CutPlanner is a software package for use in the textile manufacturing industry for automatic cut order planning
A cut plan is an assignment of sizes and fabric types to markers. For each of these markers, the required number of plies is computed to fulfill the order’s specifics.
The objective of CutPlanner is to minimize total production costs. They consist of the costs for the fabric used, and several production costs incurred by making the markers, preparation of the cutting process, and the picking of pieces to be cut.
CutPlanner provides two different modes of operation to calculate material consumption:
1. Conventional mode: The user dictates the estimated yield values that specify the material consumption, which depends on the number of sizes in a marker.
2. Exact mode: CutPlanner engages an integrated automatic marker making engine to calculate the real material consumption. Here, the user does not have to supply any estimations: the software runs automatically.
There is a trade-off between speed and accuracy. In conventional mode, the computed costs are only estimations, but a solution is reached very quickly. In exact mode, the computation of a solution takes more time, but real costs are used for its calculation. In other words, the solution in exact mode is closer to the real outcome. If the yield data for some or all markers is already available for the user, this information can be given to CutPlanner. Consequently, the computation time decreases because these markers do not have to be nested during the computations. Furthermore, already existing solutions can be given to CutPlanner, in order to be improved by the software.
CutPlanner combines the latest optimization techniques in order to achieve the best results in a very short time. CutPlanner utilizes linear programming techniques specialized for large problems, which are adapted to the special problem characteristics of cut order planning.
To expand upon these strategies, fast local search algorithms, pattern recognition techniques, and effective heuristics are also employed.
Additionally, dynamic parameter choices are used in all cases. CutPlanner uses advanced technology for integration of nesting software allowing fast and accurate cost estimations.
The given examples were computed using CutPlanner on a standard PC with a 3 GHz processor. The different colors of the pieces in the markers represent the different item sizes.
Example: Calculation using exact mode, resulting in a total yield of 86.33 %,
calculation time: 20 minutes.
Calculation using exact mode, resulting in a total yield of 91.44 %;
calculation time: 30 minutes
Calculation using conventional mode, resulting in a total yield of 81.99 %;
Calculation time: < 1 minute