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Balancing U-Shaped Assembly Lines with Resource Dependent Task Times: A Simulated Annealing Approach

Listed author(s):
  • Jayaswal, Sachin
  • Agarwal, Prashant
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    The advent of Just-in-Time (JIT) and Group Technology philosophies has popularized U- shaped assembly lines, which help overcome many of the disadvantages, like line inflexibility, job monotony, large inventories, etc., typically associated with straight assembly lines. Al- though U-shaped layout has demonstrated it supremacy over the traditional straight layout, the problem of U-shaped assembly line balancing (ULB) is much more complex. The extant literature on ULB assumes that each assembly task requires a fixed (or no) equipment and a fi xed number of workers. However, it is often desirable to reduce certain task times by assigning more workers or alternative equipments at a given workstation. The problem in such cases is to assign not only the task but also resource alternatives (number of workers and equipment type) to workstations. Research on such resource dependent U-shaped assembly line balancing (RDULB) is scarce. We address the problem of RDULB and propose a Simulated Annealing (SA) based metaheuristic, which gives optimal solution for most of the small-to-medium problem instances. For very large problems, while SA generates a good feasible solution within half an hour to 1.5 hours, Cplex is unable to find a single feasible solution even after 10 times the CPU time required by SA.

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    Paper provided by Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department in its series IIMA Working Papers with number WP2013-11-06.

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    Date of creation: 07 Nov 2013
    Handle: RePEc:iim:iimawp:12142
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    7. Scholl, Armin & Klein, Robert, 1997. "ULINO: optimally balancing U-shaped JIT assembly lines," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 10925, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    8. Peter A. Pinto & David G. Dannenbring & Basheer M. Khumawala, 1983. "Assembly Line Balancing with Processing Alternatives: An Application," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(7), pages 817-830, July.
    9. Timothy L. Urban, 1998. "Note. Optimal Balancing of U-Shaped Assembly Lines," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(5), pages 738-741, May.
    10. Becker, Christian & Scholl, Armin, 2006. "A survey on problems and methods in generalized assembly line balancing," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 168(3), pages 694-715, February.
    11. Miltenburg, John, 2001. "U-shaped production lines: A review of theory and practice," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 201-214, April.
    12. Connolly, David T., 1990. "An improved annealing scheme for the QAP," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 93-100, May.
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