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An important goal in scheduling products through a manufacturing facility is to assure that the work is completed as close as possible to its due date. Work that is late creates downstream delays, while early completion can be detrimental if storage space is limited. This paper reports initial results in developing a scheduling procedure for an automated steel plate fabrication facility. The approach uses Tabu search combined with simulation to schedule product through a set of machines. Performance of the procedure is evaluated by comparison to the optimal solution for small problem instances, and to a good heuristic for larger problems. Results show that the Tabu search method works well for this problem. Combining Tabu search with simulation allows the incorporation of more realistic constraints on system operation.