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Integrated Sequencing and Scheduling in Coil Coating


  • Wiebke Höhn

    () (Institut für Mathematik, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany)

  • Felix G. König

    () (Institut für Mathematik, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany)

  • Rolf H. Möhring

    () (Institut für Mathematik, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany)

  • Marco E. Lübbecke

    () (Department of Operations Research, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany)


We consider a complex planning problem in integrated steel production. A sequence of coils of sheet metal needs to be color coated in consecutive stages. Different coil geometries and changes of colors necessitate time-consuming setup work. In most coating stages one can choose between two parallel color tanks. This can either reduce the number of setups needed or enable setups concurrent with production. A production plan comprises the sequencing of coils and the scheduling of color tanks and setup work. The aim is to minimize the makespan for a given set of coils. We present an optimization model for this integrated sequencing and scheduling problem. A core component is a graph theoretical model for concurrent setup scheduling. It is instrumental for building a fast heuristic that is embedded into a genetic algorithm to solve the sequencing problem. The quality of our solutions is evaluated via an integer program based on a combinatorial relaxation, showing that our solutions are within 10% of the optimum. Our algorithm is implemented at Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH, a major German steel producer. This has led to an average reduction in makespan by over 13% and has greatly exceeded expectations. This paper was accepted by Dimitris Bertsimas, optimization.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiebke Höhn & Felix G. König & Rolf H. Möhring & Marco E. Lübbecke, 2011. "Integrated Sequencing and Scheduling in Coil Coating," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(4), pages 647-666, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:4:p:647-666

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Koulamas, Christos & Kyparisis, George J., 2008. "Single-machine scheduling problems with past-sequence-dependent setup times," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 187(3), pages 1045-1049, June.
    2. Allahverdi, Ali & Ng, C.T. & Cheng, T.C.E. & Kovalyov, Mikhail Y., 2008. "A survey of scheduling problems with setup times or costs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 187(3), pages 985-1032, June.
    3. Helsgaun, Keld, 2000. "An effective implementation of the Lin-Kernighan traveling salesman heuristic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 106-130, October.
    4. Tang, Lixin & Wang, Xianpeng, 2009. "Simultaneously scheduling multiple turns for steel color-coating production," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 198(3), pages 715-725, November.
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