Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

2018 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings



Conference Name

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT


This paper explains the beneficial and practical impact of operations research in two real manufacturing settings. Two manufacturing examples used in student projects were (1) cutting rails (80‘ or 40‘) to manufacture railroad frogs of many sizes and (2) cutting round metal rolls (12‘ to 20‘) to meet customer demands for various lengths of cuts. Student teams in Engineering of Manufacturing Processes and Operations Research courses wrote computer programs. The program first identified all possible patterns that can be cut out of a given stock length. Next, the program created a mathematical model (a text file) as an output. This text file was used as an input for the optimizer software LINGO. When compared to the manual solutions obtained by foremen in two settings, student teams with no prior experience were able to match the manual solution of the foremen in small problems and improve the manual solution by up to 30 % in large problems. After finishing the project, each team wrote a technical team report to document the experience they gained in manufacturing and mathematical modeling. Student assessment was based on student team reports (knowledge gained) and individual team interviews, exit surveys, and the end of semester course evaluations (students’ attitudes). The project outcomes include improved understanding of production-related concepts such as remnant minimization in manufacturing, as well as enthusiasm for operations research and its applications in manufacturing.


© American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 24-27, 2018.

Posted with the permission of the publisher.

Original Publication Citation

Sarper, H., & Jaksic, N. (2018). Manufacturing applications of the one-dimensional cutting stock problem as a team project. Paper presented at the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT.