A linear programming model for optimal subassembly level determination in shipbuilding industry

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Shipbuilding industry is an industrial sector characterized by a customized make-to-order production process. The shipbuilding process can be roughly divided into four steps: design, assembly planning, manufacturing and final assembly. In this paper assembly planning is investigated: it consists in subdividing the ship structure into blocks and grand-blocks, thus involving a two levels subassembly generation. Any mechanical assembly process can be decomposed into a set of tasks, each task involving joining two or more components or subassemblies together. The sequence of assembly tasks has a major influence on completion time and resource utilization and it drastically impacts costs and efficiency through the whole production process. To determine the optimal assembly policy and subassembly level a Linear Programming model is proposed. The model allows the determination of the optimal block grouping policy, in order to minimize the total assembly time or to achieve workload balancing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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