A line balancing problem considers the assignment of operations to workstations in an assembly line. While assembly lines are usually associated to mass production of standardised goods, their advantages have led to their widespread use whenever a product-oriented production system is applicable and the benefits of the labour division and specialisation are significant, even when some of its characteristics may deviate from classical assembly lines. In this work, we study a line balancing problem found in the textile industry in which the line must be balanced for multiple types of goods taking into account resource requirements. In order to solve the problem, a hybrid method that combines classical methods for line balancing with an Estimation of Distribution Algorithm is proposed. Computational experiments show that the new procedure improves upon the state of the art when compared using a benchmark set derived from the literature, as well as when compared using data from the manufacturer that originated this research work.
- assembly line balancing
- combinatorial optimisation
- estimation of distribution algorithm
- lower bound