Multi-manned assembly lines are designed to produce large-sized products, such as automobiles. In this paper, a multi-manned assembly line balancing problem (MALBP) is addressed in which a group of workers simultaneously performs different tasks on a workstation. The key idea in this work is to improve the workstation efficiency and worker efficiency of an automobile plant by minimizing the number of workstations, the number of workers, and the cycle time of the MALBP.
A mixed-integer programming formulation for the problem is proposed. The proposed model is solved with benchmark test problems mentioned in research papers. The automobile case study problem is solved in three steps. In the first step, the authors find the task time of all major tasks. The problem is solved in the second step with the objective of minimizing the cycle time for the sub-tasks and major tasks, respectively. In the third step, the output results obtained from the second step are used to minimize the number of workstations using Lingo 16 solver.
The experimental results of the automobile case study show that there is a large improvement in workstation efficiency and worker efficiency of the plant in terms of reduction in the number of workstations and workers; the number of workstations reduced by 24% with a cycle time of 240 s. The reduced number of workstations led to a reduction in the number of workers (32% reduction) working on that assembly line.
For assembly line practitioners, the results of the study can be beneficial where the manufacturer is required to increased workstation efficiency and worker efficiency and reduce resource requirement and save space for assembling the products.
This paper is the first to apply a multi-manned assembly line balancing approach in real life problem by considering the case study of an automobile plant.
This research was partially supported by XYZ automobile plant for providing help in collection of data and valuable information.
Yadav, A., Kumar, S. and Agrawal, S. (2021), "Reconfiguration of assembly line balancing–an automobile case study solved by the exact solution procedure", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 1576-1604. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-08-2019-0386
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