A heuristic for the label printing problem

Ka Fai Cedric Yiu, K. L. Mak, H. Y K Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Label printing finds many applications in industry. However, this task is still labor intensive in many printing factories. Since each template can only accommodate a fixed number of labels, an important task is to work out the compositions of templates by allocating suitable labels to each template in order to fulfill the order requirements effectively. The template design could be rather arbitrary, which usually ends up with a lot of excessive printed labels. Enhancing the template design will significantly improve the efficiency of the printing process, and, at the same time, reduce the waste of resources. This motivates the study of more automatic design methods. In this paper, the problem is first formulated as a nonlinear integer programming problem. The main variables in the formulation are the compositions and the printing frequencies of templates. For practical purpose, each type of label is confined to one template only which allows automated packing and handling. The structure of the problems is carefully analyzed and a new algorithm is proposed. Numerical results show that the proposed method is a simple but effective way of generating good template designs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2576-2588
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Heuristic
  • Label printing
  • Nonlinear integer programming
  • Simulating annealing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Transportation


Dive into the research topics of 'A heuristic for the label printing problem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this