IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Allocating Fibers in Cable Manufacturing


  • Daniel Adelman

    (Graduate School of Business, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637)

  • George L. Nemhauser

    (School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332)

  • Mario Padron

    (Lucent Technologies, Atlanta Works, Norcross, Georgia 30071)

  • Robert Stubbs

    (Lucent Technologies, Atlanta Works, Norcross, Georgia 30071)

  • Ram Pandit

    (Consolidated Freightways, Inc., Portland, Oregon 97208-6696)


We study the problem of allocating stocked fibers to made-to-order cables with the goals of satisfying due dates and reducing the costs of scrap, setup, and fiber circulation. These goals are achieved by generating remnant fibers either long enough to satisfy future orders or short enough to scrap with little waste. They are also achieved by manufacturing concatenations, in which multiple cable orders are satisfied by the production of a single cable that is afterwards cut into the constituent cables ordered. We use a function that values fibers according to length, and which can be viewed as an approximation to the optimal value function of an underlying dynamic programming problem. The daily policy that arises under this approximation is an integer program with a simple linear objective function that uses changes in fiber value to take into account the multi-period consequences of decisions. We describe our successful implementation of this integer program in the factory, summarizing our computational experience as well as realized operational improvements.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Adelman & George L. Nemhauser & Mario Padron & Robert Stubbs & Ram Pandit, 1999. "Allocating Fibers in Cable Manufacturing," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 1(1), pages 21-35.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormsom:v:1:y:1999:i:1:p:21-35

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gregory Dobson & Uday S. Karmarkar & Jeffrey L. Rummel, 1987. "Batching to Minimize Flow Times on One Machine," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(6), pages 784-799, June.
    2. Richard Bellman, 1957. "On a Dynamic Programming Approach to the Caterer Problem--I," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(3), pages 270-278, April.
    3. Hau L. Lee & Christopher S. Tang, 1997. "Modelling the Costs and Benefits of Delayed Product Differentiation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(1), pages 40-53, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:58:y:2007:i:9:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2602274 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Rajgopal, Jayant & Wang, Zhouyan & Schaefer, Andrew J. & Prokopyev, Oleg A., 2011. "Integrated design and operation of remnant inventory supply chains under uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 214(2), pages 358-364, October.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormsom:v:1:y:1999:i:1:p:21-35. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.