A Production Line Optimization Model to Improve Efficiency in A Motor Vehicle Factory

Ugur Bac
Atilim University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Engineering


Assembly lines are one of the most crucial part of any manufacturing company, especially in the motor vehicles factories. Assembly lines are stations in which pieces are systematically distributed among stations and semi-finished products are sequentially added together to form the final product. Because of the disparity in labor and equipment in assembly lines, it's difficult to achieve a balance between the workstations since the quantity and types of faults vary at different speeds, resulting in bottlenecks in the system. The assembly line studied in this paper had different occupancy rates in stations that causes a decrease in efficiency. While bottleneck problem occurs at some stations, some other stations were idle most of the time. Line balancing problems consist on assigning tasks to stations and/or workers in a restricted way. The problem of assigning operations to stations is formulated with the objective of minimizing the number of stations used to meet a target cycle time, or with the objective of minimizing the cycle time given a predetermined number of stations. In this study, a mathematical optimization model has been developed to balance the occupancy rates at workstations, to eliminate the bottlenecks, to reduce the occupancy rates at the stations, and to increase the station's total efficiency in a motor vehicle factory in Turkey. As a result, it is observed that bottlenecks are eliminated, cycle time of the assembly line is decreased and total efficiency of the line is increased considerably by distributing the operations to the stations in a more balanced way.


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