Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

An Integer Programming Algorithm with Network Cuts for Solving the Assembly Line Balancing Problem


Author Info

  • F. Brian Talbot

    (University of Michigan)

  • James H. Patterson

    (University of Missouri---Columbia; Nijenrode, The Netherlands School of Business)

Registered author(s):


    In this paper, we describe an integer programming algorithm for assigning tasks on an assembly line to work stations in such a way that the number of work stations is minimal for the rate of production desired. The procedure insures that no task is assigned to a work station before all tasks which technologically must be performed before it have been assigned (precedence restrictions are not violated), and that the total time required at each work station performing the tasks assigned to it does not exceed the time available (cycle time restrictions are not violated). The procedure is based on a systematic evaluation (enumeration) of all possible task assignments to work stations. Significant portions of the enumeration process are performed implicitly, however, by utilizing tests described in the paper which are based on the specific structure of the line balancing problem. An artifice termed a network cut is also developed which eliminates from explicit consideration the assignment of tasks to work stations where such assignments would not lead to improved line balances. Results reported demonstrate that the procedure can obtain optimal balances for assembly lines with between 50 and 100 tasks in a reasonable amount of computation time and with modest computer storage requirements.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 30 (1984)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 85-99

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:30:y:1984:i:1:p:85-99

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: production/scheduling: line balancing; programming: integer algorithms; enumerative; networks/graphs;


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Sawik, Tadeusz, 1998. "A lexicographic approach to bi-objective loading of a flexible assembly system," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 656-668, June.
    2. Chen, Ruey-Shun & Lu, Kun-Yung & Tai, Pei-Hao, 2004. "Optimizing assembly planning through a three-stage integrated approach," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 243-256, April.
    3. Miltenburg, John, 1998. "Balancing U-lines in a multiple U-line facility," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 1-23, August.
    4. Aase, Gerald R. & Olson, John R. & Schniederjans, Marc J., 2004. "U-shaped assembly line layouts and their impact on labor productivity: An experimental study," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 156(3), pages 698-711, August.
    5. Armin Scholl & Christian Becker, 2003. "State-of-the-art exact and heuristic solution procedures for simple assembly line balancing," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 20/2003, Friedrich-Schiller-Universit├Ąt Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakult├Ąt.
    6. Scholl, Armin & Klein, Robert, 1999. "Balancing assembly lines effectively - A computational comparison," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 50-58, April.
    7. Pinnoi, Anulark & Wilhelm, Wilbert E., 2000. "Valid inequalities for a class of assembly system problems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 31-50, October.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:30:y:1984:i:1:p:85-99. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.