Which Plant Layouts Will Work For Your Industry?Conrad Belluomo
Plant layout is a physical arrangement of machines, equipment or services to produce the best coordination between men, material and machine in the plant. The layout is dynamic. In short it can be called the floor plan of physical facilities. For instance in a supermarket, the retail display racks have to be arranged for easy access to the customers and the staff. Planning a layout for a supermarket can improve productivity and efficiency. The plant layout involves managing the space properly to meet the requirements of the business. The social media also talks about the benefits of plant layout at https://blog.bufferapp.com/new-social-media-research.
There are different types of product layout and a few are listed below:
This form of arrangement will be in a sequence or as the name suggests in a line. The machines or products are arranged in a sequence to facilitate the process. This is commonly used in industries where the raw material is at one end and the finished goods come at the other. Depending on the product, there are various line layouts maintained. The method is ideal for industries like metal extraction, sugar, chemical, electric and other manufacturing setups. It works best for mass production of goods.
This type of product layout is best for manufacturing units that produce standardised products in large quantities, repeated processing of standardised products, an adequate volume of goods to keep the line active, if there is high interchangeability of parts or to maintain equipment balance among workstations.
It is exactly the opposite of line layout. The work is divided based on the functionality. The concept was derived from Frederick W Taylor’s functional organisation. For instance, in a workshop you can find lathes in one place and welding happens in another department. It is used while producing dissimilar products. This setup is commonly found in job order industries including printing, shipbuilding and engineering.
The methods offer complete and effective usages of machine and investment. It promotes greater flexibility and offers scope for expansion, facilitating the addition of more machines. Here specialised machines are used to for different operations and enable effective workforce utilisation. In a process layout, supervision becomes easier as the machines are placed according to the functions performed. Supervisors are given limited machines and their job can be done easily. Even if a machine develops snags, the production schedule is not affected. Since the work can be moved to other machines.
Stationary material layout
This method is used among large parts manufacturers and assemblies. The material is stationary and the equipment and men are moved to the site. Shipbuilding, heavy machinery industries and locomotives are some of the examples. This type of layout saves on transportation cost. Moreover, many projects can be done in the same layout, as per the specification of the customer. There is more room for flexibility and can accommodate changes in the design and process. Though, the disadvantage of this layout is the cost involved.
The product layout is chosen based on the requirement of the industry. What fits one does not necessarily suit another. Therefore considering the type of industry and the resources, a layout plan can be selected.