Balancing of assembly lines based on multi-operator stations

Balancing of assembly lines based on multi-operator stations

How to design workload balancing for all possible Takt Time scenarios that may occur in those assembly lines based on multi-worker stations (takt time comprehends several hours, with a staff specialised in certain tasks -skills- who move around the various workstations, while simultaneously managing limiting elements such as cranes).


This is the most complex type of workload balancing simulation we encounter. It involves assembly lines with long Takt Times (several hours or even shifts) and several workstations.

This video shows the different conditions to be considered for the balancing of the different workloads to be carried out:

  • Firstly, it is necessary to determine which tasks have to be carried out at each workstation depending on the machinery, the material handling elements, the assembly order, etc.
  • Next, the required human resources to be incorporated in each workstation must be calculated according to their different specialities or skills, so that, at the end of the Takt Time, all the tasks scheduled in each workstation have been completed so that the line can move forward at the specified time.
  • Assignment to the tasks and management of limiting elements (e.g., cranes).
  • At last, and precisely because these types of lines usually require specialised and trained workers with different skills, some of the workers will not remain at the same workstation during the entire cycle, but will perform tasks at different workstations, among which they will have to move. For this reason, the workloads of each worker must also be balanced at all times.

In the constraining resources symogram (vertical graph), all the workers as well as other constraining elements, such as cranes, that intervene on the line are being observed to determine at which workstation and at what time they do so, in order to detect possible incompatibilities (workers or cranes that are intended to be used at different workstations and at the same time), that would generate interferences. In this case, this is indicated in red. It allows us to see the correct or incorrect use of each of the resources we can count on.

On the other hand, the example also see how there are two workers who are below their workload capacity. We then combine their work and have a single worker perform the tasks of both, and depending on the exact time within the cycle, occupying different workstations. This means, that we not only achieve an optimal allocation of workers and machines but also optimise the workers needed to perform the entire cycle by maximising their workload.

We can also observe that, if we try to use the same crane at the same time, the programme does not allow it and creates a time gap that lengthens the process.

The video shows the tools offered by APPRODUCTIVITY 4.0 for the reallocation of tasks in order to optimise and balance the load capacity of workers, in particular the (vertical) resource symogram which shows the possible interactions between workers and limiting resources.

With our software we can set up infinite simulations until we find the optimal combination of resources and at the end of the reconfiguration process no machine or worker will be used in two processes/workstations at the same time.

If you want to see how this software can improve the productivity of your company, please contact us by filling out the form below.


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