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Balancing assembly lines with variable parallel workplaces: Problem definition, model and exact solution procedure

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Author Info

  • Christian Becker

    ()
    (Railion Deutschland AG)

  • Armin Scholl

    ()
    (Chair of Decision Analysis and Management Science, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

Abstract

Assembly line balancing problems (ALBP) arise whenever an assembly line is con- figured, redesigned or adjusted. An ALBP consists of distributing the total workload for manu- facturing any unit of the products to be assembled among the work stations along the line sub- ject to a strict or average cycle time. Traditionally, stations are considered to be manned by one operator, respectively, or duplicated in form of identical parallel stations, each also manned by a single operator. In practice, this assumption is usually too restrictive. This is particularly true for large products like cars, trucks, busses and machines, which can be handled by several op- erators performing different tasks at the same time. Only restricted research has been done on such parallel workplaces within the same station though they have significant relevance in real- world assembly line settings. In this paper, we consider an extension of the basic ALBP to the case of flexible parallel work- places (VWALBP) as they typically occur in the automobile and other industries assembling large products. The problem is defined and modelled as an integer linear program. As a solution approach a branch-and-bound procedure is proposed which also can be applied as a heuristic. Finally, computational experiments documenting the solution capabilities of the procedure are reported.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2008.11.051
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration in its series Jena Research Papers in Business and Economics - Working and Discussion Papers with number 06/2008.

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Date of creation: 08 Apr 2008
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Publication status: Published in: European Journal of Operational Research 199/2 (2009), 359-374
Handle: RePEc:jen:jenjbe:2008-06

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Related research

Keywords: Assembly line balancing; Mass-production; Combinatorial optimization; Sequencing;

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References

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  1. Peeters, Marc & Degraeve, Zeger, 2006. "An linear programming based lower bound for the simple assembly line balancing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 168(3), pages 716-731, February.
  2. Scholl, Armin, 1995. "Balancing and sequencing of assembly lines," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 9690, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  3. Armin Scholl & Christian Becker, 2003. "A survey on problems and methods in generalized assembly line balancing," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 21/2003, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  4. Nils Boysen & Malte Fliedner & Armin Scholl, 2006. "A classification of assembly line balancing problems," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 12/2006, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  5. G. M. Buxey, 1974. "Assembly Line Balancing with Multiple Stations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(6), pages 1010-1021, February.
  6. Armin Scholl & Malte Fliedner & Nils Boysen, 2008. "Absalom: Balancing assembly lines with assignment restrictions," Jena Research Papers in Business and Economics - Working and Discussion Papers 02/2008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration.
  7. Berger, Ilana & Bourjolly, Jean-Marie & Laporte, Gilbert, 1992. "Branch-and-bound algorithms for the multi-product assembly line balancing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 215-222, April.
  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. \.Ilker Baybars, 1986. "A Survey of Exact Algorithms for the Simple Assembly Line Balancing Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(8), pages 909-932, August.
  10. E. L. Lawler, 1973. "Optimal Sequencing of a Single Machine Subject to Precedence Constraints," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(5), pages 544-546, January.
  11. 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.
  12. Scholl, Armin & Klein, Robert & Jürgens,, 1997. "BISON: a fast hybrid procedure for exactly solving the one-dimensional bin packing problem," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 644, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  13. Scholl, Armin & Becker, Christian, 2006. "State-of-the-art exact and heuristic solution procedures for simple assembly line balancing," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 168(3), pages 666-693, February.
  14. Roger V. Johnson, 1983. "A Branch and Bound Algorithm for Assembly Line Balancing Problems with Formulation Irregularities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(11), pages 1309-1324, November.
  15. Lapierre, Sophie D. & Ruiz, Angel & Soriano, Patrick, 2006. "Balancing assembly lines with tabu search," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 168(3), pages 826-837, February.
  16. Klein, Robert, 2000. "Scheduling of resource constrained projects," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 1592, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  17. Scholl, Armin & Klein, Robert, 1997. "SALOME. a bidirectional branch and bound procedure for assembly line balancing," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 7890, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
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