CLAI’s Food Box Packing Optimization

Cooperativa Lavoratori Agricoli Imolesi (€300M in revenue, 500 employees), namely CLAI, is an Italian agri-food cooperative with two plants producing fresh meats and salami. Logistics & Automation Consulting (LAC), a consulting and software company specializing in solving supply chain optimization problems, has developed an optimization solution for CLAI to optimize the packing of food products into boxes for delivery to customers. This food box packing optimization solution relies on LocalSolver as a general-purpose optimization engine.

Food box packing optimization problem

Input data

200 customer orders per day

Decisions

For each customer, up to 100 food products to pack into boxes

Constraints

  • Different types of boxes are available, with various capacities
  • All products cannot be packed together into all kinds of boxes (mutual exclusion)
  • Some products have to be packed into a box before other ones (precedences)

Objectives

  • Minimize the number of used boxes
  • Minimize the number of types of used boxes
  • Maximize the use of small boxes
  • Minimize the number of different products within each box (to make control on delivery easier)
  • Balance the content of all boxes (to make palletization more stable)

Results

Here are the key figures about the resolution of the problem by LocalSolver:

  • 10 seconds of running time per customer order
  • Solutions with optimality gap < 0.01% for all objectives

Why LocalSolver?

LAC relied on LocalSolver to efficiently model and solve CLAI’s food box packing optimization problem. The resulting optimization software solution is integrated into CLAI’s ERP system and used every day in production. The key factors which convinced LAC to choose LocalSolver against traditional MIP solvers to carry out its service projects are speed, robustness, ease of use, dedicated and responsive support, and last but not least, easy licensing and competitive pricing.

By working with LocalSolver, Logistics & Automation Consulting (LAC) found much more than an optimization software: a true, long-term, reliable optimization partner. Thanks to the personalized, highly responsive support from LocalSolver’s optimization scientists, LAC takes full advantage of LocalSolver’s capabilities to develop fast and scalable solutions fully tailored around our customer’s problems.

Fabio Bursi Senior Partner, Logistics & Automation Consulting (LAC)

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