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An intelligent search algorithm-based method to derive assembly line design alternatives

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In this work, a method of deriving assembly line design alternatives and evaluating them against multiple user-defined criteria has been presented. The design problem has been formulated in a way that it can be transformed from a decision-making problem into a search problem. A systematic way of generating the solution space of the search problem, based on the real-life design project requirements, has been described in detail. An intelligent search algorithm that uses the three control factors to guide the search was introduced and applied to efficiently derive high-quality line designs. Investment cost, availability, equipment reutilisation, annual production volume and flexibility metrics have been used for evaluating the alternative designs. The method was implemented in a software tool, which can automatically generate discrete event simulation models for the calculation of several performance metrics. The results of the application, in an automotive case, indicate that the tool is appropriate for supporting decision making during the stage of rough planning, although several functionalities can be used during more advanced stages such as the detailed planning concept.
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Keywords: assembly lines; automotive; design

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics,University of Patras, Rio,265 00 Rio,Patras, Greece

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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