Plant Layout

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Plant layout is a plan of the most effective arrangement of the physical facilities and manpower for the manufacture of the product. Plant layout encompasses much more than the mere planning of the arrangement of the production equipment and should include a careful study of the following:

1. External transportation facilities.

2. Receiving operations (unloading, inspection, stores)

3. Production activities.

4. Service & auxiliary operations.

5. Quality control and inspection areas.

6. Packing operations.

7. Storage operations.

8. Shipping operations.

Plant layout covers the planning of space requirements for all activities in an industrial firm – offices, warehouses, rest rooms and all other facilities

Objectives of Plant Layout.

The primary goal of plant layout is to maximize profits by the arrangement of all plant facilities to the best advantages of the Total Manufacturing Equation – men, materials, machines and money. If a finished layout is to fulfill this goal, is should be planned with the following objectives in mind.

1. Facilitate the manufacturing process.
2. Minimize materials handling.
3. Maintain flexibility of arrangements and of operation. 4. Maintain high turnover of work in progress
5. Hold down investment in equipment
6. Make economical use of floor area.
7 Promote effective utilization of manpower.
8 Provide for employee convenience, safety and comfort in doing the work.

All these objectives can be summarized as the planning of the plant for the optimum relationship between output, space and manufacturing cost.

Factors affecting Plant Layout

1. Product.
2. Volume or rate of production.
3. Quality.
4. Equipment.
5. Type of manufacture
6. Building
7. Plant site
8. Personnel
9. Materials handling plan.

Muther has given a key to lay out.

P – look at the products to be manufactured today and tomorrow

Q – Examine the quantity that has to be manufactured ….more products less quantity or vice versa – This is normally important for jobbing industry.

R – Routing of the sequence of operations that take place.

S – Service and supporting services required.

T – Timing estimates of the operations done on the job

Basic Plans for Plant Layout.

There are basically two main ways in which a plant may be laid out. They are process layout and product layout.

Process Layout:

In process layout, the type and operational characteristics of the manufacturing equipment are the determining factors in the arrangement of the factory. This basic plan can be readily identified ,as such plants will have machine departments, clearing departments, finishing rooms and assembly floors. Even within such departments machines of similar work characteristics are commonly grouped together (Lathes, milling machines, drill presses and so on)

Product Layout

In product layout the work to be performed on the produce is the determining factor in positioning of manufacturing equipment. The aim is to arrange machines in the order of operations that are performed on the many component parts, on sub assemblies, and on the final assembly of the item being manufactured. Thus each work station – either machine of work bench – does whatever operations on the product that follows the work done at the proceeding work station, then passes the product to the next work station in the line where the next operation is performed

Relative advantages of Product and Process Layout.

Product Layout Process Layout 1. Lower total materials handling cost. 2. Lower total production time. 3. Less work in progress 4. Greater incentives for groups of workers to raise level of performance and greater possibility for group incentive plans with broader coverage. 5. Less floor area required per unit of...
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