Research topics in the Business Area Optimization

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.

3D Nesting

3D nesting is about arranging objects as good as possible in cuboid containers. The objects themselves do not have to be cuboids, but can be objects of any complexity.

More Info

Logo Logistiksimulation

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.

More Info

© Fraunhofer SCAI

Coil Nesting

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.

More Info

© Fotolia – beermedia

Cutting of steel profiles

When cutting long hot-rolled steel profiles into custom lengths, two types of waste metal are generated: edge pieces (for technical reasons) and left-over pieces resulting from the fact that a perfect partitioning of the original length is not possible in each specific case. In order to minimize the amount of waste, we developed algorithms for maximizing utilization of material in collaboration with a manufacturer of hot-rolled steel profiles.

More Info

Logo MBOpt


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.

More Info