Type-E Parallel Two-Sided Assembly Line Balancing Problem: Mathematical Model and Ant Colony Optimisation based Approach with Optimised Parameters
Zhang, David Z.
Computers and Industrial Engineering
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There are many factors which affect the performance of a complex production system. Efficiency of an assembly line is one of the most important of these factors since assembly lines are generally constructed as the last stage of an entire production system. Parallel two-sided assembly line system is a new research domain in academia though these lines have been utilised to produce large sized products such as automobiles, trucks, and buses in industry for many years. Parallel two-sided assembly lines carry practical advantages of both parallel assembly lines and two-sided assembly lines. The main purpose of this paper is to introduce type-E parallel two-sided assembly line balancing problem for the first time in the literature and to propose a new ant colony optimisation based approach for solving the problem. Different from the existing studies on parallel assembly line balancing problems in the literature, this paper aims to minimise two conflicting objectives, namely cycle time and number of workstations at the same time and proposes a mathematical model for the formal description of the problem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which addresses both conflicting objectives on a parallel two-sided assembly line configuration. The developed ant colony optimisation algorithm is illustrated with an example to explain its procedures. An experimental design is also conducted to calibrate the parameters of the proposed algorithm using response surface methodology. Results obtained from the performed computational study indicate that minimising cycle time as well as number of workstations help increase system efficiency. It is also observed that the proposed algorithm finds promising results for the studied cases of type-E parallel two-sided assembly line balancing problem when the results are compared with those obtained from other three well-known heuristics.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier. This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication in Computers and Industrial Engineering (doi:10.1016/j.cie.2014.12.037). The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.
Vol. 84, pp. 56–69