An Integrated Approach To Evaluating Assembly-Line Design Alternatives With Equipment Selection
Özdemir, Rifat Gürcan
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The design and implementation of assembly-line systems have been critical issues for companies since the first assembly-line was started at the Ford Highland Plant in 1913. From that time onwards, most companies have met with various problems at the design and implementation stages of assembly-line systems, two of which are the allocation of different work elements to various workstations and the proper equipment selection for workstations. Therefore, in this article, to overcome both the above-mentioned problems, we propose an integrated approach in which a branch and bound algorithm and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method are used together. First, the branch and bound algorithm is used to generate a list of assembly-line design alternatives. Then, the generated alternatives are evaluated using the AHP method to determine an optimum solution (the best alternative) at minimum equipment cost. The AHP method is one of the most commonly used multiple-criteria decision-making methods in the literature, and evaluates both qualitative and quantitative evaluation criteria represented in a hierarchical form. The proposed approach is also illustrated on a sample case study.