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Eureka: A Hybrid System for Assembly Line Balancing


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  • Thomas R. Hoffmann

    (Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455)

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    Numerous methods have been proposed for solution of the simple assembly line balancing (SALB) problem. This paper describes a branch and bound algorithm which in many cases is faster than the well-known Hoffmann heuristic technique to which it is related. It introduces a simple bounding rule which uses the concept of the "theoretical" minimum slack time to achieve rapid solutions. It is combined with the Hoffmann heuristic to develop an even more effective system for solving SALB problems. Timing results are given for a standard set of problems found in the literature. Since that set was solved in such a very short time, more challenging as well as more typical problems are explored and timing results presented. Benchmarking of the procedure is easier since implementation is on an eight-megahertz IBM AT with a math coprocessor, using the standard IBM PC Professional FORTRAN compiler.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 38 (1992)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 39-47

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:38:y:1992:i:1:p:39-47

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    Keywords: line balancing; branch and bound; microcomputer; heuristic;


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    Cited by:
    1. Fatih Ugurdag, H. & Rachamadugu, Ram & Papachristou, Christos A., 1997. "Designing paced assembly lines with fixed number of stations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 488-501, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Fleszar, Krzysztof & Hindi, Khalil S., 2003. "An enumerative heuristic and reduction methods for the assembly line balancing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 606-620, March.
    4. Sabuncuoglu, Ihsan & Erel, Erdal & Alp, Arda, 2009. "Ant colony optimization for the single model U-type assembly line balancing problem," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 287-300, 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-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. Bautista, Joaquin & Pereira, Jordi, 2007. "Ant algorithms for a time and space constrained assembly line balancing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(3), pages 2016-2032, March.
    7. Battaïa, Olga & Dolgui, Alexandre, 2013. "A taxonomy of line balancing problems and their solutionapproaches," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 259-277.
    8. 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.
    9. Morrison, David R. & Sewell, Edward C. & Jacobson, Sheldon H., 2014. "An application of the branch, bound, and remember algorithm to a new simple assembly line balancing dataset," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(2), pages 403-409.
    10. 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.
    11. Vilà, Mariona & Pereira, Jordi, 2013. "An enumeration procedure for the assembly line balancing problem based on branching by non-decreasing idle time," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 229(1), pages 106-113.
    12. Otto, Alena & Otto, Christian & Scholl, Armin, 2013. "Systematic data generation and test design for solution algorithms on the example of SALBPGen for assembly line balancing," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 228(1), pages 33-45.


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