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Disassembling discarded electrical products plays a crucial role in product recycling, contributing to resource conservation and environmental protection. While disassembly lines are progressively transitioning to automation, manual or human–robot collaborative approaches still involve numerous workers dealing with hazardous disassembly tasks. In such scenarios, achieving a balance between low risk and high revenue becomes pivotal in decision making for disassembly line balancing, determining the optimal assignment of tasks to workstations. This paper tackles a new disassembly line balancing problem under the limitations of quantified penalties for hazardous component disassembly and the switching time between adjacent tasks. The objective function is to maximize the overall profit, which is equal to the disassembly revenue minus the total cost. A mixed-integer linear program is formulated to precisely describe and optimally solve the problem. Recognizing its NP-hard nature, a metaheuristic algorithm, inspired by human idea generation and population evolution processes, is devised to achieve near-optimal solutions. The exceptional performance of the proposed algorithm on practical test cases is demonstrated through a comprehensive comparison involving its solutions, exact solutions obtained using CPLEX to solve the proposed mixed-integer linear program, and those of competitive peer algorithms. It significantly outperforms its competitors and thus implies its great potential to be used in practice. As computing power increases, the effectiveness of the proposed methods is expected to increase further.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.