This free workbook contains seven example models from manufacturing / production.  Click the model names to display each worksheet model in your browser.

You can use the worksheet that most closely models your situation as a starting point.  Solving your real problem may require "scaling up" the model to include more variables and constraints -- but rest assured that you can solve your full-size problem with the power of our Excel Solver upgrades, even if it requires hundreds of thousands of variables!

To download and save the workbook if you are using Excel 2007 or later:

To download and save the workbook if you are using Excel 2003 or earlier:

You can then actually solve these small example models in Microsoft Excel, using either the basic Excel Solver, Analytic Solver Upgrade or Analytic Solver Optimization.

Or, if you would prefer to view the examples in your browser, rather than in Excel, click the links below.
  • ProductMix - Product Mix:  Determine how many products of each type to assemble from certain parts to maximize profits while not exceeding available parts inventory
  • Alloc1 and Alloc2 - Machine Allocation:  Allocate production of a product to different machines (with different capacities, startup cost and operating cost) to meet production target at minimum cost
  • Blend1 and Blend2 - Blending:  Determine which raw materials from different sources to blend to produce a substance (limestone in these examples) with certain desired qualities at minimum cost
  • Process - Process Selection - Decide which of several processes (with different speeds, costs, etc.) should be used to make a desired quantity of product in a certain amount of time, at minimum cost
  • Cutstock - Cutting Stock:  Determine how to cut larger pieces (of wood, steel, etc.) into smaller pieces of desired sizes, each needed in certain quantities, in order to minimize waste

On each example worksheet, read the description at the bottom, then select Solver on the Data tab in Excel 2007, or Tools Solver... from the menu in Excel 2003.  When you see the Solver Parameters dialog box, click the Solve button to find the optimal solution.

We're here to help -- contact us if you'd like more information or advice on your application.

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