A classification of assembly line balancing problems
Assembly lines are special flow-line production systems which are of great importance in the industrial production of high quantity standardized commodities. Recently, assembly lines even gained importance in low volume production of customized products (mass-customization). Due to high capital requirements when installing or redesigning a line, its configuration planning is of great relevance for practitioners. Accordingly, this attracted attention of plenty researchers, who tried to support real-world configuration planning by suited optimization models (assembly line balancing problems). In spite of the enormous academic effort in assembly line balancing, there remains a considerable gap between requirements of real configuration problems and the status of research. To ease communication between researchers and practitioners, we provide a classification scheme of assembly line balancing. This is a valuable step in identifying remaining research challenges which might contribute to closing the gap.
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