LINE BALANCING

By
Arun Mishra
Line Balancing
 Definition: “the apportionment of sequential
work activities into work stations in order to gain
a high utilization of labour and equipment and
therefore minimize idle time.”
 Arranging a production line so that there is an
even flow of production from one work station to
the next, so that there are no delays at any work
station that will leave the next work station with
idle time.
Introduction : What is line balancing?
Introduction : What is line balancing?
Objectives of Line Balancing
 Capacity
◦ Minimization of total idle time (maximization of the use of the
line).
◦ Minimization of product flow-time.
◦ Balance the levels of capacity used at the workstations.
 Cost
◦ Minimization of the machinery costs, tools or idle equipment.
◦ Minimization of the costs of materials or reworks.
◦ Minimization of the costs by adjustment and change.
 Organizational-social
◦ Job Enrichment
◦ Modifications at the Line balancing

Line Balance : Simple
Example
1 2 3 4
25 mins 5 mins 15 mins 10 mins
Constraint
Overburden
This operator
must WAIT for
operator 2
Overproduction which
causes the other 6
wastes
Waiting
Over-processing
Inventory
Rework
Transportation
Motion
This operator
must WAIT for
operator 3
5
10
15
20
25
1 2 3 4
mins
Line Balance : Simple
Example
5
10
15
20
25
Redistribute the work
1 2 3 4
15 mins
15 mins 15 mins 10 mins
Promotes one-
piece FLOW
Avoids
overburden
Minimises the 7
wastes
Reduces
Variation
Line Balancing Procedure in Assembly
Layouts
i. Step 1 : Determine what tasks must be performed to
complete one unit of a finished product and the
sequence in which the tasks must be performed. Draw
the precedence diagram.
ii. Step 2 : Estimate the task time (amount of time it takes
a worker to perform each task).
iii. Step 3 : Determine the cycle time (the amount of time
that would elapse between products coming off the end
of the assembly line if the desired hourly production
were being produced.)
iv. Step 4 : Assign each task to a worker and balance the
assembly line. This process results in determining the
scope of each worker’s job or which tasks that he or she
will perform.
Terminologies used in Line Balancing
 Tasks: element of work or activity.
 Task Precedence: Indicated the sequence in which tasks
must be performed. Except the beginning task, all other
tasks have preceding tasks.
 Task times: The amount of time required for an
automated machine or a well-trained work to perform a
task.
 Work station: Physical location where a particular set of
tasks is performed. It could be either machine or
equipment operated by a worker or robot.
 Work Centre: A physical location where two or more
identical workstations are located in order to provide the
need production capacity.
 Productive time per hour: The duration a work station
or machine is working in each hour. It is always lesser
than actual available time.
Tool used in line balancing to display elemental
tasks and sequence requirements
A Simple Precedence
Diagram
a
b
c d
e
0.1 min.
0.7 min.
1.0 min.
0.5 min. 0.2 min.
Precedence Diagram
 Cycle Time (CT) is the time interval at which
completed products leave the production line.
Determination of cycle time (CT)
Determination of the Ideal or Theoretical
Minimum Number of Workers Required in the
Line
work per period per time Available
period per required
units Output
task time or
operation Total
. production line/
assy. the in required
workers of . no minimum
l theoretica or Ideal
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The least number of work stations that can provide the
required production. The formulae is;
Balancing Efficiency
 An efficient line balancing will minimize the amount of
idle time.
 The balance efficiency can be calculated as:
N CT
t
times n workstatio by Input
time task of Output
FFB
E (i)
×
¿
= =
workers of number Actual
workers of number minimum l Theoretica
FFB
E (ii) =
Where, ∑t = sum of the actual worker times or task times to complete one unit.
CT= cyclic time; N= No. of workers or work stations.
Line Balancing Procedure (Steps)
 Calculate the cyclic time and determine the theoretical
minimum number of workstations.
 Compute the total actual number of workstation (N)
required by rounding up the theoretical number of
workstations to the next higher integer value.
 Assign the tasks to the workstations beginning with
station1. Tasks are assigned to work stations moving from
left to right through the precedence diagram.
 Before assigning each task to a workstation, use the
following criteria to determine which tasks are eligible to
be assigned to a workstation.
◦ All preceding tasks in the sequence have been assigned
already.
◦ The task time does not exceed the time remaining at the
workstation.
If no task are eligible to be assigned to a particular
workstation, move to the next workstation.
Line Balancing Procedure (Steps) Conti…
 After each task assignment, determine the time
remaining at the current work station by subtracting
the sum of times for tasks already assigned to the
work station from the cycle time.
 When there is a tie between two tasks (parallel tasks)
to be assigned, use one of these rules:
◦ Assign the task with the longest task time.
◦ Assign the task with greatest number of followers.
If there is still a tie, choose one task arbitrarily.
 Continue assignment of tasks until all tasks have
been assigned to workstations.
 Calculate the idle time (or balance delay), percent
idle time and efficiency of balancing the line.
Line Balancing Methods
 The various line balancing methods or
techniques used are:
1. Heuristic methods
2. Linear Programming
3. Dynamic Programming
4. Computerized line-balancing

Heuristic and Computer based technique are most widely
used for solving large scale line balancing problems.
Heuristic Method
 Thumb rule method which gives a
satisfactory rather than optional
solution to the line balancing problem.
 Acceptable when optimizing solutions
are not feasible or are too costly to
obtain.
 In this work elements are grouped
such that the cyclic time is not violated
& the preceding diagram is used to
group the activities as per the
sequence of operations.
Types of Heuristic Methods
 Incremental Utilization Heuristic:
◦ Assigns tasks to a workstation in the order of task
precedence one at a time until the utilization of
workstation in 100% or as near to 100% as
possible.
◦ This method is appropriate when one or more
task times is equal to or greater than the cyclic
time.
 Longest-task time-Heuristic:
◦ Adds tasks to workstations one at a time in the
order of task precedence.
◦ Tasks with shorter times are kept pending for
assignment later to fine tune the balancing
solution.
◦ Method can be used only when each & every task
time is less then or equal to cycle time.
Computerized Line Balancing
 Use of software packages that will balance
large line quickly.
 Examples are; COMSOAL (Computer
Method for Sequencing Operations for
Assembly Lines), GE’s ASYBL (Assembly
Line Configuration Program)
 They use various heuristics or rules are;
◦ Ranked positional weight
◦ Longest operational time
◦ Shortest operational time
◦ Most number of followings
◦ Least number of following tasks.
Problem
 The precedence diagram for assembly activities A to
G is shown below. The element time required for the
activities are shown in the diagram in minutes. The
line operates for 7 hrs. Per day and an output of 550
units per day is desired.
◦ Calculate Cycle time & theoretical min. number of workers.
◦ Group the tasks into an appropriate no. of work stations.
◦ Calculate the balance efficiency.
A B C
D
E
F G
0.65 Min. 0.40 Min. 0.30 Min.
0.20 Min.
0.45 Min.
0.40 Min. 0.30 Min.
Solution
CT =
Available time per period
Output units required per period
=
7x60
550
= 0.76 mts
N =
∑ t
CT
=
0.76
0.65+0.4+0.3+0.2+0.45+0.4+0.3
=
0.76
2.7
= 3.552
Ideal Time = CT – Work station time

Balance Efficiency:
N CT
t
times n workstatio by Input
time task of Output
FFB
E (i)
×
¿
= =
=
0.76x4
2.7
x 100 = 88.81%

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