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Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2018) 000–000

Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2018) 000–000
Procedia Manufacturing 30 (2019) 300–307
Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2017) 000–000
14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management (GCMM-2018)
14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management (GCMM-2018)
Feasibility of Using Simulation Technique for Line Balancing In
Feasibility of Using Simulation Technique for Line Balancing In
Manufacturing Engineering Society Industry
Apparel Industry
International Conference 2017, MESIC 2017, 28-30 June
2017, Vigo (Pontevedra), Spain
Haile Simea, Prabir Janab*, Deepak Panghalb
Haile Simea, Prabir Janab*, Deepak Panghalb
Costing models forInstitute
Ethiopian Textile
Industry optimization
of Development
in Industry
Institute, Garment Technology
Fashion Technology,
Directorate, Addis4.0:
Ababa Trade-off
Institute,Department of FashionDirectorate,
Ethiopian Textile
Industry Garment Technology
between Nationalused
Institute ofcapacity
Fashion Technology, operational
Department efficiency
of Fashion Technology, Delhi

Abstract A. Santanaa, P. Afonsoa,*, A. Zaninb, R. Wernkeb
Line balancing is a crucial task for manufacturing companies in order to improve productivity and minimize production costs.
Line analytical
balancing is a and
task for manufacturing of
companies been
in order Guimarães,
used to Portugal
solving Assembly Line
productivity andBalancing
production (ALBP)
industries. Unochapecó, 89809-000isChapecó, SC, Brazil which has got interest by some researchers,
for many analytical
Different years in manufacturing
and heuristic/metaheuristic Computer
have been used a newfortechnique
solving Assembly Line Balancing Problems (ALBP)
for last years
many few decades. Unlike theindustries.
in manufacturing other techniques,
Computer computer
is a newenables
to manage
has gottheinterest
stochastic nature
by some of system
since However,
last few decades. literature
Unlike reviews
the otherrevealed that computer
techniques, only few simulation
system variables
one been taken the
to manage intostochastic
works thatHowever,
variables. have beenliterature
so far. revealed
This paper aims
that onlyat extending
few systemthevariables
studies on application
have been taken of computer simulationintechnique
into consideration research
have beeninconducted
apparel so industries. A garment
far. This paper aims at style (ladies’
extending tunic) on
the studies which has 54of operations
application was observed
computer simulation techniquefor
for line balancing Sixty
in two operators
apparel are involved
industries. in existing
A garment style production system.
(ladies’ tunic) ARENA
which has ®54 simulation
operationssoftware was used for
was observed
system the concept
experimentation. andof
Sixty two"Industry
operators 4.0",
purpose. production
Model in
are involved processes
existing is will system.
be pushed
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increasingly interconnected,
test software
including about
was usedeight
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system on simulation
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After basisvalidation
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Model five much
validation more efficient.
is accomplished scenarios In
througharethis context,
hypothesis forcapacity
test optimization
including aboutofeightthe
goes beyondline.thevariables.
system traditionalAfter
aim model validation
of capacity five different
maximization, ‘what-if’ scenarios
contributing are evaluated for
also for organization’s reconfiguration
profitability of the
and value.
assembly lean
Indeed, line. management and continuous improvement approaches suggest capacity optimization instead of
© 2018 The Authors.
maximization. Published
The Published
study by Elsevier
of capacity Ltd.
optimization and costing models is an important research topic that deserves
© 2018
2019 TheThe Authors. by
by Elsevier Ltd.
This is an
contributions Authors.
open access Published
article under Elsevier
the CC Ltd.
BY-NC-ND license ( )
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article practical
the CC and theoretical
BY-NC-ND perspectives.
license This paper presents and discusses a mathematical
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access article under
under the CC BY-NC-ND
responsibility of the license (
scientific committee of the 14th Global Congress on ) and
model forand peer-review
capacity under responsibility
management of the scientific
based on different costingcommittee
models (ABC of the and
Global Congress on Manufacturing
A generic model has been and
Management and(GCMM-2018).
peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and
developed and it
Management (GCMM-2018). was used to analyze idle capacity and to design strategies towards the maximization of organization’s
value. The
Keywords: trade-off
Assembly line; capacity maximization
Line balancing; vs operational
Utilization; Simulation efficiency is highlighted and it is shown that capacity
optimization might
Keywords: Assembly hide
line; Lineoperational inefficiency.
balancing; Utilization; Simulation techniques.
© 2017 author: +91-11-26542129
The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Email: author: +91-11-26542129
under responsibility; of the scientific committee of the Manufacturing Engineering Society International Conference
1. Introduction
Keywords: Cost Models; ABC; TDABC; Capacity Management; Idle Capacity; Operational Efficiency
1. Introduction
An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added as the semi-finished product moves from one
An assemblytoline
workstation theisnext
a manufacturing
where the parts process
are addedin which parts are
in sequence added
until the as theproduct
final semi-finished product
is obtained. moves from
In apparel one
1. Introduction
conversion ofto the nexttowhere
fabric garmenttheisparts are added
happening in sequence
through sequence until the final product
of processes such as:isspreading
obtained. and
In apparel
conversion of fabric to garment is happening through sequence of processes such as: spreading and cutting, sewing,
The cost of idle capacity is a fundamental information for companies and their management of extreme importance
in modern©production
2018 The Authors. Published
systems. by Elsevier
In general, it isLtd.
defined as unused capacity or production potential and can be measured
This is an open
2351-9789 access
© 2018 Thearticle under
Authors. the CC BY-NC-ND
Published license (
by Elsevier Ltd.
in several ways: tons of production, available hours of manufacturing, etc. The management of the idle capacity
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
* Paulo Afonso.
Selection Tel.: +351
and peer-review 253responsibility
under 510 761; fax:of
the 253 604 741
scientific committee of the 14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management
E-mail address:

2351-9789 ©©2017
Authors. Published by Elsevier
Published B.V. Ltd.
by Elsevier
Peer-review underaccess
This is an open responsibility of the scientific
article under committee oflicense
the CC BY-NC-ND the Manufacturing Engineering Society International Conference 2017.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 14th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management
Haile Sime et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 30 (2019) 300–307 301
Sime, et al./ Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2018) 000–000

finishing, and packing to get the final garment. Among these, sewing is the most complex one. Sewing also involves
maximum resources such as: man, machine, and equipment hence requires a constant control. Its efficiency highly
relies on how well these resources are configured and managed. The process of levelling the workload across all
workstations in a unit so as to increase the line efficiency is termed as Line Balancing.
In apparel industries, the style changes very frequently, so every time there is a need to change the configuration of
line in a short span of time. To efficiently do the line balancing process a good observation of the overall system is
required. However, the rapid rate at which the whole process takes place, the higher number of system variables, and
the stochastic nature of these variables make it very difficult for a human being to observe the real manufacturing
systems. Moreover, it is also very difficult to manually solve line balancing problems by taking into consideration
all the variables affecting the systems’ performance.
Researchers have put efforts to develop computer based algorisms for simplification and optimization of line
balancing problems [1], [2], [3] & [4]. Computer simulation techniques have also been employed in many
manufacturing organizations to design, develop, implement, and analyze manufacturing system’s problem of
interest. Pedgen et al. [5] defines simulation as “the process of designing a model of a real system and conducting
experiments with this model for the purpose of understanding the behaviour of the system and evaluating various
strategies for the operating system”.

2. Literature Review

Jude et al. [6] applied a discrete-event simulation technique for line balancing of trouser production, for defence
logistics of US. Various variables were taken into consideration but not on stochastic basis. Kalta et al [7] used
ARENA® simulation software to develop a simulation model for teamworking in clothing industry. Fozzard et al.
[8] proposed a simulation model for progressive bundle system in clothing manufacturing. Some system variables
such as overtime, fatigue relaxation and physiological needs were not considered in this simulation model. A genetic
algorism was developed for effective allocation and levelling of resources in project management [2]. A virtual-
reality simulation was applied to design production line for a mechanically assembled product [9]. A mathematical
programming model and an iterative genetic algorithm-based procedure for the mixed-model assembly line
balancing problem (MALBP) with parallel workstations was presented by Simaria et al. [10]. A Tabu Search
algorithm for assembly line balancing was proposed by Lapierre et al. [4]. A discrete event simulation model was
also developed to estimate the storage area required for a textile manufacturing facility [11]. Guner and Unal [12]
experimented the application of computer simulation for the design of a manufacturing process for shirt production
line. Saeheaw et al. [13] used computer simulation technique to design the hard disk drive manufacturing process.
Cortes et al. [14] applied a computer simulation technique in real life assembly line balancing problem for a
motorcycle manufacturing company. Simulation was done based on average task time, not probabilistic. A genetic
algorism (GA) for optimizing the assignment of operatives in an assembly line was proposed by Wong et al. [15].
Al-Zuheri et al. [16] also developed a genetic algorism for walking worker assembly line (WWAL) balancing in
different operational designs. Anbumalar et al. [17] applied simulation technique for designing efficient machine
layouts in cellular manufacturing system, in process industry. Arena simulation Software for modelling and
Simulation of Queuing Systems in students’ restaurant in a university was used by Suryahatmaja [18].

The research works reviewed above shows that there have been three approaches/techniques that are used to solve
line balancing problems. These includes: analytical method, heuristics method, and simulation techniques.
Analytical method is suitable for solving simple mathematical models only. No derail variables and also no
stochastic nature of task time were taken into consideration in heuristic approaches to solving the line balancing
problems. Only limited system variables were taken into consideration in most research works conducted on
application of simulation techniques as well. Based on the above comprehensive reviews to literature reviews, the
following two basic problems are formulated.

3. Methodology
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Sime, et al./ Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2018) 000–000

The methodology adopted for the present research work is depicted in figure 1.

System Description & Data Collection & Input Data System Model Development
Variable Identification Analysis

Result, Discussions and Simulation Experiment and System Model Verification

Conclusion Output Analysis and Validation

Fig. 1: Methodology used for present research work

4. Experimentation setup
4.1 System description and Variable Identification

In present research work a garment style, i.e. ladies’ tunic, having fifty four operations is selected for the
case study. Sixty two operators are involved in the production process. The assembly process flow for present
garment style is depicted in figure 2. The numbers in the circle refers to operations according to their position in the
list (Note that detail operation list is not presented in this paper).

Cuff Neck Band Sleeve Back Front Pocket

20 - 25 26 - 27
7 - 11
12 - 15

1-6 30 29

31 - 32
16 - 19
34 - 38


40 - 48


50 - 54

Assembled Garment

Fig. 2: Production process flowchart for selected garment style

There are number of system variables viz. operations’ task time (the time required to execute each tasks/operations
in assembly process) and interarrival time between entities (time between two successive arrivals of parts to the line)
and number of entities per arrival (number of bundles of cut parts arriving the line at a time) are the major ones that
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affect the systems’ performance. There are also other factors or unexpected events, which affect the performance of
a system. These include: overtime, machine breakdown, absenteeism, operator late-in and early-out, rework, fatigue
relaxations, physiological needs, training, machine delay, etc. Some of these factors/unexpected events are also
taken into consideration in this experiment.

4.2 Data collection and analysis

In this experiment, data is collected on operations’ task time, interarrival time between entities, and on
some other major unexpected events such as: machine breakdown, absenteeism, operators’ late-in and early-out,
rework, fatigue relaxation, and physiological need. Operation task time is collected through Radio frequency
Identification (RFID) system for each operator, including for those working on the same tasks. Time study method
is also used to obtain task time for some operations for which RFID reader is not set.
Each bundle containing 10 pieces of a part is considered as a unit entity. The interarrival time between entities is
determined based on information obtained from production floor. Accordingly, lot of 10 bundles (10 pieces per
bundle) is fed into the line six times in a day per 8 hours working shift. Data on other variables such as: absenteeism,
late-in, early-out, machine breakdown, rework, fatigue relaxation, and physiological need is determined by expertise
estimation. The estimation is done based on information gathered through different approaches such as: from RFID
data, through direct observations, interviews, and review of past studies.
The raw data obtained through these methods are analyzed before they are used in the next step. It is done using
Arena Input Analyzer software. The software has different integrated distribution functions, which automatically fit
the histogram of the actual data. The one with minimum square error is considered as the best fitting distribution
function. In the given example, task time analysis result for ‘front placket attaching’ operation shows that the
distribution function for this particular data is expressed as 10 + GAMM (1.15, 4.38) with minimum square error of
0.002194. In the same way, task time data distribution type is determined for all operations.

4.3 Model development

Model of production system for selected product style (ladies’ tunic) is developed using ARENA® 14.7
simulation software. The Arena modelling window has two views: (1) Flowchart view, and (2) spreadsheet view.
The flowchart view contains model graphics, process flowchart, animation, and other drawing elements. The
spreadsheet view contains data like times, costs, etc. Thus, the flow charts and spreadsheets are used to build the
system model. The model logic developed for the complete production process of the style is depicted in figure 3.

Fig. 3: Model logic for production process

4.4 Model verification and validation

The model verified by developing and debugging the model step by step, tracing the flow paths and
running the model using different input parameters, and checking the outputs.
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The model validation is accomplished using hypothesis test at 95% confidence level (Guner (2008). The t-test is
approached here as it is generally recommended for comparing data of small samples, usually less than 30.

The hypotheses are:

H0: µField = µArena
H1: µField ≠ µArena
The test is if t0 < tα/2,n1+n2-2, we would accept the null hypothesis H0, where,

α – “significance level” - is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when the null hypothesis is true.
µF is the mean throughput from the field
µA is the mean production rate from the ARENA model
nF is number of field samples
nA is number of replications or runs of the model
S2F is variance of throughput from the field
S2A is variance of production rate from the ARENA model
S2p = is the pooled mean variance

In order to perform the hypothesis test, eighteen days’ data on actual throughput per eight hours shift is considered.
Table 1 shows the summary of the obtained data and calculation results of the statistical parameters.

Table 1: System throughput and Simulation output data

Actual Throughput per 8 hours shift Production Rate from Simulation
Sample Data: 450, 430, 500, 450, Simulation output: 400, 420, 490, 410,
530, 550, 640, 390, 470, 430, 430, 410,
450, 390, 370, 370, 410, 450, 440, 440,
400, 480, 390, 350, 430, 460, 390, 470,
460, 450 450, 440
Sample size (nF) 18 No of rep. (nA) 18
Mean Value (µF) 447.22 Mean Value (µA) 435.55
Variance (SF2) 5131.17 Variance (SA2) 669.14
Std deviation (SF) 71.63 Std dev. (SA) 25.87

Using the formulas, described above, Sp is calculated to be 53.85, which in turn makes the t0 values 0.65. From t-
table at 95% confidence interval,
tα/2,n1+n2-2 = t0.025,34 = 2.101
Since t0 < tα/2,n1+n2-2, this implies that there is no significant difference between the means. Therefore, the
simulation model is valid; i.e. simulation model closely represents the actual system.

4.5 Simulation Experiment and Output Analysis

After validation process the model is used to evaluate five different scenarios. Thus, the five ‘what-if’ scenarios
are designed and evaluated with the aim to remove the identified bottlenecks, and also to improve the utilization rate
of the underutilized resources. The alternative system models are simulated for as many replications as required to
achieve the desired level of accuracy.

5. Results and discussions

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Sime, et al./ Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2018) 000–000

Summary of simulation results of the five scenarios is presented in Table 2. It can be seen from the table that
scenario 3 has shown improvement of 10% in both parameters. SE – existing scenarios, and S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 –
alternatives scenarios.
Table 2. Alternative decision options and their performances
Factors SE S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
Operations No of Operations No of
Operators Operators
Description of Each Operation Operation Skilled 1-6 6 1-6 6
production operator 28 is 4 is shared operators
line and performs clubbed by whose 7 – 11 5 7 – 11 5
workload only one with operators performance
Configurations operation operation working rate are 12 – 15 6 12-15 6
as 29. on better than
depicted i.e. operator operation existing 16 – 19 4 16 – 19 4
in figure who was 1 and 2 ones by 5%
2. working on i.e. - 10% are 20 – 28 11 20 – 25 8
operation operator allocated to
28 freed who was bottle neck Operations 29 – 54 are 26 – 27 2
from the working operations performed by 30
line on operators in the same 28 – 29 3
operation way as in the existing
4 and one scenario. 30 – 32 3
machine 33 – 38 9
are freed
from the
39 – 46 8
47 - 54 8

Total Number 62 61 61 62 62 62
of operators
Average 446 452 461 490 472 480
per 8 hours
Labour 7.19 7.41 7.56 7.90 7.61 7.74
(pieces per
operator per 8
hours shift)
Labour _ 3.06 5.15 9.87 5.84 7.65
Production _ 1.35 3.36 9.87 5.83 7.62
increment (%)

6. Conclusions

The experimentation results have shown that computer simulation techniques can be used for effective system
analysis, in apparel industry. The model validation process demonstrated the use of simulation technique in
predicting systems’ performance by taking into considering the system variables. The simulation technique can have
high importance for production planning and scheduling in apparel industry. Simulation results of the five scenarios
proves the use of simulation technique in designing and evaluating different alternative production systems from
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which the one with best performance can be selected for final implementation. This will help apparel industries to
optimize utilization of their resources through effective line balancing.


We are greatly thankful to ROCKWELL AUTOMATION for providing us with the free license of ARENA®
SIMULATION SOFTWARE, without which it will be very much difficult to complete the research work.

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