The use of dynamic work sharing production methods to reduce the impact of labour turnover in serial assembly lines

J. René Villalobos, Marco A. Gutiérrez, Luis R. Mar, Octavio Sánchez, Omar Ahumada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Labour turnover is one of the major complications that industry faces on a daily basis. Turnover is particularly harmful to serial assembly lines. The learning process that a new operator must undergo when first introduced to an assembly line station generates blockage and starvation in the previous and successive stations, causing a reduction in the line's throughput. In this paper, we analyse different work allocation strategies for serial assembly line designs in order to determine which designs perform best under the presence of labour turnover and a task-learning process. In particular, we compare the traditional balanced line with two other assembly line designs, a variant of the bucket brigades (BB) and a hybrid method - the modified work sharing (MWS) method. By making a judicious use of control buffers, the MWS method seeks to combine the positive characteristics of both the BB and traditional balanced lines to naturally adapt to different levels of labour turnover. The results presented in this paper show that the MWS outperforms the BB and the balanced designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-53
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011



  • DWA
  • Dynamic work allocation
  • Labour turnover
  • Serial assembly lines
  • Work sharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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