Application of the Cutting Stock Problem to a Construction Company: A Case Study

1200cm long steel bars at the Izmit – Tupras Construction site waiting to be cut.
1200cm long steel bars at the Izmit – Tupras Construction site waiting to be cut.

This paper presents an application of the well-known cutting stock problem to a construction firm. The goal of the 1Dimensional (1D) cutting stock problem is to cut the bars of desired lengths in required quantities from longer bars of given length. The company for which we carried out this study encounters 1D cutting stock problem in cutting steel bars (reinforcement bars) for its construction projects. We have developed several solution approaches to solving the company’s problem: Building and solving an integer programming (IP) model in a modeling environment, developing our own software that uses a mixed integer programming (MIP) software library, and testing some of the commercial software packages available on the internet. In this paper, we summarize our experiences with all the three approaches. We also present a benchmark of existing commercial software packages, and some critical insights. Finally, we suggest a visual approach for increasing performance in solving the cutting stock problem and demonstrate the applicability of this approach using the company’s data on two construction projects.

Alp, S., Ertek, G. and Birbil, S. I. (2006). “Application of the cutting stock problem to a construction company: A case study.” 5th International Symposium on Intelligent Manufacturing Systems, Sakarya, Turkey.

Note: This is the final draft version of this paper. Please cite this paper (or this final draft) as above.

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Application of the Cutting Stock Problem to a Construction Company: A Case Study

Dr. Gürdal Ertek recommends the following related books:


Operations Research: An Introduction (9th Edition) 9th Edition


Optimization in Operations Research 1st Edition