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Layout Planning Models and Design Algorithms

Alfiler, Ronna C.
Balagon, Bea B.
Valencia, Ronald Ron R.


2. Production line departments

3. Product family departments
4. Process departments
Layout Procedures
Apples Plant Layout Procedure
Reeds Plant Layout Procedure
Muthers Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) Procedure
Algorithmic Approaches
Algorithmic Classifications
Pairwise Exchange Method
Graph-Based Method
CRAFT (Computerized Relative Allocation of Facilities
MIP (Mixed Integer Programming)
LOGIC (Layout Optimization with Guillotine Induced Cuts)
MULTIPLE (Multifloor Plant Layout Evaluation)
Department Shapes and Main Aisles
Simulated Annealing and Genetic Algorithms
Commercial Facility Layout Packages
The Impact of Change
Adapting To Change and Planning For Facility Reorganization
Developing Layout Alternatives

Table of Contents
Basic Layout Types
1. Fixed material location departments

The generation of layout alternatives is a critical step in the

facilities planning process, since the layout selected will serve to
establish the physical relationships between activities.
Block Layout - shows the location, shape, and size of each
planning department
o concerned primarily with the macro flows in the
Detailed Layout shows the exact location of all equipment,
work benches, and storage areas within each department.
o often concerned with the micro flows
For the facility layout to be complete and effective, both the block
layout and the detailed layout need to be developed and evaluated
1. Which comes first, the material handling system or the facility
Centralized versus decentralized storage of work in process
(WIP), tooling, and supplies
Fixed path versus variable path handling
The degree of automation used in handling
The type of level of inventory control, physical control, and
computer control of materials.
2. Which comes first, the block layout or the detailed layout?
1. Fixed material location department
It involves the sequencing and placement of workstations
around the material or product.
It is used in aircraft assembly, shipbuilding, and most
construction projects (e.g., buildings, dams, and electric or
nuclear power plants), shipbuilding, aircraft, aerospace,
farming, drilling for oil, home repair, and automated car

Figure 1. Fixed materials location product departments

Table 1. Advantages and Limitations of Fixed Product Layout
1. Material movement is
1. Personal and equipment
movement is increased.
2. When a team approach is
2. May result in duplicate
used, continuity of operations
and responsibility results.
3. Provides job enrichment
3. Requires greater skill for
4. Promotes pride and quality
4. Requires general
because an individual can
complete the whole job.
5. Highly flexible; can
5. May result in increased
accommodate changes in
space and greater work-inproduct design, product mix,
and production volume.
6. Requires close control and
coordination in scheduling
2. Production line departments
The layout for a production line department is based on the
processing sequence for the part(s) being produced on the
line. Materials typically flow from one workstation directly to
the next adjacent one.
Generally used in systems where a product has to be
manufactured or assembled in large quantities. The
machinery and auxiliary services are located according to
the processing sequence of the product without any buffer
storage w/in the line itself.

Figure 2. Production line product departments

Table 2. Advantages and Limitations of Product Layout
1. Smooth, simple, logical, and
1. Machine stoppages stops the
direct flow lines result.
2. Small work-in-process
2. Product design changes
inventories should result.
cause the layout to become
3. Total production time per
3. Slowest station process the
unit is short.
4. Material handling
4. General supervision is
requirements are reduced.
5. Less skill is required for
5. Higher equipment
investment usually results.
6. Simple production control is
7. Special-purpose equipment
can be used.
3. Product family departments
Based on the grouping of parts to form product/part families.
The cells become in effect miniature versions of product
layouts. Used when various products have to be produced in
medium to large quantities.
Non-identical parts may be grouped into families based on
composition, tooling requirements, handling/storage/control
requirements, and so on.

Figure 3. Product family product departments

Table 3. Advantages and Limitations of Group Layout

1. By grouping products, higher 1. General supervision
machine utilization can result.
2. Smoother flow lines and
2. Greater labor skills required
shorter travel distances are
for team members to be skilled
expected than for process
on all operations.
3. Team atmosphere and job
3. Critically dependent on
enlargement benefits often
production control balancing
the flows through the individual
4. Has some of the benefits of
4. If flow is not balanced in
product layouts and process
each cell, buffers and work-inlayouts; it is a compromise
process storage are required in
between the two.
the cell to eliminate the need
for added material handling to
and from the cell.
5. Encourages consideration of
5. Has some of the
general-purpose equipment.
disadvantages of product
layouts and process layouts; it
is a compromise between the
6. Decreased the opportunity

to use special-purpose
4. Process departments
The layout for a process department is obtained by grouping
like processes together and placing individual process
departments relative to one another based on flow between
the departments.
Also referred as a job shop layout. A manufacturing example
is a machine shop. Also quite common in non-manufacturing
environments. Examples includes hospitals, colleges, banks,
auto repair shops, and public libraries.

Figure 4. Process departments

Table 4. Advantages and Limitations of Process Layout
1. Increased machine
1. Increased material handling
2. General-purpose equipment
2. More complicated production
can be used.
control required.
3. Highly flexible on allocating
3. Increased work-in-process.
personnel and equipment.
4. Diversity of tasks for
4. Longer production lines.
5. Specialized supervision is
5. Higher skills required to
accommodate diversity of tasks
Construction layout methods basically involve developing
a new layout from scratch
Improvement procedures generate layout alternatives by
seeking improvements in an existing layout

Apples Plant Layout Procedure detailed sequence of steps in

producing a plant layout
1. Procure the basic data.
2. Analyze the basic data.
3. Design the productive process.
4. Plan the material flow pattern.
5. Consider the general material handling plan.
6. Calculate equipment requirements.
7. Plan individual workstations.
8. Select specific material handling equipment.
9. Coordinate groups of related operations.
10. Design activity interrelationships.
11. Determine storage requirements.
12. Plan service and auxiliary activities.
13. Determine space requirements.
14. Allocate activities to total space.
15. Consider building types.
16. Construct master layout.
17. Evaluate, adjust, and check the layout with the appropriate
18. Obtain approvals.
19. Install the layout.
20. Follow up on implementation of the layout.
Reeds Plant Layout Procedure systematic plan of attack as
required steps in planning for and preparing the layout
1. Analyze the product or products to be produced.
2. Determine the process required to manufacture the
3. Prepare the layout planning charts.
4. Determine workstations.
5. Analyze storage area requirements.
6. Establish minimum aisle widths.
7. Establish office requirements.
8. Consider personnel facilities and services.
9. Survey plant services.
10. Provide for future expansion.
Reed calls the layout planning chart the most important single
phase of the entire layout process.
1. Flow process, including operations, transportation, storage,
and inspections
2. Standard times for each operation


Machine selection and balance

Manpower selection and balance
Material handling requirements

Figure 6. Systematic layout planning (SLP) procedure

Figure 5. Layout Planning Chart
Muthers Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) Procedure developed
by Richard Muther, it is a layout procedure he named systematic
layout planning, or SLP.

The framework is
relationship diagram
relationship chart

Based on the input

data and an understanding of the roles and relationships between
activities, a material flow analysis (from-to-chart) and an activity

relationship analysis (activity

performed. From the analysis
diagram is developed.

Based on modifying considerations and practical limitations, a

number of layout alternatives are developed and evaluated. The
preferred alternative is then recommended.

Figure 8. Relationship chart

The next two steps involve the
determination of the amount of
space to be assigned to each
activity. Departmental service
and area requirement sheets would be completed for each
department. Once the space assignments have been made, space
templates are developed for each planning department and the
space is hung on the relationship diagram to obtain the space
relationship diagram.

Figure 9. Space relationship diagram

Figure 10. Alternative block layouts

Algorithmic approach is a formal procedure that can help the
layout analyst to develop or improve a layout, and it provide
objective criteria to facilitate the evaluation of various layout
alternatives that emerge in the process.
Algorithmic Classifications
Most layout algorithms can be classified according to the type
of input data they requires.
o Qualitative flow data (such as relationship chart)
Need input from several individuals
Possible inconsistencies should be resolved
Not practical for problems with 20 or more
o Quantitative flow data (such as flow matrix expressed as a
Predominantly used in practice
Requires more time and effort to practice the from-to
o Some algorithms accepts both relationship chart and fromto-chart
Layout algorithms can also be classified according to their
objective functions.
o Minimizing the sum of flows times distances

From-to matrix distance based objective

Maximizing an adjacency score
Relationship chart adjacency based objective
Graphical representation

Discrete Layout
Easy to implement in a computer
Selecting appropriate grid size is important
Smaller grids computationally burdensome
Continuous Layout
Hard to implement in a computer
Highly flexible
Representing L-shaped, U-shaped departments


Department cannot be split

o Any grid assigned to a department
reachable form any other such grid
Enclosed void (atrium)


Most procedures employ a unit area square representation as an

approximation. Space available and space required for each activity
are expressed as an integer multiple of the unit area.
Unit Square Area approximation can also be represented by a two
dimensional array or matrix of numbers
Easy to manipulate (e.g., determine adjacency) but difficult
to visually interpret
Layout Evaluation
Distance based objective

min z= f ij c ij d ij
i=1 j=1

where: m = the number of departments



fij = the flow from department i to department j (unit

load/unit time)
cij = the cost of moving a unit load one distance unit from
department i to j
dij = the distance from department i to j
z = total movement cost per time period (the objective
function value)

The fij and cij are input data

If the cij= 1 for all i and j, z= total travel distance per time

Adjacency based objective


max z= f ij x ij
i=1 j=1

where: m = the number of departments

fij = the flow from department i to department j (unit
load/unit time)

xij = the adjacent of department i and j in the layout

Since the numerical scale is arbitrary, another objective
function is often used

Called an efficiency rating (or normalized adjacency


It is a relative measure of a layout with respect to the

best (sometimes not possible) objective function value

Can be used for both adjacency based or distancebased objective

The objective is to minimize the total cost of
transporting materials among all departments in a facility

based on rectilinear distance from centroid to

The method does not guarantee the optimality, only local
The procedure may cycle back to one alternative
Symmetric layout may occur
Pairwise exchange can be easily accomplished only if the
departments are of the same size
Step 1: Calculate total cost for the existing layout
Step 2: For each iteration evaluate all feasible exchanges in the
locations of department pairs
Step 3: Select the pair that results in the largest reduction in
total cost
Step 4: Recompute the distance matrix each time an exchange is
Step 5: If the lowest total cost for your next iteration is worse
than the total cost for the previous iteration, the procedure is

Layout Generation
Construction layout methods basically involve developing
a new layout from scratch
o SELECT an activity to be placed
o PLACE the selected activity in the layout
Improvement procedures generate layout alternatives by
seeking improvements in an existing layout
o CHOOSE a pair (or triple) of activities
o ESTIMATE the effect of exchanging them
o CHECK to be sure the new layout is better
o REPEAT until no more improvements are possible
Pairwise exchange method

For layout improvement

Graph- based method

o The graph-based method is a construction-type layout
o Uses the adjacency based objective
Step 1: from the relationship chart select a department pair
with the largest weight.
Step 2: Select the third department to enter, the third
department is selected based on the sum of the weights with
respect to departments 3 and 4.
Step 3: Pick the fourth department to enter by evaluating the
value of adding one of the unassigned departments
represented by a node on a face of the graph.
Step 4: Determine on which face to insert the last department.
Step 5: Construct a corresponding block layout.

Relationships are given by weights, rather than the alphabetic

closeness ratings
The score is very sensitive to the assignment of weights
Relationship can have a positive value only when departments
are adjacent. Other relationships are ignored
The adjacency score does not account for:
The distance
All he relationships (except those between adjacent
Dimensional specifications
The length of common boundaries between adjacent
The arcs do not intersect (planarity)

CRAFT (Computerized Relative Allocation of Facilities Technique)

Introduced in 1963 by Armour, Buffa, and Vollman.
It is one of the earliest layout algorithms presented in the
It uses a from-to-chart as input data for the flow.
Is an improvement-type layout algorithm.
It begins by determining the centroids of the departments in
the initial layout.
Is a highly path dependent heuristic.

It was developed by Donaghey and Pire.
It is similar to MCRAFT in that departments are arranged in
It uses a relationship chart as well as a from-to-chart as
input data for the flow.
May be used both as a construction algorithm and as an
improvement algorithm.


MIP (Mixed Integer Programming)

It is used for continuous population.
LOGIC (Layout Optimization with Guillotine Induced Cuts)
It was developed by Tam.
It is assume that a from-to chart is given as input data for
the flow
It also assume that layout cost is measured by the
distance-based objective function
Used as a layout improvement algorithm.
Based on dividing the buildings into smaller and smaller
portions by executing successive guillotine cuts- that is,
straight lines that run from one end of the building to the

It is an improvement type layout algorithm that starts with

an initial layout specified by the layout planner.


MULTIPLE (Multifloor Plant Layout Evaluation)

Developed by Bozer, Meller, and Erlebacher.
It was originally developed for multiple-floor facilities.
It is similar to CRAFT and uses a from-to chart as input data
for the flow
The objective function is identical to that of CRAFT and a
distanc-based objective with distance measured rectilinearly
between departments centroid.


In developing alternative block layouts, the main aisles are
typically not represented explicitly until the block layout is finalized.
As the layout planner messages the final block layout, he or she
attempts to correct irregular department shapes and aims for
smooth department borders primarily for two reasons: first, a poor
department shape may make it virtually impossible to develop an
efficient and effective detailed layout for that department; second,
since main aisles connect all the the departments by definition,
irregular department shapes would lead to irregular main aisles.
A third measure, originally appeared in papers concerned
with geometric modeling. It is based on the observation that, given
an object with a fixed area, the perimeter of the object generally
increases as its shape become more irregular.


Simulated annealing (SA) and genetic algorithms (GA)
represents relatively new concepts in optimization.

SABLE (Simulated Annealing-Based Layout Evaluation)

which was developed by Meller and Bozer. It uses a more
general technique for generating candifate layout vectors.


Layout Algorithms
Intent to familiarize the reader with how different models
generate, evaluate, and/or optimize the layout of a facility.
Primarily research-based algorithms and most of them are
unfortunately not available as commercial layout design
Do not perform some of the common analyses performed in
industry, such as spaghetti charting, which can be helpful
visual aid in evaluating alternative layouts


The need for a facility layout study can arise under a variety
of circumstances.
Common situations that arise in the context of plant layout include
the ff:
1. Changes in the design of an existing product, the
elimination of products from the product line/family, and the
introduction of new products.
2. Changes in the processing sequences for existing products,
replacements of existing processing equipment and changes
in the use of general-purpose and special purpose
3. Changes in production quantities and associated production
4. Changes in organizational structure
5. Incremental changes needed in the layout due to continuous
improvement and kaizen events.
Flexibility can be achieved by utilizing modular office
equipment, workstations, and material handling equipment:
installing general-purpose production equipment: utilizing a
grid-based utilities and service system; and using modular





Manufacturing environment is very dynamic. The facility

layout should also be treated as dynamic. In as much as businesses
should have long-term business strategies, we must also have a
multiyear master plan for facility layout. This master plan should be
consistent with the companys business plan and it should attempt
to anticipate future requirements and make provisions for adapting
to changes in facility requirements.
The master layout plan must also provide the means for a
facility to react quickly changes, adding capacity in a short period
of time, or to be able to operate efficiently at scaled down
operating levels. The facility design must be flexible in order to
provide this high level of responsiveness.
How to develop such a flexible layout? Harmon and Peterson
suggest the use of the following objectives.

1. Reorganize
manufacturing status.
2. Provides maximum perimeter access for receiving and
shipping materials, components, etc.
3. Cluster all subplants dedicated to a product.
4. Locate supplier subplants for common component subplants
in a central location to minimize component travel
5. Minimize the factory size to avoid wasted time and motion
of workers.
6. Eliminate centralized storage of purchased materials,
components and assemblies and move storage to focus
7. Minimize the amount of factory reorganization that will be
made necessary by future growth and change.
8. Avoid locating offices and support services on factory
9. Minimize ratio of aisle space to production process space.
Suggested approaches that have proven beneficial:
1. Exert the necessary effort to generate and evaluate the
2. Set a time limit and use the available time wisely.
3. Seek many alternatives.
4. Establish goal and layout performance metrics that the
stakeholders agree on.
5. Make liberal use of the questioning attitude.
6. Dont fail to see the forest for the trees.
7. Think big, the think little.
8. Dont be conservative.
9. Refer to analogous problems of others.
10. Consult the literature and your peers in other organizations.
11. Use the brainstorming technique.

12. Divorce your thinking from the existing solution.

13. Involve operating people, management, experienced
people, and those who promote change.
14. Be aware of market trends and what the competition is
15. Recognize your own limitations and strengths.
16. Do your homework.
17. Dont overlook an improved version of the present method.
18. Think long range.

References: Tompkins et al., Facilities Planning. 4th Edition. John

Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2010
Alfiler, Ronna C.
Introduction, Basic Layout Types, Layout procedures, and
Algorithmic approaches (algorithmic classifications, pairwise
exchange, graph-based method)
Valencia, Ronald Ron R.
Algorithmic approach (CRAFT, BLOCPLAN, MIP, LOGIC,
Department Shapes and Main Aisles and Simulated Annealing and
Genetic Algorithms
Balagon, Bea B.
Commercial Facility Layout Packages, The Impact of Change,
Adapting To Change and Planning For Facility Reorganization and
Developing Layout Alternatives