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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Factors of Plant Layout Planning - The Principle of a good Plant Layout

Layout is the physical location of the various departments within the premises of the facility. It is concerned with the orderly arrangement of machines, work areas and service areas so as to attain the maximum output at minimum possible cost.

Factor affecting Plant Layout
  • Distance between processes
  • Logical sequence of the process
  • Nature of the process
  • Volume of output
  • Special requirements of a process
  • Location of the entry and exit

The Principle of a good Plant Layout

  1. Inclusive integration – The plant should integrate all the important resources of men, machine, and materials into a single operating unit so as to maximize efficiency and minimize cost of production.
  2. Minimum distance – The less movement of men, machine and material the less will be the cost of the production.
  3. Flow of Material – All material should move to the same direction and plant should be arranged according to the sequence.
  4. Productive space handling – The material should be organized in a proper way and maximum use of volume available.
  5. Intrinsic security – The environment of the plant should be safe for the labor as well as machines.
  6. Flexibility – The plant layout should not be inflexible which can be modified to meet the changing circumstances.
  7. Availability of Physical and other facilities – The layout of plant should ensure that all essential resources are accessible to the labor and machines without any delay.
  8. Minimal handling – Poor handling of the material may lead to increase cost.
  9. Maximum Utilization – The location of the plant should be utilized maximum.

Types of Plant layouts
  • Product layout
  • Process layout
  • Fixed position layout
  • Cellular layout
A. Product Layout - Product layout is suitable when product having standard features is to be produced in large volumes. Production process involves repetitive tasks to be performed in items arranged in a sequence. Specialized machines are arranged in a sequence as required by the process often called the assembly line.

U Shaped Assembly Line

Advantages
  1. Easier material handling and less inventory cost
  2. Less supervision and labor training costs as labor trained for a specialized task
  3. High output rate and thus low cost of item per unit
  4. High efficiency of labor and equipment
  5. No need of routing or scheduling once the line is operational.

Disadvantages
  1. Maintenance cost is very high.
  2. Inflexible to design changes in products or process
  3. Monotonous repetitive tasks leading to frustration for workers
  4. Breakdown of a machine or high absenteeism of workers leads to halt in production
B. Process Layout - In the process layout general purpose machines arranged in no particular sequence. Process requirements and sequence are different for various types of products to be manufactured also called as job shop or machine shop layout. Machines include lathe, drilling, welding, grinding etc.

Example is a Maruti service station or Nursing homes

Process Layout of an automobile service station


Process lyout is suitable when different products are produced in lots or batches. Ideal for service set up such as bank, hospital, car service stations etc.

Advantages
  • Maintenance cost low view low cost general purpose machines
  • Flexible to design changes
  • Breakdown of machines / absenteeism does not lead to halt in production
  • Promotes creativity of workers

Disadvantages
  • Material handling time consuming as there is no fixed route
  • WIP inventory usually high
  • Low output rate thus high cost per unit
  • Routing and scheduling is tedious and time consuming

C. Fixed Position Layout

Product is heavy, bulky or large

Example : Building, Ship, Dam etc.

Machines, raw material, manpower to be taken to the product / site

D. Cellular Layout and Group Technology

Items having similar design in terms of external features such as size, shape, use etc are formed in to one group

Alternatively, Items having similar manufacturing process are formed in to one group.

Different manufacturing cells are formed for different groups

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