Using Simulation and Data Envelopment Analysis to Compare Assembly Line Balancing Solutions

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This paper presents a technique for comparing the results of different assembly line balancing strategies by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Initially, several heuristics—which can be thought of as assembly line balancing strategies—were used to solve seven line-balancing problems. The resulting line balance solutions provided two pieces of information that were of particular interest: the number of workers needed and the amount of equipment needed. These two items were considered inputs for DEA. The different line balance solutions were then used as layouts for simulated production runs. From the simulation experiments, several output performance measures were obtained which were of particular interest and were used as outputs for DEA. The analysis shows that DEA is effective in suggesting which line balancing heuristics are most promising.

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