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A method for finding the global minimum of a general nonlinear programming problem is introduced. The method is based on the sequential decomposition of the problem into two-dimensional subproblems. The method is discussed in the context of the optimal design of an electromagnetic device from an economical point of view. The suggested method is extended to include the optimal design of a production line of such devices, in which some design parameters are "common" to all the devices, while others are "uncommon" and belong to individual devices.