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Facility Layout

Process Layout

A Facility layout is defined by Howard J. Weiss and Mark E. Gershon, in Production and Operations
Management, as a physical arrangement of everything needed for the product or service, including
machines, personnel, raw materials and finished goods.

The criteria for a good layout is necessarily to people (personnel and customers), materials (raw,
finished and in process), machines and their interactions. Proper Facilities Layout includes optimally
location equipment, materials, people, infrastructure and data collection points to minimize movement,
handling and travel distance of the material and labor while increasing overall productivity.

Facility layout is a classical industrial/production engineering problem. Good layout will help any
company to improve its business performance. Presents a general overview of the facility layout
problem and includes information about approaches to the solution of the problem.

In manufacturing, facility layout consists of configuring the plant site with lines, buildings, major
facilities, work areas, aisles and other pertinent features such as department boundaries.
While facilities layout for services may be similar to that for manufacturing, it also may be somewhat
different – as is the case with offices, retailers and warehouses.
Because of its relative permanence, facility layout probably is one of the most crucial elements
affecting efficiency.

In fact, it`s an important component of a business`s overall operations, both in terms of maximizing the
effectiveness of production process and meeting employee needs and/or desires.
Facilities layout overview is towards a competitive advantage.

A process layout is defined as a plant layout, in which machines and equipment integral to a
workflow are grouped together by function.

Process layouts are found primarily in job shops, or firms that produce customized, low-volume
products that may require different processing requirements and sequences of operations.
Their purpose is to process goods or provide services that involve a variety of processing

Therefore, facilities that are configured according to individual functions or processes have a process
layout. This type of layout gives the firm the flexibility needed to handle a variety of routes and process

Improving process layouts involves the minimization of transportation cost, distance, or time.
Importance generally based on the shared use of facilities, equipment, workers or records, work flow,
communication requirements, or safety requirements.

Advantages of process layouts include flexibility, costs, motivation and system protection.

Disadvantages of process layouts are utilization, costs (e.g. lower volume means higher per unit costs)
and more inefficient, that means in this type of layout accounting, inventory control and purchasing
usually are highly involved. Another Disadvantage is the confusion, constantly changing schedules
and routings make juggling process requirements more difficult.