Track: Operations Management
The objective of simple assembly line balancing problem type1 is to minimize the number of workstations organized to perform tasks with precedence constraints. Assembly lines, which require a lot of manual labor, are an example of a manufacturing environment where learning effect influences the operation. In this case, when the minimal number of workstations is determined, the change of task times as a consequence of learning must be considered. This paper investigates the effects of two exponential learning curves on the minimal number of workstations when a simple assembly line balancing problem is solved. A modified simple assembly line balancing model incorporating the learning effect is formulated, and a sample problem to illustrate the application of the model is provided. Some general conclusions related to the type of learning curve function applied and to the change of learning rates are also presented.
Assembly line balancing, simple assembly line, learning curve, production management, mathematical programming.