The Least Cost Charge Design program (MIX) uses linear programming techniques to obtain the least costly combination of raw materials required to meet your desired chemistry working aims. Two versions of the MIX program are available - "Batch" and "Melter/Holder".
BATCH VERSION - The standard or "Batch" version is for melting operations that essentially pour the entire charge, leaving only a small or no liquid heel for the next charge.
MELTER/HOLDER VERSION - The "Melter/Holder" version was developed for clients utilizing a melter/holder type of operation. This version contains all of the features and capabilities of the "Batch" version, plus the added capability to calculate a charge for a holding furnace utilizing liquid metal from up to three on-line melters. The "Melter/Holder" version also has provisions for calculating a melter/holder "backcharge".
An unlimited number of grade/alloy specifications can be permanently created and accessed by MIX. The program allows you to specify up to 45 individual restrictions per grade/alloy. A restriction can be a specific material, a certain type of material, or an entire file of materials. Restrictions can be expressed as either a fixed weight or a percentage of the design weight.
The MIX program will search through your inventory and prepare a list of qualified candidates for the charge. The program then determines the optimum solution from as many as 2,200 material candidates.
The MIX program can solve for either one heat/charge or a campaign of heats/charges. MIX calculates material requirements for either a cold charge (no metal exists in the furnace) or a hot charge (hot metal exists in the furnace). MIX distinguishes between available and committed inventory when calculating the blend. This ensures that materials are not over committed.
After the optimum solution is calculated, the program provides a selection of "Resolve Options". One option allows you to change the restrictions and recalculate the solution (there is no limit to the number of re-solves you can perform). Another option will display the "shadow prices" showing the cost disadvantage for those materials considered for the charge but, for cost reasons, were not chosen. Also, if you have raw materials that you believe should have been used in the solution but weren't, MIX will tell you why those materials were not chosen.
When a solution meets all physical, chemical, and operational requirements, MIX can reserve the materials and quantities, excluding them from further consideration.
MIX contains numerous setup options to customize the procedural flow of the program for your particular operating environment. Provisions are available for calculating optimum unit weight solutions as well as metric solutions.
The MIX program is a powerful tool that is very easy to operate and contains numerous "help" facilities for inexperienced users. MIX reflects over 30 years of refinements and improvements to meet most every client's needs.
METALS BROKERS/SCRAP DEALERS: A specially developed Least Cost Charge Design program is available for Metals Brokers and Scrap Dealers. This MIX program contains all of the features and capabilities of the standard melt shop version, with the exception of processing heels. This version contains a "profit worksheet" feature not available in the standard melt shop version. The "profit worksheet" calculates and reports costing and blend profitability information to assist in decision making. The blend profit can be calculated by either: 1) Gross Sales Price or 2) Elemental Price. Both blended and unblended profit values and percentages are computed and reported.