An efficient branch and bound algorithm for assembly line balancing problems with parallel multi-manned workstations


COMPUTERS & OPERATIONS RESEARCH, vol.39, no.12, pp.3344-3360, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cor.2012.04.019
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3344-3360
  • Keywords: Assembly line balancing, Parallel multi-manned stations, Lower bounding, Branch and bound algorithm, COLONY OPTIMIZATION ALGORITHM, GENETIC ALGORITHM, MODEL, DESIGN, STATIONS, SERIAL
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


In the event that big-sized complex products (containing a large number of assembly tasks most of which have long task times) are produced in simple or two-sided assembly lines, hundreds of stations are essentially required. Long product flow time, a large area for establishment of the line, a high budget for the investment of equipment, and tools in stations and several work-in-process are also required for these kinds of products. In order to avoid these disadvantages, assembly lines with parallel multi-manned workstations can be utilized. In this paper, these lines and one of their balancing problems are addressed, and a branch and bound algorithm is proposed. The algorithm is composed of a branching scheme, some efficient dominance and feasibility criteria based on a problem-specific knowledge. A heuristic-based guidance for enumeration process is included as an efficient component of the algorithm as well. VWSolver algorithm proposed for a special version of the problem in the literature has been modified and compared with the proposed algorithm. Results show that proposed algorithm outperforms VWSolver in terms of both CPU times and quality of feasible solutions found. (c) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.