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One of the main performance parameters for sequencing workpieces at mixed-model assembly lines is utility work, i.e. the amount of work a worker can't process within the limits of his station. A common assumption in literature is that utility work is compensated by utility workers, but a dedicated scheduling of utility workers is usually neglected. This paper attempts to fill this gap by presenting a new anticipative scheduling approach, which is compared to a traditional real-life approach. It is shown that schedules of the anticipative approach require a lower number of utility workers to cope with the utility work at an assembly line.
Date of Conference: 8-11 Dec. 2009