Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI
The solution of cutting and packing problems plays an important role in various industrial branches. SCAI can offer long-term expertise in applying discrete methods to two- and three-dimensional arrangement problems. Not committed to a specific algorithmic paradigm, the focus of our projects is on the efficient solution of industrial problem instances, considering and exploiting the special problem structures. Application areas include leather and textile manufacturing industry (NESTING), VLSI physical design of integrated circuits (ROUTING), and packaging problems in the automotive industry (3D-PACK).
Another field of research focused on by SCAI is machine allocation. In many industries there is a great potential of optimization in this regard, e.g. in the automotive industry and other lines of production manufacturing in series.
Material flow simulation
Computer-aided simulation of production systems supports the strategic, tactical, and operational management in planning and improving layout, logic, and dimensioning of the whole supply chain. Several options can be compared, and advantageous values for parameters can be determined experimentally. Oftentimes the simulation results inspire to far reaching optimization steps.
Our Coil Nesting project examines a production planning problem in the automotive industry. For a given set of sheet metal pieces that are necessary for a car, the software determines the best material, the best material width and the best grouping of pieces that have to be manufactured together on the same machine. The objective is to minimize the total cost of the production process.
The project MBOpt deals with long-term capacity planning concerning the production of car bodies. Given a large set of required toolkits on the one hand and a set of machines on the other, toolkits must be assigned to machines. The software computes an assignment of toolkits to machines aiming at the minimization of overall costs and achieving highly and evenly loaded machines.
Our project 3D-PACK focusses on packaging problems in engineering applications, such as finding compact machine assemblies and supporting the conceptual layout of vehicles (e.g., in automotive and aerospace industries). The objective is to minimize the occupied space while meeting the functional relationships between the parts.