Rebar Ordering Challenge

March 1999 Challenge: You are a buyer of steel for a construction company. From the various project plans, you compile the number and sizes of steel needed for tomorrow’s projects. Your suppliers only sell steel in 20, 30, and 40 foot pieces. How can you find an optimal number of bars to order in order to minimize scrap?


We never found a solution to this challenge. Kudos to Peter Tesler, who came the closest to solving this extremely complex problem.