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Line Balancing

Overview

All assembly manufacturers struggle with establishing a line balance that evenly distributes work across all available operators to meet a required takt time. Results of unevenly distributing work include underutilization of some operators while overworking others at the bottlenecks, delayed completion of units on the line, and consumption of excess engineering labor hours.

Using Assembly Planner's advanced line balancing module is the fastest and most accurate way to balance a line when considering not only tasks and standard times of individual products, but also mixed-model production, task precedence, monuments, line work zones, ergonomic factors, value added content, and other critical constraints. 

Whether you're running single or mixed model lines, this module's visual and detailed analysis provides an easy way to achieve better line utilization, efficiency, and throughput.

 

Benefits

Balance the line and save time

- Estimate initial manpower requirements for a new takt time.
- Reduce your existing bottlenecks.
- Improve utilization of every operator.
- Identify long, low frequency tasks to pull off the main  line into a sub assembly area.

Most teams spend weeks gathering information, meeting to discuss possible changes, and manually updating documentation when changes are made to a line balance.  Since Assembly Planner's data and documentation is automatically updated, after each re-balance, you can review and confirm data instead of re-gathering the data before you can make informed decisions.

Balance your way

We know that some lines run only one product and others run hundreds of different model/option configurations, one right after the other.  There is no limit to the number tasks, models, options, stations, operators, constraints, etc. that you can include in your balance scenarios.

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You can create and store an unlimited number of balance scenarios, so you can perform "what if" analyses to determine the best balance to implement for every upcoming demand forecast, required takt time, and number of available stations and operators.

 

Features

Algorithms

Balance to a specified takt time or a specified number of stations and operators.

Graphical Interface

Multiple balance charts show total times, utilization, value added content, ergonomic impacts, and more.

Value-added Analysis

Multiple charts display value added, non-value added, and non-value added but necessary content in times and percentages to help identify critical areas for process improvement and waste reduction.

Yamazumi Charts

The software automatically generates charts designed for easily moving tasks from station to station.  In these charts, you can filter the tasks by models, options, stations, and/or operators and view the tasks' details and videos.  

Data Integration

When tasks move in a line balance, all associated data moves with it, including required parts and tools, models and options, standard time, images, and predecessors. In addition, the software can automatically update line balances when time studies are edited, and work instructions and part plans when line balances are edited.

Constraint Violation Warnings

When manually moving a tasks violates a constraint, a visual warning will appear. You can set the balancing algorithms to ignore or follow any constraint. The software can track these constraints: 

Predecessors - tasks that must be completed before certain other tasks can start

Monuments - immovable tools or equipment required by a task

Work Zones - side or area of the line where an operator must complete certain tasks

Task Groups - tasks that must be performed at the same station or by the same operator

Inspections - tasks that cannot be performed at the same station or by the same operator

Sequence Planning

This tool will help you evaluate the work content at every station for every operator through every takt cycle for one or multiple days.  With this information, you can better assign floating operators and easily plan for potential over-cycle problems.

What If Analysis

No matter how many changes you make to task assignments, takt time, model demand percentages, constraints, etc. you can save scenario files so that each line balance alternative can be opened at a later time, and directly compared to other scenarios. 

Saving scenario files allows you to compare each line balance alternative, regardless of how many changes you make to task assignments, takt time, model demand percentages, constraints, etc.

Reporting

Advanced reports allow you to view and filter data in various tables, charts, and graphs to perform detailed analysis and planning.  All reports can be exported to Excel for further manipulation.

 

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