2-ANTBAL

2-ANTBAL: An ant colony optimisation algorithm for balancing two-sided assembly lines. Two-sided assembly lines are a special type of assembly lines in which workers perform assembly tasks in both sides of the line. This type of lines is of crucial importance, especially in the assembly of large-sized products, like automobiles, buses or trucks, in which some tasks must be performed at a specific side of the product. This paper presents an approach to address the two-sided mixed-model assembly line balancing problem. First, a mathematical programming model is presented to formally describe the problem. Then, an ant colony optimisation algorithm is proposed to solve the problem. In the proposed procedure two ants ‘work’ simultaneously, one at each side of the line, to build a balancing solution which verifies the precedence, zoning, capacity, side and synchronism constraints of the assembly process. The main goal is to minimise the number of workstations of the line, but additional goals are also envisaged. The proposed procedure is illustrated with a numerical example and results of a computational experience that exhibit its superior performance are presented.