The paper deals with the problem of assigning jobs to operators in contexts where the operators are not fixed on a single position, but rotate, by travelling on foot, between different stations. The objective is to jointly consider the need for minimising the operators’ walking costs, expressed as both unproductive times and physiological costs, and the ergonomic risk of the scheduled jobs and their combinations. A new optimisation-based methodology is presented by developing a systematic procedure for input data analysis and an original mixed-integer linear programming model which minimises the cost of walking (or the total metabolic cost) by considering workplace safety and physiological needs. Finally, the proposed optimisation approach has been applied to a case study from the plastic industry. The obtained results allow to draw some interesting conclusions about the impact of ergonomic aspects on the optimal assignment of jobs to operators. Moreover, the importance of reducing unproductive times (i.e. walking times) and, if possible, improving the design of manual tasks (e.g. lifting operations) is highlighted by showing that even small ergonomic investments may lead to significant cost savings.

Optimal job assignment considering operators’ walking costs and ergonomic aspects / Gebennini, Elisa; Zeppetella, Luca; Grassi, Andrea; Rimini, Bianca. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRODUCTION RESEARCH. - ISSN 0020-7543. - 56:3(2018), pp. 1249-1268. [10.1080/00207543.2017.1414327]

Optimal job assignment considering operators’ walking costs and ergonomic aspects

Elisa Gebennini;Luca Zeppetella;Andrea Grassi;Bianca Rimini
2018

Abstract

The paper deals with the problem of assigning jobs to operators in contexts where the operators are not fixed on a single position, but rotate, by travelling on foot, between different stations. The objective is to jointly consider the need for minimising the operators’ walking costs, expressed as both unproductive times and physiological costs, and the ergonomic risk of the scheduled jobs and their combinations. A new optimisation-based methodology is presented by developing a systematic procedure for input data analysis and an original mixed-integer linear programming model which minimises the cost of walking (or the total metabolic cost) by considering workplace safety and physiological needs. Finally, the proposed optimisation approach has been applied to a case study from the plastic industry. The obtained results allow to draw some interesting conclusions about the impact of ergonomic aspects on the optimal assignment of jobs to operators. Moreover, the importance of reducing unproductive times (i.e. walking times) and, if possible, improving the design of manual tasks (e.g. lifting operations) is highlighted by showing that even small ergonomic investments may lead to significant cost savings.
2-gen-2018
56
3
1249
1268
Optimal job assignment considering operators’ walking costs and ergonomic aspects / Gebennini, Elisa; Zeppetella, Luca; Grassi, Andrea; Rimini, Bianca. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRODUCTION RESEARCH. - ISSN 0020-7543. - 56:3(2018), pp. 1249-1268. [10.1080/00207543.2017.1414327]
Gebennini, Elisa; Zeppetella, Luca; Grassi, Andrea; Rimini, Bianca
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1159986
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