Incorporating physical demand criteria into assembly line balancing

Brian J. Carnahan, Bryan A. Norman, Mark S. Redfern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Many assembly line balancing algorithms consider only task precedence and duration when minimizing cycle time. However, disregarding the physical demands of these tasks may contribute to the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the assembly line workers. Three line balancing heuristics that incorporate physical demand criteria were developed to solve the problem of finding assembly line balances that consider both the time and physical demands of the assembly tasks: a ranking heuristic, a combinatorial genetic algorithm, and a problem space genetic algorithm. Each heuristic was tested using 100 assembly line balancing problems. Incorporating physical demands using these algorithms does impact the assembly line configuration. Results indicated that the problem space genetic algorithm was the most adept at finding line balances that minimized cycle time and physical workload placed upon participants. Benefits of using this approach in manufacturing environments are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-887
Number of pages13
JournalIIE Transactions (Institute of Industrial Engineers)
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001


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