While trying to solve the hard combinatorial optimization problems, within practical time horizons, the classical optimization methods are found to be inefficient in optimizing the process parameters. They need completely defined objective functions and constraint functions. They are found to be inefficient in solving the real word problems which are very complex in nature because of the involvement of more numerical steps and need for more computation time. Among the available optimization procedures, the iterative techniques play vital role for process optimization. In this article, the various process parameters used for the manufacture of leaf spring assembly are considered, analyzed and optimized using a procedure developed based on bee colony optimization algorithm. The wisdom of bees is found to be excellent by the way of communication by the forager with the bees of its home hive after the nectar exploration. The waggle dance is a term used in bee keeping and ethology for a particular figure (eight) dance by the honey bee to convey informations about the direction, quality and distance of patches of flowers to its hive-mates. This biological phenomenon when applied to the process planning problems is found to be excelling in solution quality as well as in computation time. The optimal schedule resulted out of this meta-heuristic algorithm is comparable with the solutions obtained by other different algorithms. And this developed procedure can be applied to any kind of related processes with small alterations.

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Tue, 19/04/2011 - 21:05