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Application of the results of simple assembly line balancing models in practice: the case of a bicycle manufacturer

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The objective of assembly line balancing (ALB) is the allocation of tasks to workstations of continuous production lines in order to minimise operating cost or other cycle time-related management criteria. As a consequence of the development of computer technology, mathematical programming models of practical-sized ALB problems can be solved by commercial optimisation software very efficiently. Therefore, the focus of research in ALB can be shifted to practice-driven model formulation and to the investigation of new areas of application. The objective of this paper is to show how cycle-time related operations management decisions can be supported with quick solution of ALB models through the case of a bicycle assembly process. Practical ALB problems related to workforce skill and to production quantity changes are presented and management implications of the results are explained.
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Keywords: assembly line balancing; bicycle manufacturing; case study; mathematical programming; operations management; worker skill

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Management and Corporate Economics, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary

Publication date: September 2, 2014

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