Assembly line balancing and human–robot collaboration with ergonomics considerations

Project: Research

Project Details


Productivity is one of the primary measures of production systems' efficiency. The human-robot collaboration leads to significantly improved both assembly line productivity an...nd human wellbeing. Human-robot collaboration is essential in transforming smart manufacturing processes, leading to the intelligent factory envisioned by Industry 4.0. Joint operations schedule optimization and task allocation substantially impact the assembly line's performance in adopting human-robot collaboration. However, handling more realistic parameters of the production systems results in more complicated models, making the optimization problem more challenging. Most existing literature on assembly line balancing considering human-robot collaboration is limited to deterministic models, leading to suboptimal and infeasible production plans, especially under system parameter uncertainty. This project aims at modelling and optimizing the assembly line balancing problem considering an ergonomic human-robot collaboration framework. To achieve this objective, the project's first phase attempts to develop a mathematical model of the tackled problem to determine a cost-efficient system configuration. The developed mathematical model will be a multi-objective mathematical program to jointly minimize the total cost, cycle time, and ergonomic risks. Moreover, the system's parameters, such as costs, energy consumption, processing times, and/or ergonomic operations risk, will be treated as stochastic parameters to reflect the production systems' characteristics faithfully. To this end, the project's second phase entails designing a solution methodology to determine the optimal production plan. This project phase is challenging in terms of mathematical modelling complexity due to the stochastic nature and the properties of the considered production systems. In the third phase, we will validate our proposed methodology by conducting numerical experiments on instances from the literature or industrial/real-world case studies. Consequently, the trade-offs between the ergonomic and economic aspects of assembly line balancing will be explored. In the last phase of the project, we will report the research study findings and submit the report for potential publication.
Effective start/end date1/04/231/04/24


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