Recognising the enormous potential of justintime JIT conceptsfor boosting productivity and quality, an increasing number of US andEuropean firms consider adopting JIT concepts in manufacturing. However,the transfer of a manufacturing policy from traditional to JIT alwaysrequires radical structural changes in a production line design. Onetypical example of these changes is uniform assembly which does notallow high variability in the production schedules. Consequently, majorhindrance to uniform assembly is a random fluctuation of task processingtimes in assembly line balancing. This article proposes a heuristicwhich takes into account stochastic task processing times and furtherdevelops a work assignment with the lowest expected total cost as wellas an assignment with the highest work completion probability crucialfor the success of JIT manufacturing.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 1991