Assembly line balancing is to assign work elements to serial work stations so as to make the work content at each station as close as possible to one limiting cycle time or pitch time, i.e., an upper time limit over every station. Until now, it is usually assumed that the
performance rates of work stations are constant. But in
practice the performance abilities of workers, machines or robots are varied by their own working conditions. Then the actual station times are different from standard ones, and consequently the line balance may diminish in many cases. Therefore in this paper, we propose an improved
balancing method, in which work elements can be assigned to the work station having the upper time limit changed by its performance rate or ability. Further we develop the computer program of the proposed method and provide an illustrative problem and computational results. In an application of our method to the practical problems, it is shown that the actual efficiency of the production line becomes near that planned.