Beyond human tetris: Simulation-based optimization of personnel assignment planning in sequenced commercial vehicle assembly
This paper presents a simulation-based planning software, that is developed for high complexity production settings and currently undergoes first real-data industry application tests. The software is tested in commercial vehicle assembly, but will be also employable in other industries with a suffciently high number of different products and variants. The solution enables the forecasting of required personnel and the requirements with regard to temporary additional workers ("floaters") for every cycle at the production line. To this end, the software periodically collects process times, sequence and feature data for the vehicles. The cumulated workload is calculated under consideration of flexibilities. A web-based user interface enables to set and change reference data, define process simulations and allows for the compilation of diagrams and charts for the analysis of the results of the different simulation runs. Various filters as to time periods, vehicle types or feature variants allow the planner a target-oriented analysis and provide feedback for improving the tact of the production line. Finally, some qualitative results of a first industry test in commercial vehicle assembly are presented. Those preliminary results give valuable feedback about the usability of existing analytical features and desirable additional features.