A New Mixed-Model Assembly Line Planning Approach for an Efficient Variety Steering Integration
In order to deal with the extreme complexity occurring within mass customization production processes today, appropriate variety steering and formation concepts are mandatory. Those are responsible for a customer oriented variant definition which simultaneously reduces internal complexity. In order to achieve mass production at least costs, assembly lines are still attractive means. By avoiding transportation and storage as well as, in particular, by specifically training the employed workers, assembly lines yield substantial reductions of variable unit costs. However, by producing a mass customization variant program with billions of different constellations on the same line, an oscillating capacity use can be observed. Obviously, planning the structure of the used assembly lines and variety steering are strongly interdependent decision problems whose coping is decisive for efficient mass customization. Unfortunately, an integration of both decision levels currently fails because of lacking adequate approaches for mixed-model assembly line balancing. Since known concepts are still based on integral product architectures, they neither correspond to existing steering approaches nor do they cope with the extreme complexity of mass customization processes. Consequently, the present paper sketches a new balancing approach with a modular variant definition. In addition to this, the new model comprises a sophisticated personnel planning. In order to determine systematically appropriate line layouts, a randomized parallel Tabu Search algorithm is generated and analyzed. This approach was designed for the use in an ordinary LAN of personal computers which can be found in almost all companies today. In order to validate its utilizability in companywide networks, results measured for constellations with oscillating background loads are presented.
Key wordsVariety Steering and Formation Mass Customization Mixed-model assembly line balancing Distributed algorithms
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Amen, M. 2005. Cost-oriented assembly line balancing: Model formulations, solution difficulty, upper and lower bounds. European Journal of Operational Research, in press.Google Scholar
- Becker, C., Scholl, A. 2005. A survey on problems and methods in generalized assembly line balancing. European Journal of Operational Research, in press.Google Scholar
- Blecker, T., Abdelkafi, N., Kaluza, B., Friedrich, G. 2003. Key Metrics System for Variety Steering in Mass Customization, in: Piller, F. T., Reichwald, R., Tseng, M. (eds.): Competitive Advantage Through Customer Interaction: Leading Mass Customization and Personalization from the Emerging State to a Mainstream Business Model. Proceedings of the 2nd Interdisciplinary World Congress on Mass Customization and Personalization-MCPC’03, pp. 1–27.Google Scholar
- Blecker, T., Abdelkafi, N., Kaluza, B., Kreutler, G. 2004. A Framework for Understanding the Interdependencies between Mass Customization and Complexity, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Business Economics, Management and Marketing, Athens/Greece, 1–15.Google Scholar
- Bock, S. 2000. Modelle und verteilte Algorithmen zur Planung getakteter Fließlinien. DUV, Wiesbaden.Google Scholar
- Bock, S., Rosenberg, O. 2000. Dynamic Load Balancing Strategies for Planning Production Processes in heterogeneous Networks. Proceeding of the INFORMS Conference 2000 in Seoul, 951–955.Google Scholar
- Bock, S., Rosenberg, O., van Brackel, T. 2005. Controlling mixed-model assembly lines in real-time by using distributed systems. European Journal of Operational Research, in press.Google Scholar
- Fremery, F. 1991. Model-mix balancing: more flexibility to improve the general results. Production research: approaching the 21st century, Tailor & Francis, London, 314–321.Google Scholar
- Piller, F., Koch, M., Moeslein, K., Schubert, P. 2003. Managing high variety: How to overcome the Mass Confusion Phenomenon. Proceedings of the EURAM 2003 Conference, Milan.Google Scholar
- Rosenberg, O. 1996. Variantenmanagement. In: Kern, W. et al. (Eds.). Handwörterbuch der Produktionswirtschaft, 2nd edition, Schäffer-Pöschel, Stuttgart, 2119–2129.Google Scholar
- Scholl, A. 1999. Balancing and Sequencing of Assembly Lines. 2nd edition, Physica, Heidelberg.Google Scholar
- Scholl, A., Becker, C. 2005. State-of-the-art exact and heuristic solution procedures for simple assembly line balancing. European Journal of Operational Research, in press.Google Scholar