Title: Determining ideal fabric cutting times for apparel manufacturing by using mixed integer programming and a heuristic method

Authors: Yi-Feng Hung; Chao-Ying Chang; Hewen Chen

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan ' Compal Electronics, Inc., Taipei 11492, Taiwan ' Department of business administration, University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, Urbana, IL 61820, USA

Abstract: In apparel manufacturing, cut pieces produced by the cutting process are a key input work-in-process (WIP) to the bottleneck sewing process. However, an excessive inventory of cut pieces not only requires extra storage space but also creates difficulties with shop floor control. This study determines the ideal cutting times of fabric lays by minimising the cut piece inventory under the constraint that sufficient cut pieces are produced in time to satisfy the bottleneck usage. This study proposes a mixed integer programming (MIP) model and a heuristic method to solve the problem. The solutions for most test instances of the problem that are calculated by the heuristic method are not as good as those by the MIP solver; however, the heuristic method computation times are negligible. The experiments show that the MIP model's efficiency significantly improves by starting from an initial solution provided by the proposed heuristic method. [Received 30 September 2011; Revised 15 February 2013; Revised 30 July 2013; Accepted 02 August 2013]

Keywords: apparel manufacturing; mixed integer programming; MIP; heuristics; cutting scheduling; fabric cutting times; apparel industry; garment industry; clothing industry; work-in-process; WIP; fabric lays; cut piece inventory; bottleneck usage.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2014.066937

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2014 Vol.8 No.6, pp.814 - 835

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 15 Jan 2015 *

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