- Layout refers to the arrangement of facilities in a particular workstation. It may be plant layout, office layout, auditorium layout etc.
- Plant Layout implies the physical arrangement of machines, equipment and other industrial facilities on the factory floor in such a manner that they may be handled efficiently.
- Plant layout refers to the arrangement of physical facilities such as machinery, equipment, furniture etc. with in the factory building in such a manner so as to have quickest flow of material at the lowest cost and with the least amount of handling in processing the product from the receipt of material to the shipment of the finished product.
- Layout is a Fundamental of every organization and enterprise.
- Kitchen, Retailers, offices, service organization and all the enterprises have a specific layout.
- Previously Layouts were based on intuition, experience and judgment.
- With the complexities and competition now scientific methods are used.
- The Layout comes in picture after the location has been finalized.
- Development of good layout depends on decisions already taken on location, capacity, facility, manufacturing method and material handling techniques.
FACTORS AFFECTING PLANT LAYOUT:
- Plant Location :-
Plant layout is intimately connected with plant location. As a matter of fact the size and shape of the site and its topography influence the general pattern of layout. Plant site also influences the type of building, mode of transport and the scope of expansion which in turn influences layout. Plant layout is generally a compromise between the ideal layout and the limitations of plant site and building. A decision to relocate offers and opportunity to improve the arrangement of facilities and services. Thus, plant layout is considerably affected by both the specific site and the general location.
- Type of Industry :-
The nature and type of production process exert considerable influence on plant layout. Generally, product layout is more appropriate in continuous process industry, whereas intermittent production requires process layout. The sequence of operations should also be taken into consideration. Perhaps no one factor influences plant layout as much as the nature of the productive process involved. A synthetic process requires a line layout so that various materials and parts merge into the completed assembly in a flow. On the other hand, an analytic process takes the form of a tree as it starts out with a single material and spreads out into a variety of resultant materials. A conditioning process requires a layout to accommodate lot or batch manufacture. In such a layout, the material undergoes no merging or separation but it simply subjected to physical conditioning, as it flows in separate lots though the variety of operations and processes.
Thus, the layout designer should keep in mind the type of industry and the nature of the manufacturing process while planning a layout.
- Factory Building :-
The nature and size of the building determines the floor space available for layout. While designing the special requirements, e.g. air conditioning, dust control, humidity control etc. must be kept in mind.
- Nature of Product :-
Product layout is suitable for uniform products whereas process layout is more appropriate for custom-made products.
- Production Process :-
In assembly line industries, product layout is better. In job order or intermittent manufacturing on the other hand, process layout is desirable.
- Spatial Requirements :-
The spatial needs for machines, material handling equipment and available floor space are important influences on plant location. Spatial requirements also depend upon the position and needs of workers. Employee facilities and safety should be duly considered.
- Type of Machinery :-
General purpose machines are often arranged as per process layout while special purpose machines are arranged according to product layout.
- Repairs and Maintenance :-
Machines should be so arranged that adequate space is available between them for movement of equipment and people required for repairing the machines.
- Human Needs :-
Adequate arrangement should be made for cloakroom, washroom, lockers, drinking water, toilets and other employee facilities, proper provision should be made for disposal of effluents, if any.
- Plant Environment :-
Heat, light, noise, ventilation and other aspects should be duly considered, e.g. paint shops and plating section should be located in another hall so that dangerous fumes can be removed through proper ventilation etc. Adequate safety arrangement should also be made.
- Balance :-
Proper balance between processes helps to avoid bottlenecks. The arrangement of machine capacity should be such as to ensure a uniform flow of work . At the same time the layout should be designed in such manner that there is minimum possible movement.
- Management Policies :-
Management policies regarding size, quality, employee facilities and delivery schedules should be considered while deciding plant layout.
CONCEPT OF LINE BALANCING:
- Line Balancing in a layout means arrangement of machine capacity to secure relatively uniform flow at capacity operation.
- Line Balancing is leveling the workload across all processes in a cell or value stream to remove bottlenecks and excess capacity.
- Line balancing is reorganizing the resources and workloads of the production line processes to remove bottlenecks and excess capacity that harm efficiency.
Product Layout requires line balancing and if any production line remains unbalanced machinery utilization may be poor. The machine in the line will operate only say half of the time.
- To equalize the workload among the operators.
- To identify the bottleneck operation.
- To establish the speed of the production line.
- To determine the number of workstations.
- To determine the labor cost of production and pack out.
- To establish the percentage workload of each operator.
- To assist in plant layout.
- To reduce production cost.
METHODS OF LINE BALANCING:
- Heuristic Method of Line Balancing.
- Linear Programming Method of Line Balancing.
ADVANTAGES OF LINE BALANCING:
- Reduce waiting waste.
- Reduce inventory waste.
- Absorb internal and external irregularities.
- Reduce production costs and increase profits.
- Meet customer targets.
- Increase revenue.
- Eliminate overtime.
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