Facility Layout

layouts are the arrangements of production, support, customer service and other work centres that support the operational strategies of an organization.

‡ Facility

‡ Layouts affect material handling, capital
equipment utilization, inventory storage levels, worker productivity and even group communications & employee morale.

Concerns in a Layout design

‡ What types of concerns are addressed in a Layout
design ? 

Relative importance,  Size ± space in each work area,  Proximity,  Effectiveness ± achieve maximum efficiency,  Support ± electronic, storage & distribution

Performance criteria

‡ Some key differences in the objectives of :  Manufacturing ± minimize the cost of
transporting, processing & storing; 

Warehouse - maximize the efficiency of receiving,
storing, shipping &tracking; 

Retail ((service) ± appeal of the product &
comfort/convenience of the customers; 

Office ± employee effectiveness thru¶ proper
communication & efficient flow of work.

Reasons For Layout decision
‡ In effect, there is a double pressure on the layout decision : 
Changing layout is difficult & expensive, cannot be done too often,  At the same time, they have to get it right ± hence any msadjustment has a long-term effect.

‡ Thus key questions are : 
What is layout design trying to achieve ?  What are the basic layout types used ?  What type of layout should an operation choose ?  How should each basic layout type be designed ?

Broad Objectives ‡ Cost of materials handling and material movement to be minimum, ‡ Minimization of congestion and delay, ‡ Maximum utilization of space, facilities & labour, ‡ Hence, layout planning techniques will reflect importance of: a) minimum physical movement & handling and b) maximization of capacity utilization.

Factors determining type of Layout 

Type of Product,  Type of Process,  Volume of Production.

Layout Procedure
Guiding fundamentals to successful layout: 
Collect all the detailed information about the product, process, etc. and record the data systematically ;  analyze the data using various techniques of analysis ;  select the general flow pattern for the materials ;  design the individual work stations ;  assemble the individual layout into the total layout in accordance with general flow patterns & the building facilities ;  coordinate the plan with plan for handling materials ;  complete the plant layout ;  plan the building around the layout.

Marks of Good Layout for Face-to-Face Services 
Easily understood service flow pattern ;  Adequate waiting facilities ;  Easy communication with customers ;  Easily maintained customer surveillance ;  Clear exit & entry points with adequate checkout capabilities ;  Departments & processes arranged so that customers see only what you want them to see ;  Balance between waiting areas & service areas ;  Minimum walking & material movement ;  Lack of clutter ;  High sales volume per square foot of facility.

Types of Layout
‡ Layout by Process or Functional layout, ‡ Layout by Product or Flow line layout or Assembly line, ‡ Layout by Fixed position, ‡ Hybrid layout, ‡ Cell layout.

Process Layout
‡Process layout is so called, because the needs & convenience of the transforming resources, which constitute the processes in the operation, dominate the layout decision. ‡Group similar machines together in departments or work centers according to to the process or function they perform. ‡A variety of customers are served with different needs and volume of each customer is low. ‡Equipment is general purpose & workers are skilled. ‡Examples:  Manufacturing ± machine shop, Services ± cardiac units, x-ray units,etc in hospital - university keep records as per µcolleges¶.

Product Layout
‡ Product

layout involves locating the transforming resources

entirely for the convenience of the transformed resources. Each product follows a pre-arranged route in which the sequence of activities that are required, matches the sequence in which the processes have been located. ‡The transformed resources µflow¶ along a µline¶ of process. This is why, this type of layout is called µflow¶ or µline¶ layout. ‡ Suitable for mass production, layouts are more automated, generally utilize lower level skill of workers, W-I-P is low compared to FG. ‡Example, Automobile assembly, self-service cafeteria, etc.

Layout by Fixed position
‡ Transformed resources do not move between the transforming resources. ‡Instead of materials flowing thru¶ an operation, the recipient of the processing is stationery and the equipment, machinery, plant & people who do the processing move, as necessary. ‡Product is too large to be moved, the equipments are leased or subcontracted, fixed cost is low & variable cost is high,etc. ‡Examples, Construction. Shipbuilding, mainframe computer maintenance, etc.

Hybrid or Mixed Layout
‡ Use of combination of classical layouts. ‡Some of the products have low demand volumes, but may contain common components needed in high volume. ‡High volume of common component requires a flow line. ‡Within a facility, some areas with µlayout by process¶ and others with µlayout by product¶. ‡ Example, a hospital; X-ray --- process layout Surgical theatre --- Fixed position layout and Blood processing --- Product layout.

Cell layout or Manufacturing cell
‡ A close grouping of equipments for performing sequence of operations on multiple units of a component or a family of similar components or products is called a manufacturing cell or cell layout. ‡Layout not of an entire plant, but of only a portion of it as a µflow line¶. ‡Items are routed & scheduled for the appropriate cells rather than for each individual operation. ‡Parts are processed one by one thru¶ the steps of production, making input time short,WIP low and enhances JIT production methods.

Advantages & disadvantages of basic layout types
Layout Fixed Position Advantages
‡Very high mix & product flexibility ‡Product or customer not moved or disturbed ‡High variety of tasks for staff

‡Very high unit cost ‡Scheduling of space & activities can be difficult ‡Can mean much movement of plant & stuff ‡Low facilities utilisation ‡Can have very high W-I-P or customer queuing ‡Complex flow can be difficult to control

‡High mixed product flexibility ‡Relatively robust if in the case of disruptions ‡Relatively easy supervision of equipment or plant


Layout Advantages ‡Can give good compromise between cost & flexibility for relatively high variety operations ‡Fast throughput Disadvantages ‡Can be costly to rearrange existing layout ‡Can need more plant & equipment ‡Can give lower plant utilization ‡Low unit costs for high volume Product ‡Gives opportunities for specialization of equipment ‡Materials or customer movement is convenient ‡Can have low mix flexibility ‡Not very robust if there is disruption ‡Work can be very repeatitive


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