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1. What are the methods for line balancing? Give related examples.

Production lines have a number of work centers in a particular sequence so that the
material that gets processed has to move further without encountering any bottlenecks.
The quantities produced the rate of production at each center, the number of operations
and the total production required are factors taken into account. The purpose of
balancing is to see that no shortages occur between work centers and minimum
inventory gets created. We use the principles of JIT and Lean Manufacturing to achieve
these. Linear Programming, dynamic programming and other mathematical models are
used to study these problems. Some computer-efficient approximate algorithms have
been developed to help the process.

The Line Balancing Problem

Assembly lines are best suited for the study and analysis of the Line Balancing Problem,
called Assembly Line Balancing (ALB). All ALB are categorized by Ghosh and Gagnon
as to falling into four categories as under:

SMD – Single Model Deterministic: This model assumes that the one product that
passes through the dedicated line has all tasks times known. This model is useful when
automatic machines or where operations have their times predictable with certainty.

SMS – Single Model Stochastic: This models allows the task times to be variable. This is
applicable when a single product goes through machines where manual content is more
and the operations do not have definite periods. Determining locations and sizes of
buffers require to keep the throughput is the purpose of this algorithm.

MMD – Multi/Mixed Model Deterministic: In this case task times are known, but we have
many products that go through the line. The products are assembled in batches.

MMS – Multi/Mixed Model Stochastic: The task times are variable and we have many
products that go through the production line. The problems of balancing such lines are
more. Decomposition of the assembly into sub-assemblies and having advanced
handling equipment may help to make inventories small and keeping the flow line

Generally the criteria for all the above cases are technical and economic ones. The
technical criterion seeks to maximize the line efficiency i.e. throughput. Minimizing the
number of workstations, number of operators and reducing the quantum of buffers are
the economic criteria. Many times a trade off may be necessary. It is for the operations
manager to balance between two competing requirements.

Johnson’s Algorithm of Sequencing

This algorithm is used for sequencing of n jobs through two work centers. The purpose is
to minimize idle time on machines and reduce the total time taken for completing all the
jobs. There are no priority rules since all job have equal priority. The order of the
operations will be machine1 first and machine 2 next.
Operations Management

The steps to be taken are:

i) Choose the job which has the shortest processing time in any of the two workcentres.

ii) If it happens to be on machine 1, then load it first; if it is on machine 2, allot it for

loading last.

iii) Eliminate this job. Continue this till all jobobleobs have been allotted.

Example: Time on

The loading sequence is given in the box below

In case the periods on two machines for any of the jobs are the same, you may choose
either of them for applying the above rule.

CDS Algorithm for n jobs on m machines

This algorithm given by Campbell, Dudek and Smith, gives m-1 solutions and we can
choose the most optimal among them. We will use the Johnson’s rule by converting the
number of machines from m to 2, by considering differing combinations – like 1 and m,
then1+2, then M-1 and M, then 1+2+3 and a M-2, M-1 and M, and so on. This process is
useful, when th numbers of machines is small. We will work out a problem when we
have 4 machines.


The first table will be

Operations Management

Calculate the total time taken when this sequence is followed. Remember, that except
for M1, other machines may have to wait to start their operations, until the previous
operation is over. You have to include idle times at the beginning, middle or the end.

It is an art of distributing the work equally. It is quite a difficult job. While designing the
lay out and distributing the work one has to ask many questions to himself.

Line Balancing.
• Determine
IS the job is necessary.
IS it being performed in the right place?
IS it at the right time?
IS it by the right operator?
• Motion Economy.
If the operation satisfies all the above criteria, the next
Stage is to improve the method being used

• Standard Operation.
Then record the best operating method that can be
Put into effect right now.

• Continuous Improvement.
All of the above should be periodically reviewed to
Improve Quality, Safety and Efficiency.
Main areas of waste, which should be minimized in a line balance:
Operations Management

• Idle Time.
Work should be distributed so that each worker is 100% occupied.
Surplus time should be concentrated in one worker.

• Ineffective Working Arrangement.

If the product is large, should work on different sides of it be done by the same
operator, or should it be split?
How much unnecessary traveling is involved?

• The Job Itself.

Does this operation add any value to the product?

Motion Economy

The Four Principles of Motion Economy

1. Reduce the Number of Motions.
Eliminate or reduce the number of motions.
E.g. slip-on shoes save time.

2. Perform Motions Simultaneously.

Design improvements in the methods and tools, which allow both hands to be used at
the same time.
E.g. driving a car - using both hands and feet.

3. Shorten Motion Distances

Reduce - walking, reaching, stretching, squatting and turning, etc.
e.g. TV remote controls or moving storage racking closer.

4. Make Motion Easier.

Work should be smooth and rhythmical, reduce fatigue and promote safety.
E.g. using counterbalance hoist to help the use of heavy tools.

Use these four principles to analyze and improve the following three areas:

A - Use of the human body.

Operations Management

Where possible:
  Both hands should start and finish the operation at the same time.
  Reduce idle time for either or both hands, except at times of rest.
  Arm motions should be symmetrical, in opposite directions and performed
  Employ curved movements during the operation, rather than straight-line motions
involving sharp changes in direction.
  Employ rhythmical standard operation, so one assignment naturally follows on to
the next (position of parts).
  Ensure a similar focal point for tools, materials, etc. to reduce head movements
and eyestrain.

B. Arrangement of the work place.

Where possible
• Use fixed positions for tooling and parts to allow habits to form easily.
• Use gravity feeding to ensure a common pickup point.
• Position parts, materials and tools to enable sequential use.
• Use ejector systems or drop deliveries, so the operator has minimal effort to
pass on parts to the next operation.
• Benches and chairs should be at the correct working height to avoid
interrupted motions.
• All equipment should be within the maximum work area

C. - Design of tools and equipment.

Where possible
 Eliminate the need to use one hand purely to hold a part by using jigs.
 Use combination tools (back to back benches).
 Use counterbalances on heavy tooling.
 Ensure handles on tools are designed to use maximum hand contact.
 Place tooling in the most convenient positions, to eliminate excessive body
 Where two operators are fitting the same part to their respective sides of a
large product, (e.g. wheels on a car assembly line), separate part supplies
should be used.
 Tools should be placed to enable immediate use, without having to turn, lift or
alter their position beforehand.
 Provide chutes for access of parts, and components in/out of the workplace.

D:- Finished work should

•• • Be easily passed to the next station.

•• • Be simultaneously released, as the next part is being obtained.
•• • Be easily placed so the next operator can easily collect it, ready for the next
Operations Management

If eye selection is required, position the parts/tools to minimize head movements.
Ensure the parts container(s) and/or supply method is in proportion to the part.


Line balancing is an effective tool to improve the throughput of assembly lines and work
cells while reducing manpower requirements and costs.

Assembly Line Balancing is the procedure to assign tasks to work stations so that:

• Precedence relationship is complied with

• No workstation takes more than the cycle time to complete
• Operational idle time is minimized

Common Approaches to Line Balancing:

1. Estimating the number of operators for a given number of stations,

2. Work element sharing: grouping “activities” pr work elements into “stations” or
jobs performed by a single person (some times multiple people work in concert at
a single station or machine)


• To meet production goals,

• Maximize output.

A balanced line:

• Promotes one piece flow

• Avoids excessive work load in some stages (overburden)
• Minimizes wastes (over-processing, inventory, waiting, rework, transportation,
• Reduces variation

We used line balancing technique:

• The minimization of the number of workstations.

• The minimization of cycle time.
• The maximization of workload smoothness
• The maximization of work relatedness.

Line balancing prerequisites

Prior to balancing a line we must:

Operations Management

• Determine the required workstation cycle time (or TAKT time), matching the pace
of the manufacturing process to customer demand
• Standardize the process

The table shows the tasks performed in a production line. Our goal is to combine them
into workstations. The assembly line operates 8 hours per day and the expected
customer demand is 1000 units per day. Balance the line and calculate the efficiency
and theoretical minimum number of workstations.

Task Task Preceding

Time Task
A 13 -
B 11 A
C 15 A
D 20 B
E 12 B
F 13 C
G 13 C
H 18 D, E
I 17 F, G
J 15 H, I
K 9 J
Total Time: 156


• Step 1: Draw a precedence diagram according to the given sequential

Operations Management

• Step 2: Determine Takt time or Workstation Cycle Time

C=Production time per day / Customer demand (or output per day)
C= 28800 sec (8 hours) / 1000 units = 28.8

• Step 3: Determine the theoretical number of workstations required

N= Total Task Time / Takt time

N= 156 / 28.8 = 5.42 (~6 workstations)

• Step 4: Define your assignment rules. For this example our primary rule will be
“number of following tasks” and the secondary rule will be “longest operation

• Step 5: Assign tasks to workstations following the assignment rules and meeting
precedence and cycle time requirements

To form Workstation 1:
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Forming Workstation 2:

• Following the same criteria we achieve our balancing with 7 workstations

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Workstation Task T

• Step 6: Calculate Efficiency

– C
Efficiency= Total Task Time / (Actual number of workstations * Takt Time)

– Efficiency= 156 / (7*28.8) = 77%


Simply Assembly Line Balancing is a valid method to optimize assembly lines.

However, many variables found in real operating lines increase the complexity of
the problem. More complex algorithms have been developed to solve the difficult
task of balancing large scale industrial lines. Some of them are commercially
available in software.

2. What are the different types orders Pickering? D
Principles, Practices and Advanced Analysis for order picking

Order Picking is a process by which items or products for which supply is to be made
have to be retrieved from specific storage location. It is found
to take 60% of labour activities in the warehouse. Since it is critical to the business to

meet customer’s demand expeditiously and accurately, lot of attention is being given to
this aspect of operations. In the manufacturing arena, we desire to move towards small
lot sizes, point-of-use-delivery and cycle time reductions. These are necessary to meet
the targets of JIT, which have economic implications. Efficient order picking is necessary

5 H
Operations Management

for being competitive. In the supply chain, storage, retrieval and delivery do not add
value to the product, but are necessary.


First we will see the types of equipments that help us in bring in efficiency to the

a) Horizontal Travel – These are in the aisle, picker to part systems. The picker, a
worker walks or rides a vehicle and picks the item or product and puts into the cart or
vehicle. He may also pick an place the item on a conveyor. The storage system could be
pallet racks, shelves, storage drawers or gravity flow racks. The pallet racks can be only
one or two levels.

b) Person Aboard – In this system the picker is on a platform of the vehicle; he can move
up as also horizontally along the aisle.

c) Part to Picker – These are mechanized systems. Here a storage/retrievel device

carries the trays or bins to the person picking. These act on the instructions received
through a remote control device with the picker. More than one picker can also access
the system.

d) Special equipment – For high throughput and space efficiency special equipment are
made which is in the form of moveable shelves, rotary racks, and mobile shuttles that
travel in lanes or even an automatic item picker which has dispensing mechanisms that
eject items on a conveyor belt.

e) Workplace Equipment – Items can be kept on a work bench and be picked up. The
carts also are used to keep items for being picked up.

It should be noted that any of the systems described above are to suit the purpose and
economies that can be derived. Before implementing any of these a detailed study of
alternatives, a plan for expansion or reduction in the requirement of a particular product
or a probable shifting of the location etc. will have to be undertaken. Some of these
factors are listed below:

Material properties

 Size, weight and nestability

 Carton counts, pallet counts
 Fragility,
 Value
 Fragility
 Environment – temperature, humidity

System Requirements for the product

• Volume per product

Operations Management

• Number of order to be shipped

• Response time
• Supporting processes – labeling, pricing,
• Growth factors

Economic Factors

 Investment Required
 Project life
 Rate of return

Design Considerations

Design considerations arise, mainly out of the following. Some of the factors mentioned
above also are relevant for the purpose of design. They are:

a) Total number of products that are to be stored

b) Number of products received per shift

c) Total numbers retrieved per shift

d) Variability in the above – These will determine the dimensions of the building required
for the purpose. Sizes of bins, racks, pallets are also fixed on the basis of above. Choice
between carts, carousals, vehicles, conveyors, automatic item pickers can be made as
also the space for locating and moving them.

e) Labour force

f) Management Information System.

3. Explain in detail about total quality system.

Total Quality Management

TQM is viewed from many angles – as a philosophy, as an approach and journey

towards excellence. The main thrust is to achieve customer satisfaction by involving
everybody in the organization, across all functions with continuous improvement driving
all activities. TQM systems are designed to prevent poor quality from occurring. The
following steps are implemented to achieve Total Quality.

a) Take all measures to know what the customer wants – voice of the customer. Develop
methods that generate facts which can be used for decision making. Do not ignore the
internal customer – the next person in the process.
Operations Management

b) Convert the wants into design specifications that meet or exceed customer

c) Processes are to be designed so that they facilitate doing the job right the first time.
Incorporate elements that make it impossible to make mistakes. It is called fail-safing or
fool proofing. The Japanese call it Pokayoke.

d) Keeping record of all occurrences, procedures followed and consequences. They help
in validating the processes so that continuous improvement becomes possible. More
importantly any gaps can be seen and rectified immediately.

One of the basic tenets of TQM is – just because something is working well
improvement is not necessary. The search must be continuous to find ways and means
to improve every aspect of the business process – finance, operations and
management. Complacency should never be allowed to creep in at any time. In this
aspect, culture plays an important role. All these require top management commitment

Approaches to TQM – Being practiced worldwide by different organizations, TQM has

different approaches towards its achievement. The basic thrust of each of these is
realizing excellence. All the approaches have a lot in common, but the emphasis shifts
from one other. Needless to say, each organization will use any of these or even a
combination to suit its structure, culture and need. Some emphasize on the philosophy
of TQM and the role of management and employees in being aware, committed and act.
Some expect us to use statistics more intensely. Some give us an ‘integrated approach’.

 Deming Wheel
 Deming’s approach is summarized in his 14 points.
 Constancy of purpose for continuous improvement
 Adopt the TQM philosophy for economic purposes
 Do not depend on inspection to deliver quality
 Do not award any business based on price alone
 Improve the system of production and service constantly
 Conduct meaningful training on the job
 Adopt modern methods of supervision and leadership
 Remove fear from the minds of everyone connected with the organization
 Remove barriers between departments and people
 Do not exhort, repeat slogans and put up posters.
 Do not set up numerical quotas and work standards
 Give pride of workmanship to the workmen
 Education and training to be given vigorously

State and exhibit top management’s commitment for quality and productivity

Using the above principles, Deming gave a four step approach to ensure a purposeful
journey of TQM. The slope is shown to indicate that if efforts are let up the programme
will roll back.
Operations Management

Plan – means that a problem is identified, processes are determined and relevant
theories are checked out .

Do – means that the plan is implemented on a trial basis. All inputs are correctly
measured and recorded.

Check – means that the trials taken according to the plan are in accordance with the
expected results.

Act – When all the above steps are satisfactory regular production is started so that
quality outcomes are assured

Juran’s Quality Triology

 Juran uses his famous Universal Breakthrough Sequence to implement quality

programmes. They are
 Proof of need – there should be a compelling need to make changes
 Project Identification – Here what is to be changed is identified. Specific projects
with time frames and the resource allocation are decided.
 Organization with top management’s commitment is made in terms of
assignment of persons, responsibilities fixed
 Diagnostic journey – Each team will determine the problems result from systemic
causes or random or deliberately caused. Root causes are ascertained with
utmost certainty.
 Remedial Action – This is the stage when changes are introduced. Inspection,
testing and validation are also included at this point.
 Holding on to the gains – The above steps result in beneficiary results. Having
records or all actions and consequences will help in further improvements. The
actions that resulted in the benefits derived should be the norm for establishing

Juan has categorized cost of quality into four categories

1. Failure costs – Internal – These are costs of rejections, repairs etc in terms of
materials, labour, machine time and loss of morale;
2. Failure costs – External – These are costs of replacement, on-site rework
including spare parts and expenses of the personnel, warranty costs and loss of
Operations Management

3. Appraisal Costs – costs of inspection, including maintenance of records,

certification, segregation costs, etc.
4. Prevention costs

The sequence of three sets of activities – Quality Planning, Quality Control and Quality
Improvement form the triology to achieve Total Quality Management.

His arguments are that

1. Quality is the result of good planning considering the needs of both internal and
external customers and develops processes to meet them. The processes are also
planned to meet them.

2. Quality is built into the system of manufacture, inputs and processes that are on
stream like raw material, spare parts, labour, machine maintenance, training,
warehousing, inspection procedures, packaging, etc. They have to be made to follow
standards and control exercised to make sure that mistakes do not occur often and if
they are they are corrected at the source.

3. Quality Improvement measures are essential to keep the quality culture alive. Newer
methods will be found, some operations can be eliminated, improved technology
available. In short, as experience is gained things can always be done better. It is for the
management to take the initiative and encourage the employees to be on the look out for
opportunities for improvement.

Crosby’s Absolutes of Quality

Like Deming, he also lays emphasis on top management commitment and responsibility
for designing the system so that defects are not inevitable. He urged that there be no
restriction on spending for achieving quality. In the long run, maintaining quality is more
economical rather than compromising on its achievement.

His absolutes can be listed as under.

i. Quality is conformance to requirements, not ‘goodness’.

ii. Prevention, not appraisal, is the path to quality.

iii. Quality is measured as the price paid for non-conformance and as indexes.

iv. Quality originates in all factions. There are no quality problems. It is the people,
design, process who create problems.

Crosby also has given 14 points similar to those of Deming. His approach emphasizes
on measurement of quality, increasing awareness, corrective action, error cause
removal and continuously reinforcing the system, so that advantages derived are not lost
over time. He desires that the quality management regimen should improve the overall
health of the organisation and prescribed a vaccine.
Operations Management

The ingredients are

Integrity – honesty and commitment to produce everything right first time, every time.

Communication – Flow of information between departments, suppliers, customers helps

in identifying opportunities.

Systems and operations – These should bring in a quality environment so that nobody is
comfortable with anything less than the best.

Taguchi’s Quality Loss Function

His contention is that quality comes from design. He advocated a wide use of Design of
Experiments for experimentation on variables and obtains specifications which will result
in high quality of the product. It helps in bringing cost effective improvements in quality.
He believed that designers should make robust designs so that product can withstand
the variability’s which tend to be persistent and give quality for longer periods. His
objective in giving the loss function is to make manufacturers realize that it is the target
value of the specification that should be sought to be achieved and not the permissible
deviations. The loss caused is the square of the deviation multiplied by a cost constant.

L = C (X-T)2

L = Total Loss

C= Cost constant

X = average value of the quality characteristic

T = target value of the characteristic.

Taguchi also talks about losses to society because of a dent in quality- both the
manufacturers and users in society who will have to endure the consequences of
reduced performance as long as the product is used.