Industrial engineering

What is plant Layout-Objectives of plant layout, 4 Types of Plant layout

Plant layout starts with building design and goes up to the movement of work table and material handling system.
                                        Production in details.
                                       Productivity in details.

Objectives of plant layout:

  1. Bottlenecks and point of congestion are eliminated by line balancing so that material handling and transportation is minimized.
  2. work stations are designed suitably, so that movement made by the workers is minimized.
  3. The waiting time of the semi-finished products is minimized.
  4. Increase the flexibility for changes in product design and future modification.
  5. Utilization of cubic space, means besides using the floor space, its ceiling height also utilized to accommodate more material in the same space.
  6. Improved work methods and reduced production cycle time.
  7. To make the workplace safe, ventilated, and free from dust, noise, fume, etc. It leads to satisfaction amongst the workers and thus better employer-employee relations.
  8. To increase productivity and better product quality by reducing the cost of Production.

Types of Plant layout: 

There are four types of Plant layout –

                                1. Process Layout.
                                2. Production Layout.
                                3.Combination Layout.
                                4. Fixed position Layout.

1. Process Layout:

 In Process, layout keep similar machines and similar operations in one place. In other words, machines are arranged according to their function.
That means all lathe should be in one place, all milling at another and so on. Process layout generally employed for industries engaged in job order production and non-repetitive kind of maintenance or manufacturing activities.  
Process layout
                                           Process layout showing product movements
  1. Storeroom, 2. Inspection department, 3. Broaching section, 4. Milling section, 5. Lethe section, 6. Shaper section, 7.Drill section, 8. Stock room.

Advantages of Process layout:

  1. Better utilization of available equipment.
  2. Less number of machine is required to do the operation.
  3. Workers are dealing with only one type of machines, so product quality will be better.
  4. Workers in one section are not affected by the operation carried out in another section.

Disadvantages of Process Layout:

  1. For the same amount of production, the process layout needs more space.
  2. Automatic material handling is difficult.
  3. Production control becomes difficult.
  4. Raw material has to travel a longer distance for being processed to finished goods. This increases material handling and associated costs.
  5. It needs more inspection and efficient co-ordination.

2. Product Layout:

Product Layout is also known as line layout. Various operations on raw material are performed in a sequence and machines are placed accordingly the production flow line. 
This type of layout is preferable for continuous production, that is, involving a continuous flow of in-process material towards the finished product stage.

Product layout
   A simple product layout


Advantages of Product Layout:

  1. Less space required for the same volume of production.
  2. Material handling is lesser, which reduces time and cost.
  3. Co-ordination will be better, production planning, and control will easier.
  4. Fewer skill workers maybe do the work.

Disadvantages of Product Layout:

  1. In process layout Specified product determines the layout, a change in product involves major change in layout, thus flexibility in the layout is reduced.
  2. Rate of production depends upon the output rate of the slowest machine, this leads to excessive idle time of another machine if the production line is not balanced.
  3. It is difficult to increase production beyond the capacities of the production line.

3. Combination Layout:

A combination layout combines the advantages of both process layout and product layout. These days pure process and product layouts are rare. 
A combination layout is possible where the item is made in different types and size. In such case machinery arrange in a process layout but process grouping is then arranged in the sequence of various types and sizes of the products.

combination layout
  A combination layout for different types and sizes of gears. 

                                                       F = Blank forging hammers,     H = Hobbing machines for cutting gear
                                                                      HT = Heat treatment furnaces,  GF = Gear finishing machines.  


Advantages of combination layout:

  1.  It combines the advantages of both process and product layout.
  2. Combination layout can be useful when a number of items are produced in the same sequence but in small numbers and no item justified for individual production line.

4. Fix Position Layout: 

In other types of layouts, the product moves past the stationary production equipment, but in fixed position layout, product kept stationary, and equipment moves around it.
Fixed-position layout is applicable in shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturer, etc.

Fixed position layout
Layout by the fixed position of products.
E=Engines,    A/F=Air-frame,  Inst=Instruments

Advantages of Fixes Position layout:

  1. It is possible to assign one or more skilled workers from the start of a project to finish in order to ensure continuity of work.
  2. Involves the least movement of materials, manufacturing of large size product is possible.
  3. A number of quite different projects can be taken with the same layout.

Disadvantages of Fixed position layout:

  1. It involves a low content of work in progress.
  2. It involves high equipment handling costs.

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