Balancing parallel assembly lines with disabled workers
by Felipe F.B. Araújo; Alysson M. Costa; Cristóbal Miralles
European J. of Industrial Engineering (EJIE), Vol. 9, No. 3, 2015

Abstract: In this paper, we study an assembly line balancing problem that occurs in sheltered worker centres for the disabled, where workers with very different characteristics are present. We are interested in the situation in which complete parallel assembly lines are allowed and name the resulting problem as parallel assembly line worker assignment and balancing problem (PALWABP). This approach enables many new possible worker-tasks assignments, what is beneficial in terms of both labour integration and productivity. We present a linear mixed-integer formulation and two heuristic solution methods: one is based on tabu search and the other is a biased random-key genetic algorithm (BRKGA). Computational results with a large set of instances recently proposed in the literature show the advantages of allowing such alternative line layouts. [Received 6 November 2013; Revised 14 February 2014; Accepted 26 March 2014]

Online publication date: Tue, 12-May-2015

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