Comparison between fixed- and walking-worker assembly lines

Qian Wang, Geraint W Owen, Antony R Mileham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (SciVal)


Linear walking-worker assembly lines are a novel form of flexible assembly system where fitters travel along the line carrying out each assembly task at each workstation. They attempt to combine the flexibility of the workbench system with the efficiency of the conventional fixed-worker assembly line. This concept has been implemented in a local manufacturing company where conventional assembly systems have been dominant for many years. This paper describes an investigation into this implemented walking-worker assembly line. The research work makes a comparison of the system's performance based on the same production line operated with fixed workers or with walking workers. The research approach was to develop simulation models for the alternative systems and to compare their simulation results. The results have shown that by using multiple-skilled walking workers this novel system has several advantages over the conventional fixed-worker assembly line under similar conditions. © IMechE 2005.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-848
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2005


  • Computer simulation
  • Mathematical models
  • Self assembly
  • Computer workstations


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