Genetic algorithm and decision support for assembly line balancing in the automotive industry

J.B.H.C. Didden (Corresponding author), E. Lefeber, I.J.B.F. Adan, I.W.F. Panhuijzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An important and highly complex process in the automotive industry is the balancing of the assembly lines. Optimally distributing jobs among the lines in order to obtain the highest efficiency is mostly done manually, taking a lot of time. This paper aims to automate the process of line balancing for a real-world test case. Automotive assembly lines are highly complex, and multiple factors have to be considered while balancing the lines. All factors relevant in a case study at VDL Nedcar are considered, namely, mixed-model production, sequence-dependent setup times, variable workplaces with multiple operators and multiple assignment constraints. A Genetic Algorithm (GA) is proposed to solve the formulated balancing problem and to act as a decision support system. Results on newly proposed benchmark instances show that the solution is dependent on the relation between the takt time and processing time of jobs, as well as the setup times. In addition, results of a real-life case study show that the proposed GA is effective in balancing a real-world assembly line and that it can both increase the efficiency of the line and decrease the variance in operating time between all model variants when compared to current practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3377-3395
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Volume61
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Assembly line balancing
  • genetic algorithm
  • mixed models
  • sequence-dependent setup time
  • variable workplaces

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