A recursive operator allocation approach for assembly line-balancing optimization problem with the consideration of operator efficiency

B. L. Song, Wai Keung Wong, J. T. Fan, S. F. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses an optimization model for assembly line-balancing problem in order to improve the line balance of a production line under a human-centric and dynamic apparel assembly process. As the variance of operator efficiency is vital to line imbalance in labor intensive industry, an approach is proposed to balance production line through optimal operator allocation with the consideration of operator efficiency. Two recursive algorithms are developed to generate all feasible solutions for operator allocation. Three objectives, namely, the lowest standard deviation of operation efficiency, the highest production line efficiency and the least total operation efficiency waste, are devised to find out the optimal solution of operator allocation. The method in this paper improves the flexibility of the operator allocation on different sizes of data set of operations and operators, and enhances the efficiency of searching for the optimal solution of big size data set. The results of experiments are reported. The performance comparison demonstrates that the proposed optimization method outperforms the industry practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-608
Number of pages24
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Assembly line-balancing
  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Operator efficiency
  • Recursive algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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