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Balancing mixed-model assembly lines: a computational evaluation of objectives to smoothen workload

Author

Listed:
  • Simon Emde

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Nils Boysen

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Armin Scholl

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

Abstract

Mixed-model assembly lines are widely used in a range of production settings, such as the final assembly of the automotive and electronics industries, where they are applied to mass-produce standardised commodities. One of the greatest challenges when installing and reconfiguring these lines is the vast product variety modern mixed-model assembly lines have to cope with. Traditionally, product variety is bypassed during mid-term assembly line balancing by applying a joint precedence graph, which represents an (artificial) average model and serves as the input data for a single model assembly line balancing procedure. However, this procedure might lead to considerable variations in the station times, so that serious sequencing problems emerge and work overload threatens. To avoid these difficulties, different extensions of assembly line balancing for workload smoothing, i.e. horizontal balancing, have been introduced in the literature. This paper presents a multitude of known and yet unknown objectives for workload smoothing and systematically tests these measures in a comprehensive computational study. The results suggest that workload smoothing is an essential task in mixed-model assembly lines and that some (of the newly introduced) objectives are superior to others.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Emde & Nils Boysen & Armin Scholl, 2008. "Balancing mixed-model assembly lines: a computational evaluation of objectives to smoothen workload," Jena Research Papers in Business and Economics - Working and Discussion Papers (Expired!) 17/2008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:jen:jenjbe:2008-17
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207540902810577
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    Mixed-model assembly lines; assembly line balancing; sequencing; workload smoothing;

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