Comparison of Lowest-Slot and Nearest-Stack Heuristics for Storage Assignment of Steel Bar Sets

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Our research objective is to lower intralogistics costs by minimizing the number of shuffling operations in a steel plant company commercial warehouse. The process of dispatching products consists of retrieving set of steel bar (SSB) from a floor stored stack or a special stacking frame by an overhead crane. To retrieve a targeted merchandise all SSB above targeted must be reshuffled. Proper assignment of storage locations is a key logistics problem for efficient order picking. We are comparing two heuristics, that do not require information of dispatching sequence of any stored products. We simulated the problem at hand with both methods. Our objective is to count the number of reshuffles using each heuristic on randomly generated examples and decide which is better in the long run. Our problem has similarities with storage assignment of steel plates or steel coils for minimization of reshuffling operations. The problem is also comparable to storage assignment of containers in a container yard. In our case we are dealing with a special stacking configuration of products, that demands different approach. We want to demonstrate which heuristic should be used in companies that lack necessary storage information infrastructure.

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