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Rebalancing in assembly lines

Girit, Utku
Assembly line balancing is an important and well recognized operations research problem. The current balancing might not stay optimal for a long time due to the changing conditions. The changing conditions, like disruptions in one or more workstations, may cause some inefficiencies, even infeasibilities, for the current balance. In this study, after the disruption, we aim to rebalance the assembly line by considering the trade-off between workload balancing (efficiency measure) and total displacement amount for the tasks assigned to the different workstations (stability measure). We try to generate all non-dominated objective function vectors for the defined efficiency and stability measures. Two algorithms are developed: classical approach and tabu search algorithm. Our experiments have shown that the classical approach returns exact non dominated objective vectors with up to 40 tasks and 7 workstations in one hour and the tabu search algorithm returns approximate non dominated objective vectors that are very close to their exact counterparts and can solve large sized instances, very quickly.