ENGINEERING OPTIMIZATION, cilt.49, ss.1401-1419, 2017 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
U-shaped assembly lines are commonly used in just-in-time production systems as they have some advantages over straight lines. Although maximizing production rates on these lines by assigning tasks to stations is common practice in industrial environments, studies on the stated assembly line balancing problem are limited. This article deals with maximizing the production rate on U-shaped assembly lines under sequence-dependent set-up times. Sequence-dependent set-up times mean that after a task is performed, a set-up time, the duration of which depends on adjacent tasks, is required to start the next task operation. These set-ups are considered by dividing them into two groups, named forward and backward set-ups, to make the problem more practical. Two heuristics based on simulated annealing and genetic algorithms are improved beside the mathematical model. Experimental results show that solving the stated problem using the mathematical model is nearly impossible, while heuristics may obtain solutions that have acceptable deviations from the lower bounds.