Robust flowline design for automotive body shops

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



As the role of automation increases in modern manufacturing enterprises, the need for robust operations of these systems also becomes more acute. Automotive companies employ highly automated assembly lines in their body shops. Robot failures result either in stoppages of the line or require manual backup of operations. Failures impair the systems' productivity as well as product quality. Therefore, the consideration of robot failures in the design stage of an assembly line is important. In this contribution, we propose a robust approach to configure a robotic assembly line such that in the event of a robot failure working robots take over the tasks of the failed robots. The throughput loss in these backup situations depends on the level of redundancy designed into the system. An integer optimization approach is used for the system design, and the performance evaluation is done by using a simulation model. A numerical analysis compares the performance of this approach with existing robotic assembly line balancing methods, establishing the advantage of using this approach for flowline designs for automotive body shops.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2014

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