Product Layout is not always better than process layout. I disagree with the statement. To understand the reasons behind why this is not true, this paper details the concept of layout, differences between the layouts and applicability of product and process layout. Facility layout is the physical arrangement of equipment, offices, rooms and other resources within an organization. It describes the location of resources and their relationship to each other. Layout planning aims to organize the physical arrangement of facilities so that operations run as efficiently as possible. The content section describes the reasons behind why the statement is not true.
Every organization has to consider the layout of its operations, whether it is a shop, manufacturer, warehouse, office or government debating chamber. Well-laid-out facilities are efficient and allow products to flow easily and smoothly through the process: poorly laid-out facilities disrupt operations and reduce efficiency. The purpose of layout planning is to arrange the facilities so that the process can run as smoothly as possible. There are five general types of layout:
process layout – which puts similar resources together;
product layout – which puts resources for a particular product together;
hybrid layout – which is some mixture of these two;
fixed-position layout – where everything is done in the same place;
specialized layouts, such as retail shops, offices and warehouses.
The choice of layout depends on the objectives and constraints on the process. Typical objectives are to use a minimum amount of resources, or to achieve the maximum possible output. Other objectives minimize the cost of movement, minimize the amount of handling, minimize the area used, maximize visibility, give secure operations, give attractive appearance, increase customer access, and so on. There can be many types of constraints on the layout, including the planned capacity, total space available, building used, material handling equipment, capital available, need for service areas, safety needs, and so on. The best type of layout is clearly related to the type of process.
A product layout groups together all the facilities and equipment used to make a particular product. A common form of product layout is a production line in manufacturing. Departments or machines are arranged according to the sequence of tasks to produce the product.
ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF PRODUCT LAYOUT
Advantages of product layouts include:
They can achieve a high rate of output;
High equipment use gives low unit costs;
Materials handling is easy with low stocks of work in progress; •
Scheduling and controlling operations is easy.
Low unit cost
Low labor skill needed
Low material handling
High efficiency and utilization
Simple routing and scheduling
Simple to track and control
Processing rates are faster
Material handling costs are lower
Less space required for inventories
Wide use of automation
Disadvantages of product layouts include:
operations are inflexible and it is difficult to change the output rate, product or process; •
equipment failure and routine maintenance can disrupt the whole process; •
equipment may be specialized and expensive, needing a high initial investment; •
people often do not like working in process layouts as the repetitive work can be boring •
High capital intensity
Less volume or design flexibility
Boring for labor
Low worker enrichment
Can not accommodate partial shut downs/breakdowns
Individual incentive plans are not possible
In a process layout all similar equipment and other facilities are grouped together. Offices use a process layout when they put all accountants in one area, all purchasing people in another, all reference books in another, and so on. This layout works best when...
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