Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Baki, Fazle


Applied sciences, Feature grouping, Milp model, Operation sequencing, Process planning, Simulated annealing, Transfer line balancing




Transfer lines are employed for mass production of a fixed product or a very narrow range of product variants. This thesis considers a simple transfer line balancing problem with a focus on process planning and line configuration. Design features of the product are grouped and machining operations are sequenced in an optimal manner. The objective is to minimize the handling time fraction of the cycle time consisting mainly of orientation change time and tool change time. A new MILP model is developed to solve the problem with the aforementioned objectives while respecting a set of constraints, which include cutting tool allocation, tool magazine limit, tool life limit, takt time limit and precedence, inclusion & exclusion constraints. A problem-specific simulated annealing algorithm to solve large problems is also proposed. Numerical experiments are presented to illustrate the functionality of the MILP model and the meta-heuristic with respect to optimality and computation time.