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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Ryspek Usubamatov, Abd Alsalam Alsalameh, Rosmaini Ahmad and Abdul Rahman Riza

The paper aims to study car assembly line, to show its productivity rate, and to derive a mathematical model for the productivity rate of the assembly line segmented into…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to study car assembly line, to show its productivity rate, and to derive a mathematical model for the productivity rate of the assembly line segmented into sections with embedded buffers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper performs productivity calculations based on data obtained from the assembly processes of a car and shows the maximum productivity of the assembly line. The equations of the assembly line productivity, the optimal number of assembly stations, and the necessary number of the assembly line's sections with buffers are derived via the criterion of maximum productivity.

Findings

The paper provides the productivity diagram of the assembly line that illustrates various measures of productivity, one that depends on the number of assembly stations, the number of sections in the line, and the capacity of the buffers. The diagram is based on the proposed mathematical equations for the productivity of the assembly line as a function of the assembly technology, number of stations, number of sections, and the capacity of the buffer.

Research limitations/implications

Solutions towards increasing the productivity of the assembly line are given based on the results of the study and analysis of the assembly processes in real industrial environments.

Practical implications

The paper includes the equation for the productivity of the assembly line, which is segmented into sections with limited capacity of the buffers, thereby enabling the calculation of its maximum productivity and the optimal number of assembly stations.

Originality/value

The paper presents an analysis of productivity and a mathematical model for calculating the productivity of the assembly line, which is segmented into sections with embedded buffers of limited capacity. The initial results of the research have been obtained from a real industrial environment.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2008

Ramazan Yaman

This study seeks to present a simple assembly line design and its balance for a low‐volume manufacturing company.

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to present a simple assembly line design and its balance for a low‐volume manufacturing company.

Design/methodology/approach

The study presents experiences with the design and implementation of a simple assembly line. The implementation concerns three aspects; design and construction of the assembly line, the assembly analysis of the product, and then balancing of the line. It also discusses construction and implementation difficulties of this tactical tool in the case company.

Findings

The study presents some outcomes from the design, implementation, and balancing of an assembly line for SMEs.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by the case company and its experience.

Practical implications

This study is not pure theoretical study, it has application stages for industry, and it provides some real interface for the people from SMEs.

Originality/value

The approach has an original value in respect of implementation of assembly line for a small manufacturing company which has many limitations.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2019

Ashish Yadav, Ramawatar Kulhary, Rupesh Nishad and Sunil Agrawal

Parallel two-sided assembly lines are usually designed to produce large-sized products such as trucks and buses. In parallel two-sided assembly lines, both left and right…

Abstract

Purpose

Parallel two-sided assembly lines are usually designed to produce large-sized products such as trucks and buses. In parallel two-sided assembly lines, both left and right sides of the line are used for manufacturing one or more products on two or more assembly lines located parallel to each other. The purpose of this paper is to develop a new mathematical model for the parallel two-sided assembly line balancing problem that helps to evaluate and validate the balancing operations of the machines such as removal of tools and fixtures and reallocating the operators.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed approach is explained with the help of an example problem. In all, 22 test problems are formed using the benchmark problems P9, P12, P16 and P24. The results obtained are compared among approaches of the task(s) shared, tool(s) shared and both tool(s) and task(s) shared for effect on efficiency as the performance measure. The solution presented here follows the exact solution procedure that is solved by Lingo 16 solver.

Findings

Based on the experiments, line efficiency decreases when only tools are shared and increases when only tasks are shared. Results indicate that by sharing tasks and tools together, better line efficiency is obtained with less cost of tools and fixtures.

Practical implications

According to the industrial aspect, the result of the study can be beneficial for assembly of the products, where tools and tasks are shared between parallel workstations of two or more parallel lines.

Originality/value

According to the author’s best knowledge, this paper is the first to address the tools and tasks sharing between any pair of parallel workstations.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Humyun Fuad Rahman, Mukund Nilakantan Janardhanan and Peter Nielsen

Optimizing material handling within the factory is one of the key problems of modern assembly line systems. The purpose of this paper is to focus on simultaneously…

Abstract

Purpose

Optimizing material handling within the factory is one of the key problems of modern assembly line systems. The purpose of this paper is to focus on simultaneously balancing a robotic assembly line and the scheduling of material handling required for the operation of such a system, a topic that has received limited attention in academia. Manufacturing industries focus on full autonomy because of the rapid advancements in different elements of Industry 4.0 such as the internet of things, big data and cloud computing. In smart assembly systems, this autonomy aims at the integration of automated material handling equipment such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to robotic assembly line systems to ensure a reliable and flexible production system.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper tackles the problem of designing a balanced robotic assembly line and the scheduling of AGVs to feed materials to these lines such that the cycle time and total tardiness of the assembly system are minimized. Because of the combination of two well-known complex problems such as line balancing and material handling and a heuristic- and metaheuristic-based integrated decision approach is proposed.

Findings

A detailed computational study demonstrates how an integrated decision approach can serve as an efficient managerial tool in designing/redesigning assembly line systems and support automated transportation infrastructure.

Originality/value

This study is beneficial for production managers in understanding the main decisional steps involved in the designing/redesigning of smart assembly systems and providing guidelines in decision-making. Moreover, this study explores the material distribution scheduling problems in assembly systems, which is not yet comprehensively explored in the literature.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2019

Muhamad Magffierah Razali, Nur Hairunnisa Kamarudin, Mohd Fadzil Faisae Ab. Rashid and Ahmad Nasser Mohd Rose

This paper aims to review and discuss four aspects of mixed-model assembly line balancing (MMALB) problem mainly on the optimization angle. MMALB is a non-deterministic…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review and discuss four aspects of mixed-model assembly line balancing (MMALB) problem mainly on the optimization angle. MMALB is a non-deterministic polynomial-time hard problem which requires an effective algorithm for solution. This problem has attracted a number of research fields: manufacturing, mathematics and computer science.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper review 59 published research works on MMALB from indexed journal. The review includes MMALB problem varieties, optimization algorithm, objective function and constraints in the problem.

Findings

Based on research trend, this topic is still growing with the highest publication number observed in 2016 and 2017. The review indicated that the future research direction should focus on human factors and sustainable issues in the problem modeling. As the assembly cost becomes crucial, resource utilization in the assembly line should also be considered. Apart from that, the growth of new optimization algorithms is predicted to influence the MMALB optimization, which currently relies on well-established algorithms.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is on the research trend in MMALB. It provides the future direction for the researchers in this field.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2012

Biman Das, Alberto Garcia‐Diaz, Corinne A. MacDonald and Kalyan K. Ghoshal

The purpose of this paper is to develop a computer simulation model to evaluate increasing versus decreasing mean operation times assembly line arrangement for normal and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a computer simulation model to evaluate increasing versus decreasing mean operation times assembly line arrangement for normal and exponential distributions and the variances equal to 1 and 16.

Design/methodology/approach

The model was developed on the basis of a realistic case problem and applied to a six‐station assembly line. The evaluation criteria were: the minimization of the total elapsed time; the maximization of the average percentage of working time; and the minimization of the average time in the system.

Findings

The increasing mean operation times line arrangement is superior to the decreasing mean operation times line arrangement for the normal and exponential distributions and the variances equal to 1 and 16, in terms of the total elapsed time and the average percentage of the working time evaluation criteria. The decreasing mean operation times lines is marginally superior to the increasing operation times line for the normal distribution for the variances equal to 1 and 16, in terms of the average time in the system evaluation criterion. The above inference can be made for the exponential distribution for the variance 16, but no definitive conclusion can be made for the variance 1. Overall, the increasing mean operation times line arrangement has proven to be superior to the decreasing operation times line arrangement for both the stated distributions and variances, in terms of the important evaluation criteria.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the computer simulation approach to solving assembly line problems that deal with the impact of normally and exponentially distributed operation times, with variances equal to 1 and 16, on the increasing and decreasing mean operation times assembly line arrangements.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1987

T.K. Bhattacharjee and S. Sahu

This paper briefly reviews the assembly line balancing techniques developed over the last 30 years. It attempts to establish the direction of research, to identify…

Abstract

This paper briefly reviews the assembly line balancing techniques developed over the last 30 years. It attempts to establish the direction of research, to identify unexplored areas with potential for study and recommends future courses of action.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 7 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2010

Biman Das, Jesus M. Sanchez‐Rivas, Alberto Garcia‐Diaz and Corinne A. MacDonald

The purpose of this paper is to develop a computer simulation model to evaluate the bowl phenomenon and the allocation at the end of the line of stations with either…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a computer simulation model to evaluate the bowl phenomenon and the allocation at the end of the line of stations with either greater mean operation times or higher variability of operation times.

Design/methodology/approach

The model was developed on the basis of a realistic case problem and applied to a six‐station assembly line. The evaluation criteria were the: minimization of the total elapsed time; maximization of the average percentage of working time; and minimization of the average time in the system.

Findings

The performance of an assembly line with independently normally distributed operation times could be improved by applying the bowl phenomenon. The allocation of large operation mean times to stations located near the end of the line did not produce improved results. Instead a more balanced allocation proved to be more significantly effective. On the other hand, the assignment of larger variability of operation times to the stations near the end of the line improved the performance of the assembly line.

Originality/value

The investigation contributed to the computer simulation approach to solving assembly line problems that dealt with the impact of normally distributed operation times on the bowl phenomenon and assembly lines with increasing mean operation times and higher variability of operation times at the end of the line of stations.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Emre Cevikcan

Walking-worker assembly lines can be regarded as an effective method to achieve the above-mentioned characteristics. In such systems, workers, following each other, travel…

Abstract

Purpose

Walking-worker assembly lines can be regarded as an effective method to achieve the above-mentioned characteristics. In such systems, workers, following each other, travel workstations in sequence by performing all of the required tasks of their own product. As the eventual stage of assembly line design, efforts should be made for capacity adjustments to meet the demand in terms of allocating tasks to workers via assembly line balancing. In this context, the purpose of this study is to address the balancing problem for multi-model walking-worker assembly systems, with the aim of improving planning capability for such systems by means of developing an optimization methodology.

Design/methodology/approach

Two linear integer programming models are proposed to balance a multi-model walking-worker assembly line optimally in a sequential manner. The first mathematical programming model attempts to determine number of workers in each segment (i.e. rabbit chase loop) for each model. The second model generates stations in each segment to smooth workflow. What is more, heuristic algorithms are provided due to computational burden of mathematical programming models. Two segment generation heuristic algorithms and a station generation heuristic algorithm are provided for the addressed problem.

Findings

The application of the mathematical programming approach improved the performance of a tap-off box assembly line in terms of number of workers (9.1 per cent) and non-value-added time ratio (between 27.9 and 26.1 per cent for different models) when compared to a classical assembly system design. In addition, the proposed approach (i.e. segmented walking-worker assembly line) provided a more convenient working environment (28.1 and 40.8 per cent shorter walking distance for different models) in contrast with the overall walking-worker assembly line. Meanwhile, segment generation heuristics yielded reduction in labour requirement for a considerable number (43.7 and 49.1 per cent) of test problems. Finally, gaps between the objective values and the lower bounds have been observed as 8.3 per cent (Segment Generation Heuristic 1) and 6.1 (Segment Generation Heuristic 2).

Practical implications

The proposed study presents a decision support for walking-worker line balancing with high level of solution quality and computational performance for even large-sized assembly systems. That being the case, it contributes to the management of real-life assembly systems in terms of labour planning and ergonomics. Owing to the fact that the methodology has the potential of reducing labour requirement, it will present the opportunity of utilizing freed-up capacity for new lines in the start-up period or other bottleneck processes. In addition, this study offers a working environment where skill of the workers can be improved within reasonable walking distances.

Originality/value

To the best knowledge of the author, workload balancing on multi-model walking-worker assembly lines with rabbit chase loop(s) has not yet been handled. Addressing this research gap, this paper presents a methodology including mathematical programming models and heuristic algorithms to solve the multi-model walking-worker assembly line balancing problem for the first time.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2004

Dan Jonsson, Lars Medbo and Tomas Engström

In recent years, assembly lines have been reintroduced in the Swedish automotive industry and, in many cases, have replaced those so‐called alternative assembly systems…

Abstract

In recent years, assembly lines have been reintroduced in the Swedish automotive industry and, in many cases, have replaced those so‐called alternative assembly systems which had their roots in the 1970s. This paper reviews and evaluates some explicit reasons given for the return to the assembly line. It also considers whether the decisions to replace alternative assembly systems with assembly lines may have been driven by other factors and mechanisms than those implicit in these arguments and, if so, what other factors could explain their reintroduction. There is also a discussion of which dimensions that should be taken into account when choosing between alternative assembly systems and assembly lines and empirical data are used to shed more light on the issues discussed in the article. The authors report one study that compares automobile assembly in an alternative assembly system with assembly of the same products after introducing an assembly line. They also briefly discuss reasons for and experiences from the recent introduction of alternative assembly systems in the Japanese electronics industry. In this case, so‐called cellular assembly systems have replaced assembly lines.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 24 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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