Design of flexible assembly line to minimize equipment cost

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In this paper we develop an optimal and a heuristic algorithm for the problem of designing a flexible assembly line when several equipment alternatives are available. The design problem addresses the questions of selecting the equipment and assigning tasks to workstations, when precedence constraints exist among tasks. The objective is to minimize total equipment costs, given a predetermined cycle time (derived from the required production rate). We develop an exact branch and bound algorithm which is capable of solving practical problems of moderate size. The algorithm's efficiency is enhanced due to the development of good lower bounds, as well as the use of some dominance rules to reduce the size of the branch and bound tree. We also suggest the use of a branch-and-bound-based heuristic procedure for large problems, and analyze the design and performance of this heuristic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-598
Number of pages14
JournalIIE Transactions (Institute of Industrial Engineers)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000


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