Scheduling to minimize stringer utilization for continuous annealing operations

Sachin Mujawar, Simin Huang, Rakesh Nagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we present a mathematical program and heuristic algorithms to schedule coils for the production operations in a copper (or steel) coil manufacturing industry. The processing facility uses continuous operations for processing (e.g., galvanizing and annealing) while the handling unit is a discrete coil. The ends of coils are "stitched" or welded together to enable continuous processing, and the joint is later sheared off to obtain the processed coils. Processing constraints impose restrictions on the compatibility between a pair of coils that are overcome by introducing a dummy coil called stringer, which is very expensive to a mill. This paper deals with modeling the sequencing/scheduling problem of coils on parallel non-identical machines to minimize stringer utilization. Both computational and practical experiences show the efficiency and effectiveness of the solution approaches. Implementing these methods in an actual coil annealing facility resulted in 65% reduction in stringer utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-444
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Annealing operations
  • Scheduling
  • Sequence dependent setup time
  • Vehicle routing problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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