Efficient approaches for furnace loading of cylindrical parts
This paper addresses the heat treatment operation in a manufacturing plant that produces different types of cylindrical parts. The immediate prior process to heat treatment is furnace-loading where parts are loaded into baskets. The furnace-loading process is complex and involves issues relating to geometry and heterogeneity in the parts and in their processing requirements. Currently furnace-loading is accomplished by operator ingenuity ; consequently the parts loaded in heat treatment often do not use furnace capacity adequately. Efficiency in furnace operation can be achieved by improving basket utilization which is determined by the furnace-loading process. This paper describes the development of integer and mixed integer LP models for 3D loading of cylindrical parts into furnace baskets. The models consider the exact location of parts to be loaded on the basket and incorporate three models with different objectives ; the first addresses the nesting of parts within one another the second addresses the number of basket layers used and the third addresses the number of baskets used. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.