Research Papers

Integrated Modeling of Automotive Assembly Line With Material Handling

[+] Author and Article Information
Qing Chang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Stony Brook University,
163 Light Engineering,
Stony Brook, NY 11794
e-mail: qing.chang@stonybrook.edu

Chaoye Pan

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109,
e-mail: pancy@umich.edu

Guoxian Xiao

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab,
General Motors Research and
Development Center,
30500 Mound Road,
Warren, MI 48090
e-mail: guoxian.xiao@gm.com

Stephan Biller

General Electric Global Research Center,
Niskayuna, NY 12309
e-mail: biller@ge.com

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering. Manuscript received January 18, 2012; final manuscript received December 19, 2012; published online January 29, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Steven J. Skerlos.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(1), 011018 (Jan 29, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: MANU-12-1020; doi: 10.1115/1.4023365 History: Received January 18, 2012; Revised December 19, 2012

In an automotive production system, material handling is a critical activity in terms of increasing system efficiency and reducing overall cost. The existing literatures often separate the production system and material handling system, and ignore the coupling relations between the two systems. In this paper, an integrated modeling approach is developed to mathematically describe a dynamic production system including production operation and material handling system. A modified max-plus algebra based model with “shifting” mechanism is developed to overcome the synchronization constraints of traditional max-plus linear properties, and adapt to the dynamic change of the system under various conditions, such as starvation caused by material handling. The case study demonstrates that the new modeling approach is effective and efficient (180 times faster comparing with simulation method) in real-time system analytics and control to improve productivity and reduce cost.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of general assembly line with material handling

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Two-station-infinity-buffer line

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Parts consumption tag matrix

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Fig. 3

Production line with concurrency operation

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Fig. 6

Original time sequence and trip 1

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Fig. 7

Updated time sequence and trip 2

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Fig. 8

Layout of a general assembly line

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Fig. 5

Three-machine-4-parts model



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