Facility Layout - Objectives, Design and Factors Affecting the Layout


For an organization to have an effective and efficient manufacturing unit, it is important that special attention is given to facility layout.

Facility layout is an arrangement of different aspects of manufacturing in an appropriate manner as to achieve desired production results. Facility layout considers available space, final product, safety of users and facility and convenience of operations.

An effective facility layout ensures that there is a smooth and steady flow of production material, equipment and manpower at minimum cost.

Facility layout looks at physical allocation of space for economic activity in the plant. Therefore, main objective of the facility layout planning is to design effective workflow as to make equipment and workers more productive.

Facility Layout

Facility Layout Objective

A model facility layout should be able to provide an ideal relationship between raw material, equipment, manpower and final product at minimal cost under safe and comfortable environment. An efficient and effective facility layout can cover following objectives:

  • To provide optimum space to organize equipment and facilitate movement of goods and to create safe and comfortable work environment.

  • To promote order in production towards a single objective

  • To reduce movement of workers, raw material and equipment

  • To promote safety of plant as well as its workers

  • To facilitate extension or change in the layout to accommodate new product line or technology upgradation

  • To increase production capacity of the organization

An organization can achieve the above-mentioned objective by ensuring the following:

  • Better training of the workers and supervisors.

  • Creating awareness about of health hazard and safety standards

  • Optimum utilization of workforce and equipment

  • Encouraging empowerment and reducing administrative and other indirect work

Factors affecting Facility Layout

Facility layout designing and implementation is influenced by various factors. These factors vary from industry to industry but influence facility layout. These factors are as follows:

  • The design of the facility layout should consider overall objectives set by the organization.

  • Optimum space needs to be allocated for process and technology.

  • A proper safety measure as to avoid mishaps.

  • Overall management policies and future direction of the organization

Design of Facility Layout

Principles which drive design of the facility layout need to take into the consideration objective of facility layout, factors influencing facility layout and constraints of facility layout. These principles are as follows:

  • Flexibility: Facility layout should provide flexibility for expansion or modification.

  • Space Utilization: Optimum space utilization reduces the time in material and people movement and promotes safety.

  • Capital: Capital investment should be minimal when finalizing different models of facility layout.

Design Layout Techniques

There are three techniques of design layout, and they are as follows:

  1. Two or Three Dimensional Templates: This technique utilizes development of a scaled-down model based on approved drawings.

  2. Sequence Analysis: This technique utilizes computer technology in designing the facility layout by sequencing out all activities and then arranging them in circular or in a straight line.

  3. Line Balancing: This kind of technique is used for assembly line.

Types of Facility Layout

There are six types of facility layout, and they are as follows:

  • Line Layout
  • Functional Layout
  • Fixed Position Layout
  • Cellular Technology Layout
  • Combined Layout, and
  • Computerized Relative Allocation of Facility Technique

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