The paper presents a new simulated annealing (SA)-based algorithm for the assembly line-balancing problem with a U-type configuration. The proposed algorithm employs an intelligent mechanism to search a large solution space. U-type assembly systems are becoming increasingly popular in today's modern production environments since they are more general than the traditional assembly systems. In these systems, tasks are to be allocated into stations by moving forward and backward through the precedence diagram in contrast to a typical forward move in the traditional assembly systems. The performance of the algorithm is measured by solving a large number of benchmark problems available in the literature. The results of the computational experiments indicate that the proposed SA-based algorithm performs quite effectively. It also yields the optimal solution for most problem instances. Future research directions and a comprehensive bibliography are also provided here.