Joint optimization of product tolerance design, process plan, and production plan in high-precision multi-product assembly
Journal of Manufacturing Systems
With the ever-increasing product variety faced by the manufacturing industry, investment efficiency can only be maintained by the application of multi-product assembly systems. In such systems, the product design, process planning, and production planning problems related to different products are strongly interconnected. Despite this, those interdependent decisions are typically made by different divisions of the company, by adopting a decomposed planning approach, which can easily result in excess production costs. In order to overcome this challenge, this paper proposes an integrated approach to solving the above problems, focusing on the decisions crucial for achieving the required tolerances in high-precision assembled products. The joint optimization problems related to product tolerance design and assembly resource configuration are first formulated as a mixed-integer linear program (MILP). Then, a large neighborhood search (LNS) algorithm, which combines classical mathematical programming and meta-heuristic techniques, is introduced to solve large instances of the problem. The efficiency of the method is demonstrated through an industrial case study, both in terms of computational efficiency and industrial effectiveness.