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A Weighted Approach for Assembly Line Design with Station Paralleling and Equipment Selection

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A weighted approach for assembly line design with station paralleling and equipment selection Joseph Bukchin and Jacob Rubinovitz Review by Uzair Khaleeq uz Zaman, Department of Mechanical Engineering, CEME, NUST, Pakistan Email:

I. INTRODUCTION The paper by Bukchin and Rubinovitz (2002) focuses on minimizing the number of stations and the cost of an assembly line through station paralleling and equipment selection. There are numerous factors that account towards assembly line balancing but the most common and worked upon idea is the ‘cycle time’. The cycle time (C) of the assembly line is determined by the workstation with the maximum work content time. It can also be explained as the time between the exits of two consecutive products from the line1. Hence, two problem formulations stem from the concept of C; one, to minimize the number of workstations for a required cycle time, and two, to minimize the cycle time for a given number of stations. The objective of the paper is therefore, to study an environment with several equipment types, human operators capable of performing various operations, the availability of the freedom to go for paralleling of stations, and to minimize the associated cost. As highly mechanized equipment is largely dependent on the number of parallel stations due to equipment duplication, the preliminary study is split in to two sections. The first section focuses on the parallel station problem and the second section adds weights (cost) to the objective function. As the weights change, line configurations change. The later part of the study then compares parallel station problem with the equipment selection via a Branch and Bound (BB) algorithm developed by Bukchin and Tzur (2000). Lastly, the parallel stations and the equipment duplication, combined, are solved by the same BB algorithm.

II. LITERATURE REVIEW Extensive search has been done in the past with the evolution of heuristic methods and solutions focusing...

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