What are the basic requirements to setup a good plant layout?

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Basic requirements to set up a good plant layout

  1. Integration of manufacturing centre facilities in terms of man, machine and material.
  2. Movements of production personnel and material handling should be minimized.
  3. The smooth and continuous flow of production or manufacturing work with least possible bottlenecks and congestion points.
  4. Floor space utilization should be optimum as for as possible.
  5. Working place should be free from pollution and safe working conditions should prevail in each shop of the plant.
  6. The handling of raw material, semi-finished and finished product should be should be tackled optimally and effectively.
  7. Plant layout and shop layouts must be flexible to facilitate changes in production requirements.
  8. There should be the better working environment in term of proper light, ventilation and other amenities such as drinking water and toilets for welfare for the manufacturing personnel.

Advantages of Good Plant Layout

  1. Reduced men and machine hours per unit of production,
  2. Effectively and economical utilization of entire floor space of the plant,
  3. Workflow is smooth and continuous
  4. Work in process inventory is less
  5. Production control is better
  6. Manufacturing time is less
  7. Relatively less floor area is required
  8. Material handling is less.

Types of Plant Layout

1. Fixed or Position Layout

Basic requirements to set up a good plant layout. Advantages of Good Plant Layout. Types of Plant Layout.
Basic requirements to set up a good plant layout. Advantages of Good Plant Layout. Types of Plant Layout.
  1. Fixed or position layout is also known as project layout. A typical fixed layout is shown in the figure. In this type of layout, the major part of an assembly or material remains at a fixed position. All its accessories, auxiliary material, machinery, equipment needed, tools required and the labour are brought to the fixed site to work. 
  2. Thus, the product by virtue of its bulk or weight remains at one location. Therefore the location of the major assembly, semi-assembly component and material is not disturbed till the product is ready for dispatch. 
  3. This layout is suitable when one or a few pieces of an item are to be manufactured and the material forming or treating operation requires only tools or simple machines. 
  4. This layout is highly preferable when the cost of moving the major piece of material is high and the responsibility of product quality by one skilled workman or group of skilled workers is expected. 
  5. This type of layout is mainly adopted for extremely large items manufactured in a very small quantity such as ships, aeroplanes, boilers, reactors etc. 
  6. Its main merit of this layout is the minimum movement of men, material, and tooling during the manufacturing process. 
  7. This layout is highly flexible as the type of product and the related processes can be easily changed without any change in the layout. The merit and demerit of this type of layout are given as under.

2. Process or Functional Layout

  • A typical process or functional layout is shown in the figure. In this type of layout arrangements of similar machines, production facilities and manufacturing operations are grouped together.
  • According to their functions. Machine tools of one kind are positioned together so that all the similar operations are performed always at the same place e.g. all the lathes may be grouped together for all kinds of turning and threading operations, all drilling machines in one area for carrying out drilling work, all tapping machines in one area for carrying out tapping work, all milling machines in one area for carrying out milling work all buffing and polishing machines at one place for carrying out surface finishing work, and so on. 
  • This type of layout is normally preferred for the industries involved in job order type of production and manufacturing and/or maintenance activities of non- repetitive type. This layout needs not to have to be changed every time of the product or component changes. Also, the breakdown of any machine does not affect the production. This type of layout is highly suitable for batch production.

3. Line or Product Layout

  • A typical line or product layout is shown in the figure. This layout implies that various operations on the raw material are performed in a sequence and the machines are placed along the product flow line, i.e., machines are arranged in the sequence in which the raw material will be operated upon.
  • In this type of layout all the machines are placed in a line according to the sequence of operations, i.e., each following machine or section is arranged to perform the next operation to that performed by its preceding machine or section. In this layout raw material starts from one end of production lines and moves from one machine to next along a sequential path. 
  • Line layout is advantages in the continuous- production system where the number of end products is small and the parts are highly standardized and interchangeable. It is suitable for products having the steady demand. This layout may have operational sequence namely forging, turning, drilling, milling, grinding and inspection before the product is sent to the finished goods store for packing and shipment.
  • This layout is used for mass production and ensures smooth flow of materials and reduced material handling. Breakdown of any machine in the line in this layout may result in even stoppage of production.
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