An Algorithm to Optimize the Layout of Boxes in Pallets


The problem of Optimum Pallet Layout at Rowntree Mackintosh Ltd is discussed. Production constraints reduce this three-dimensional box packing problem into the two-dimensional problem of packing large numbers of identical rectangles orthogonally into fixed-size containing rectangles. The exact solution procedure was found to require prohibitive amounts of computer time. A non-exact procedure is therefore described, its validity demonstrated, and the results obtained exhibited graphically in the form of a Pallet Layout Chart. This work has been implemented at Rowntree Mackintosh Ltd where improved pallet layouts and better design of new box shapes have resulted in cash savings.

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Smith, A., De Cani, P. An Algorithm to Optimize the Layout of Boxes in Pallets. J Oper Res Soc 31, 573–578 (1980).

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