Disassembly takes place in remanufacturing, recycling, and disposal with a line being the best choice for automation. The disassembly line balancing problem seeks a sequence which: minimizes workstations, ensures similar idle times, and is feasible. Finding the optimal balance is computationally intensive due to factorial growth. Combinatorial optimization methods hold promise for providing solutions to the disassembly line balancing problem, which is proven to belong to the class of NP-complete problems. Ant colony optimization, genetic algorithm, and H-K metaheuristics are presented and compared along with a greedy/hill-climbing heuristic hybrid. A numerical study is performed to illustrate the implementation and compare performance. Conclusions drawn include the consistent generation of optimal or near-optimal solutions, the ability to preserve precedence, the speed of the techniques, and their practicality due to ease of implementation.


Disassembly, disassembly line balancing, combinatorial optimization, H-K metaheuristic, ant colony optimization, genetic algorithm, greedy search, AEHC, product recovery

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Production engineering



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