Reconfiguration of assembly lines under the influence of high product variety in the automotive industry–a decision support system

Simon Altemeier, Marcel Helmdach, Achim Koberstein, Wilhelm Dangelmaier
2009 International Journal of Production Research  
In this paper we consider the mixed model assembly line reconfiguration problem in the context of auto production which is characterized by a make-to-order production process and a huge product variety. Starting from a given line balancing solution the goal is to minimize production costs in the short term for a largely known production program by reassigning and shifting tasks between workstations. We present a mathematical optimization model which aims at minimizing the costs incurred by
more » ... ts incurred by overload situations, regular workers and reconfiguration measures. Due to the model's complexity, lack of data and acceptance issues it is hardly possible to fully automate the solution process in an industrial environment. Therefore, we present a decision support approach which consists of visualization components, new numerical indicators and an integrated heuristic optimization procedure to semi-automate the reconfiguration process. In particular, reconfiguration costs can be taken into account and no complete precedence graph is required. Finally, we show on the basis of two industrial case studies that our approach can be successfully applied in a practical environment where it was capable to drastically reduce the occurrence of overload situations.
doi:10.1080/00207540903252290 fatcat:yyvldr4ty5as7f7rfha3ez4kcu