OR Spectrum

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 291–320 | Cite as

The assembly line balancing and scheduling problem with sequence-dependent setup times: problem extension, model formulation and efficient heuristics

  • Armin Scholl
  • Nils Boysen
  • Malte Fliedner
Regular Article


Assembly line balancing problems (ALBP) consist of distributing the total workload for manufacturing any unit of the products to be assembled among the work stations along a manufacturing line as used in the automotive or the electronics industries. Usually, theory assumes that, within each station, tasks can be executed in an arbitrary precedence-feasible sequence without changing station times. In practice, however, the task sequence may influence the station time considerably as sequence-dependent setups (e.g., walking distances, tool changes) have to be considered. Including this aspect leads to a joint balancing and scheduling problem, which we call SUALBSP (setup assembly line balancing and scheduling problem). In this paper, we modify the problem by modeling setups more realistically, give a new, more compact mathematical model formulation and develop effective heuristic solution procedures. Computational experiments based on existing and new data sets indicate that the new procedures outperform formerly proposed heuristics. They are able to solve problem instances of real-world size with small deviations from optimality in computation times short enough to be accepted in real-world decision support systems.


Assembly line balancing Mass-production  Combinatorial optimization Setup time Scheduling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Management ScienceFriedrich-Schiller-University of JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Chair of Operations ManagementFriedrich-Schiller-University of JenaJenaGermany

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