INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRODUCTION RESEARCH, vol.54, no.11, pp.3429-3451, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)
In this paper, a novel stochastic two-sided U-type assembly line balancing (STUALB) procedure, an algorithm based on the genetic algorithm and a heuristic priority rule-based procedure to solve STUALB problem are proposed. With this new proposed assembly line design, all advantages of both two-sided assembly lines and U-type assembly lines are combined. Due to the variability of the real-life conditions, stochastic task times are also considered in the study. The proposed approach aims to minimise the number of positions (i.e. the U-type assembly line length) as the primary objective and to minimise the number of stations (i.e. the number of operators) as a secondary objective for a given cycle time. An example problem is solved to illustrate the proposed approach. In order to evaluate the efficiency of the proposed algorithm, test problems taken from the literature are used. The experimental results show that the proposed approach performs well.