Amos H.C. Ng, Sunith Bandaru, Jacob Bernedixen, Martin Andersson & Thomas Lezama (2020). Aircraft Assembly Ramp-Up Planning Using a hybrid Simulationoptimization Approach. Proceedings of the 2020 Winter Simulation Conference.
Assembly processes have the most influencing and long-term impact on the production volume and cost in the aerospace industry. One of the most crucial factors in aircraft assembly lines design during the conceptual design phase is ramp-up planning that synchronizes the production rates at the globally dispersed facilities. Inspired by a pilot study performed with an aerospace company, this paper introduces a hybrid simulation-optimization approach for addressing an assembly production chain ramp-up problem that takes into account: (1) the interdependencies of the ramp-up profiles between final assembly lines and its upstream lines; (2) workforce planning with various learning curves; (3) inter-plant buffer and lead-time optimization, in the problem formulation. The approach supports the optimization of the ramp-up profile that minimizes the times the aircraft assemblies stay in the buffers and simultaneously attains zero backlog. It also generates the required simulation-optimization data for supporting the decision-making activities in the industrialization projects. Access publication.