The purpose of this study is to first investigate the efficiency of the most commonly used performance measures for minimizing the number of workstations (NWs) in approaches addressing simple assembly line balancing problem (SALBP) for both straight and U-shaped line, and second to provide a comparative evaluation of 20 constructive heuristics to find solutions to the SALBP-1.
A total of 200 problems are solved by 20 different constructive heuristics for both straight and U-shaped assembly line. Moreover, several comparisons have been made to evaluate the performance of constructive heuristics.
Minimizing the smoothness index is not necessarily equivalent to minimizing the NWs; therefore, it should not be used as the fitness function in approaches addressing the SALBP-1. Line efficiency and the idle time are indeed reliable performance measures for minimizing the NWs. The most promising heuristics for straight and U-shaped line configurations for SALBP-1 are also ranked and introduced.
Results are expected to help scholars and industrial practitioners to better design effective solution methods for having the most balanced assembly line. This study will further help with choosing the most proper heuristic with regard to the problem specifications and line configuration.
There is limited research assessing the efficiency of the common objectives for SALBP-1. This study is among the first to prove that minimizing the workload smoothness is not equivalent to minimizing the NWs in SALBP-1 studies. This work is also one of the first attempts for evaluating the constructive heuristics for both straight and U-shaped line configurations.
The first author is partially supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 723711 through the MANUWORK project.
Conflict of interests: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.
Fathi, M., Fontes, D.B.M.M., Urenda Moris, M. and Ghobakhloo, M. (2018), "Assembly line balancing problem: A comparative evaluation of heuristics and a computational assessment of objectives", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 455-474. https://doi.org/10.1108/JM2-03-2017-0027
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