In order to increase flexibility and reduce costs, several companies adopt mixed-model assembly lines whose output products are variations of the same basic model with specific and distinctive attributes. Unfortunately, such attributes typically lead to variations in the task process times. In the case of un-paced buffered assembly lines, these variations are smoothed by buffers with consequences in terms of work-in-progress, costs, space utilisation and lower productivity control. To face such weaknesses, some companies adopt paced un-buffered assembly lines where the cycle time is controlled by the continuous/synchronous moving of the products from the first to the last assembly station. In such contexts, the possibility of assembling different models with different assembly times can be managed through the use of supplementary flexible workforce. This article introduces an innovative balancing and sequencing hierarchical approach for paced mixed-model assembly lines using supplementary flexible workforce called ‘jolly operators’. The goals are to minimise the number of jolly operators and to limit the occurrence of work-overloads, which typically result in out-of-the-line assembly completion. The proposed approach is preliminary validated and applied to a case study from an Italian company assembling industrial air-dryers.

Hierarchical approach for paced mixed-model assembly line balancing and sequencing with jolly operators

FACCIO, MAURIZIO;GAMBERI, MAURO;BORTOLINI, MARCO
2016

Abstract

In order to increase flexibility and reduce costs, several companies adopt mixed-model assembly lines whose output products are variations of the same basic model with specific and distinctive attributes. Unfortunately, such attributes typically lead to variations in the task process times. In the case of un-paced buffered assembly lines, these variations are smoothed by buffers with consequences in terms of work-in-progress, costs, space utilisation and lower productivity control. To face such weaknesses, some companies adopt paced un-buffered assembly lines where the cycle time is controlled by the continuous/synchronous moving of the products from the first to the last assembly station. In such contexts, the possibility of assembling different models with different assembly times can be managed through the use of supplementary flexible workforce. This article introduces an innovative balancing and sequencing hierarchical approach for paced mixed-model assembly lines using supplementary flexible workforce called ‘jolly operators’. The goals are to minimise the number of jolly operators and to limit the occurrence of work-overloads, which typically result in out-of-the-line assembly completion. The proposed approach is preliminary validated and applied to a case study from an Italian company assembling industrial air-dryers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3212303
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