This paper examines an important scheduling problem resulting from a new process for continuously casting steel. A master slab caster produces slabs which are wider than customer needs, and therefore, these must be ripped longitudinally at least once before they can be processed to a customer-specified width. The purpose of this research is to develop an effective and efficient algorithm for combining customer sizes in order to economically schedule the ripping process. Such a solution procedure could be used to assist decision-makers in selecting master slab widths for production and in designing width limitations for future casters. The method entails more than the minimization of trim loss because other costs are relevant. Mathematical programming is used to arrive at an optimal or near-optimal solution to this production management problem. The results indicate that the procedure described in this paper reduces to total costs dramatically.