Multi-objective optimization of product variety and manufacturing complexity in mixed-model assembly systems

He Wang, Xiaowei Zhu, Hui Wang, S. Jack Hu, Zhongqin Lin, Guanlong Chen
School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Key Lab of Digital Autobody Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, PR China, Received 8 July 2010; revised 24 October 2010; Accepted 3 March 2011. Available online 22 April 2011.


Abstract

Product variety has increased dramatically as manufacturers compete for market shares. While higher variety of products may satisfy a broader range of customers, it also introduces complexity in manufacturing. A multi-objective optimization approach is proposed to balance product variety and manufacturing complexity when designing a product family and the mixed-model assembly system. Relative complexity is introduced to measure the complexity and to find the best set of product variants to be offered while balancing market share and complexity. Numerical examples are provided to demonstrate the approach.

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