A customer brought us this problem and we're looking for ideas to help them. It seems to be a flavor of cutting-stock but without the demand profile.
They have varied length spools of different types of wire that need to be combined into a cable. For example, 2 spools of red of length 100 and 200, 3 spools of blue of length 80, 100 and 100, and one spool of black of length 250. Cables can be composed of up to 15 wires.
They want to make the final cables as long as possible yet minimize the spool ends of the wire. We've been told spool ends are discarded but I expect if the spool end is long enough it's put back into inventory.