Robust assembly line balancing with heterogeneous workers

Mayron César O. Moreira, Jean François Cordeau, Alysson M. Costa, Gilbert Laporte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (SciVal)


Assembly lines are manufacturing systems in which a product is assembled progressively in workstations by different workers or machines, each executing a subset of the needed assembly operations (or tasks). We consider the case in which task execution times are worker-dependent and uncertain, being expressed as intervals of possible values. Our goal is to find an assignment of tasks and workers to a minimal number of stations such that the resulting productivity level respects a desired robust measure. We propose two mixed-integer programming formulations for this problem and explain how these formulations can be adapted to handle the special case in which one must integrate a particular set of workers in the assembly line. We also present a fast construction heuristic that yields high quality solutions in just a fraction of the time needed to solve the problem to optimality. Computational results show the benefits of solving the robust optimization problem instead of its deterministic counterpart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-263
Number of pages10
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Assembly line balancing
  • Constructive heuristic
  • Heterogeneous workers
  • Integer programming
  • Robust optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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