of cartons for the pallet and ensures that they exceed the container minimum weight, volume, and number.
Note Double cubing is supported only in non-retail facilities.
You can also specify how to separate cartons according to the area, zone, and aisle change in the Wave Template option.