Title: Development of an application for balancing product flow lines through genetic algorithms

Authors: Manuel F. Silva; Cecília Reis; Ricardo Pimenta

Addresses: INESC TEC – INESC Technology and Science (formerly INESC Porto) and ISEP/IPP – School of Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal ' ISEP/IPP – School of Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal ' ISEP/IPP – School of Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal

Abstract: When defining the layout for a production line, it is necessary to assign tasks to workstations, so that the work is performed in a feasible sequence and approximately equal amounts of time are needed at each workstation, a process called line balancing. Therefore, the need for balancing production lines involves the distribution of sequential activities for jobs in order to allow high labour and equipment utilisation and minimise the idle time. Line balancing problems are complex to treat, being used distinct methodologies to perform it. This paper describes an application for line balancing using two genetic algorithms (the first obtains solutions to the problem and the second optimises those solutions), associated with a graphical interface for the problem data input and visualisation of results. Results demonstrate advantages over heuristic methods as it is possible to obtain more than one solution and it is more practical to use the developed application.

Keywords: assembly line balancing; ALB; genetic algorithms; optimisation; product flow lines; graphical interface; visualisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2016.075596

International Journal of Business Excellence, 2016 Vol.9 No.3, pp.310 - 331

Received: 29 May 2014
Accepted: 17 Jun 2014

Published online: 26 Jan 2016 *

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