This paper presents an investigation on the line balancing of an automated cylinder block production transfer line in order to reduce the total cycle time and increase machine utilization in an automotive plant. Results were verified by computer simulation, which showed increased throughput and higher machine utilization as a result of line balancing.
Three main operation lines of the transfer line were identified as critical and having the highest cycle time and were chosen for optimisation study. Strategies of re‐sequencing of existing operations and tools were used to reduce the cycle time of these critical operations and to balance the line. Results of a simulation study using Simul8 software are also presented to demonstrate the increase in machine utilisation and throughput as a result of line balancing.
Owing to line balancing, the cycle time of cylinder block line was reduced from 293.9 to 200 s, an almost 32 per cent reduction. This also resulted in increased throughput and machine utilisation. Throughput was increased by 65 per cent. Machine utilization was found to increase at all stations, with the highest increase at one station was recorded from 48 to 95 per cent due to balancing.
Introduces a new application to line balancing of automotive cylinder block production line. Demonstrates that effective strategies of re‐sequencing and changing of tools can lead to more balanced production line with increased throughput and higher machining utilisation, resulting in higher productivity.
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