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A water-flow like algorithm for solving U-shaped assembly line balancing problems
University of Skövde, School of Engineering Science. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. (Production and Automation Engineering)
University of Skövde, School of Engineering Science. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. (Production and Automation Engineering)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5530-3517
Department of Industrial Management, Management and Accounting Faculty, SBU, G.C., Tehran, Iran.
Department of Industrial Engineering, Minab Higher Education Center, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran / Modern Technology Development and Implementation Research Center, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran.
2019 (English)In: IEEE Access, E-ISSN 2169-3536, Vol. 7, p. 129824-129833Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The problem of assigning assembly tasks to the stations arranged along a material handling device is known as assembly line balancing. This paper aims to address the U-shaped assembly line balancing problem (UALBP) which arises when a U-shaped assembly line has to be configured. It is widely known that this problem is NP-hard. Accordingly, different meta-heuristics based on a single solution (such as Simulated Annealing) or a population of solutions (such as Genetic Algorithms) have been proposed in the literature. Meanwhile, it has been argued that either of these meta-heuristics with a fixed number of solutions cannot maintain efficient search progress and thus can lead to premature convergence. Thus, this study aims at adopting a novel meta-heuristic algorithm with dynamic population sizes, namely Water Flow-like Algorithm (WFA), inspired by the behaviour of water flows in nature, to address the UALBP. The line efficiency and variation of workload are considered as the primary and the secondary objective, to be optimized, respectively. To verify the efficiency and robustness of the proposed WFA, a real case study taken from an automobile manufacturer as well as a set of standard problems are solved and the results compared with the existing approaches in the literature. The computational results demonstrate the superiority of the WFA, particularly in addressing medium to large-sized problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2019. Vol. 7, p. 129824-129833
Keywords [en]
U-shaped, assembly line balancing, water flow-like algorithm
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Production and Automation Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17656DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2939724ISI: 000487236000016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-17656DiVA, id: diva2:1349262
Available from: 2019-09-07 Created: 2019-09-07 Last updated: 2019-10-11Bibliographically approved

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Nourmohammadi, AmirFathi, Masood

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