Production line balancing
In this article, I am going to talk to you about what line balancing is, its importance in production and Operative administration, its benefits and a practical example to understand it better.
I hope you find it useful.
Definition of line balancing according to authors
Next, I am going to provide you with the definition of line balancing according to different authors, so that you have the necessary bases to better understand the subject and that you perro create your own definition.
Also, I have to say that the books where I got the definitions are one of my favorite operations management, so if you want to buy a book, I recommend them.
Definition of line balancing according to Barry Render
According to Barry Render, line balancing is:
“Obtaining an output (or production) at each work station on the production line in such a way that delays are minimized.” (2014, p. 374).
The definition above refers to the iniciativa that each work station on the production line should genera at the proper rate to minimize wait times between work stations and ultimately increase the overall efficiency of the production line.
In other words, it is about balancing the production rate in each season to avoid production delays.
Definition of line balancing according to Lee J.
The definition that Lee J.
Krajewski gives us of line balancing is the following:
«Assigning work to stations in an en línea process in such a way that the desired output rate is achieved with the fewest number of work stations» (2013, p. 254).
Lee J. Krajewski
In the case of Lee J.
Krajewski’s definition, we perro see that it refers to the optimization of the number of workstations necessary to achieve the desired production.
By balancing the amount of work assigned to each station, the number of work stations needed to genera the required number of products cánido be minimized.
What is production line balancing?
Line balancing is about finding the optimal cómputo between the amount of work assigned to each station and the number of work stations needed to achieve maximum efficiency on a production line.
By balancing the pace of production at each station, wait times between work stations perro be minimized and ultimately improve the overall efficiency of the production line.
So that it perro be understood better, I am going to make use of an analogy:
Analogy to better understand the concept
Line balancing is like doing a dance choreography for a song, but instead of dancing, what you do is organize the work on a production line so that everything flows smoothly and without interruptions.
Imagine that each workstation on the production line is a dancer, and each product is a song.
The goal is for each dancer (workstation) to do the part of it at the right time so that the song (product) is completed without errors or interruptions.
To achieve this, it is necessary that each dancer (workstation) have their assigned role, and that the amount of work assigned to each is equal so that no one has to wait too long before doing their part.
If a dancer has a lot of work assigned to her, she will get tired too quickly and will not be able to keep up with the song (production).
On the other hand, if a dancer has little work assigned to him, he will get bored and have nothing to do while the others continue dancing.
In a nutshell, we could say that line balancing is the technique used to organize work on a production line so that each work station has the proper amount of work assigned, achieving maximum efficiency and minimizing waiting times.
What is the goal of production line balancing?
What’s the point of doing a line balancing? What are you going to do it for?
Well, the main objective of line balancing is to equalize tarea times at all stations in the production process.
Another way of saying it is that line balancing creates workstations with workloads as even as possible.
This is achieved by efficiently distributing work and tasks among the different operators and machines on the line, ensuring that everyone works at a afín pace and thus avoiding bottlenecks and unnecessary waiting times.
Importance of line balancing
Line balancing is a primordial technique in administration of operations, which allows us to disminuye costs.
But that’s not all, it also helps us maintain the quality of our products and use time efficiently.
To achieve a continuous flow of products (outputs), what it does is accommodate the operations in stations in such a way that the times are balanced.
That is, it is sought that each station has the appropriate amount of work assigned to avoid unnecessary waiting times and minimize the bottleneck in the production.
This translates into greater production efficiency, since more products perro be produced in less time and with fewer resources.
After balancing a production line, several important results are expected to be achieved, among which are the following:
- Greater efficiency: A balanced production line will allow work to be distributed evenly across stations, reducing wait times and avoiding bottlenecks.
This will lead to greater efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing process.
- Less waste of time: One of the main objectives of production line balancing is to minimize the waiting time in the production process.
Wait time refers to the time workers and machines are idle while waiting for materials to arrive or other tasks to complete.
Waiting time is one of the 7 types of waste that are held in companies.
- Costs reduction: By improving efficiency and reducing waste, line balancing perro also lead to significant cost reduction in the production process.
Which in turn translates into an increase in profits.
- Increased customer satisfaction: By having a balanced production line, it ensures that the products are produced consistently and with high quality.
This increases customer satisfaction and improves the reputation of the company.
What production lines must be balanced?
Line balancing is a useful tool for any production line that requires a series of sequential operations to complete a product.
Within the production lines susceptible to a swing are the manufacturing lines and the assembly lines.
The manufacturing line is used to genera components, while the assembly line is used to put those components together to form a complete product.
In both cases, line balancing cánido help improve efficiency and productivity by reducing wait times and improving the use of resources.
It is important to note that any production line that presents bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the process may be susceptible to line balancing.
Steps to cómputo the production line
Next, I am going to detalla step by step what you have to do to cómputo the production line.
Know the production process in depth
Knowing the tools, equipment and work methods used is vital for efficient production line balancing.
This in-depth knowledge of the production process and the resources used in it involves identifying all the tasks and activities necessary to genera a specific product or service, as well as the resources necessary to carry out those tasks.
Therefore, management must have a clear understanding of the tools, equipment and work methods used at each stage of the production process.
This may include identification of the specific machines and tools used in each task, the skills and knowledge required to perform each task, and the identification of any other constraints that may affect the production process.
Determine the time
Once the production process is understood, what you have to do is determine the times required to complete each task, from drilling a hole to aerosol painting a part.
Relationship of precedence of activities
The precedence relationship between activities refers to the sequence in which the different tasks must be performed.
Knowing this sequence is essential because it allows you to determine which tasks should be done before others, which helps plan your workflow.
So, in this step you have to make an activity precedence diagram.
Group tasks into workstations
The next step is to group the tasks into workstations in such a way that the specified production rate is achieved.
This process involves three steps:
- Calculate cycle time: Production time available per day divided by units required per day.
- Calculate the theoretical minimum number of workstations: The total duration time of the tasks is divided by the cycle time to obtain the theoretical minimum number of workstations.
Fractions are rounded up to the next whole number.
- Line Cómputo: Specific assembly tasks are assigned to each work station with the goal of completing the required assembly, following the specified sequence, and minimizing downtime at each work station.
Next, I am going to give you an example so that you cánido see all of the above in action and you cánido learn how to cómputo the production line.
Example of production line balancing
For the following example, we are going to assume that we already know the production process well and that we have already measured the time necessary to carry out all the activities necessary to genera a certain product.
Therefore, as a result we have the following table that espectáculos the activity and the time it takes to carry out said activity.
Activity precedence table
Since we have the times, now, we have to move on to make an activity precedence diagram.
The precedence data is shown in the following table:
If we make the precedence diagram, we have the following form:
Calculate cycle time
Let’s assume that the example we are doing is of a factory that wishes to genera 280 units of a product in a period of 8 hours of daily work.
Therefore, now we are going to calculate the cycle time.
To calculate the cycle timewe will use the following equation:
Therefore, the cycle time of the example is the following:
For this example, you have 8 hours of work per day, which is equivalent to 28,800 seconds.
- Cycle time = 28800 / 280
- = 102.85
Therefore, the cycle time will be 102.85 seconds per unit
Calculate the theoretical minimum number of workstations
In order to calculate the theoretical minimum number of workstationswe will use the following equation:
- ∑t = total time required to assemble each unit (sum of all the estándar times of each activity that has to be carried out)
- C = cycle time.
In short, to calculate the theoretical minimum, the time of each task is added and divided by the cycle time.
Therefore, the theoretical minimum is the following:
MT = 250 / 102.85 = 2.43
Since you cannot have fractions of stations, you must round up to 3 work stations.
cómputo the line
Now, I am going to give you an example of how the production line of the previous example perro be balanced.
As you perro see, I have distributed the workstations as shown in the image above.
Of course it must be said that with the previous data, even so the workstations have idle time.
For example, the first station has a total time of 100 seconds.
Therefore, since the cycle time is 102.85 seconds, then there is an idle time of 2.85 seconds.
In the case of station 2, we have an idle time of 42.85 seconds.
Finally, in the case of station 3, we have an idle time of 32.85 seconds.
Now the question is: How efficient is the production line?
Calculate the efficiency of a production line balancing
To calculate the efficiency of a production line balancing, we perro use the following elabora:
Therefore, now we are going to see how efficient the cómputo of the production line of the previous example was:
That is to say, it has an efficiency of 81.02%.
How to increase the efficiency of production line balancing?
One way to improve line balancing efficiency is to break tasks into smaller elements and assign them to other tasks.
In this way, workstations cánido be balanced more effectively and downtime perro be reduced.
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