This paper presents an integrated method for the design of logical lay-out of assembly lines. It proposes a computer-aided tool to choose the assembly method (manual, hard automated or robotized) for all the assembly operations which have to be performed and assign them to workstations along the line by minimizing the number of stations.
After an overview of related works, the paper presents a line balancing method developed on the basis of Grouping Genetic Algorithms (Genetic Algorithms heavily modified to suit grouping problems) to design the logical lay-out of the line.
The second part of the paper is devoted to the classification of the main criteria used by the decision-aid tool developed for the choice of the assembly method.
The third part of the paper describes the link between the decision-aid tool and the line-balancing software.
Finally, conclusions and guidelines for further work are presented.