Assembly line balancing

Assembly line balancing

Assembly line balancing

Assembly line balancing a technique for grouping tasks between work stations, so that each one has the same amount of labor. It seeks to minimize the imbalance between machines and people. At the same time, complies with the required production of the line. It is not a one-time activity when designing a new plant or assembly line.

As the design of goods and services changes, companies must return to
balance the assembly line. This requires the redesign of the position and retraining of the workers, as well as acquiring new equipment or modifying the old one, and a new configuration of the disposition may even be necessary.


Give each operator what comes closest to the same amount of work. Same for work cells, load of work centers and people.

The station, cell, work center or person who has more work than the others, is the 100% load station, that is, the bottleneck station, which limits the flow of the entire plant. If we reduce 5% the bottleneck, we will save that percentage in each station of the line. Continue working in this station until another station of the line becomes the bottleneck station, which will now assume 100%.

Purpose of the assembly line balancing technique

  • Equalize the workload in work centers.
  • Identify the bottleneck operation.
  • Set the speed of the assembly line or plant rhythm.
  • Determine the cycle time of work stations.
  • Determine the cost of assembly labor.
  • Establish the percentage workload of each operator.
  • Help in the layout of the plant.
  • Reduce operating costs.

To achieve the desired efficiency in the operation, it will be necessary to group the activities so they can be carried out progressively, fulfilling some precedence criteria, and grouping the activities that, due to their time of activity, can be carried out in the time available to execute them.

Distribution of the assembly line

In an assembly line, the product generally moves in an automated way. Normally as a conveyor belt, through a series of work stations until it is completed. This is the way cars are assembled, and television sets and ovens, or fast food hamburgers are produced.

Control of continuous production

Generally speaking all work stations deal with jobs that have varying degrees of progress. The speed of the assembly line is controlled by the amount of production required, the space between the stations and the requirements with respect to the time of each work station. By controlling the speed of the conveyor or the customer’s time, it is possible to control the quantity produced by the production line.

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