Web-based problem-solving environment for line balancing automated manufacturing systems
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This paper describes a web-based problem-solving environment designed to teach line balancing of automated manufacturing systems. This environment was designed based on analytic and simulation models of an assembly line. Simulation models were first designed and used to derive data about work-in-process amounts, workstation utilization, cycle times and amount of finished product under different parameter settings, such as processing time and arrival rate. Regression models were then designed to mimic these results. The data from these models were then used as a basis for designing Flash animations. The line balancing problem-solving environment allows students to make adjustments to a simulated production line, and to run the simulation to view the results. The environment was evaluated by 28 undergraduate students enrolled in a production systems course and by 39 students who had completed a production systems course within the past two years. Students completed a pre-test before using the environment and a post-test afterwards. Differences between students' pre- and post-test scores were significant ( = .05). Future directions include using the environment for research on system integration skill development, field testing with engineers from industry, and design of a "construction set" for robotic work-cell line balancing.
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
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