Define Combination Layout


What is combination layout?

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A combination of process and product layouts combines the advantages of both types of layouts. Most of the manufacturing sections are arranged in process layout with manufacturing lines occurring here and there scattered wherever the conditions permit. 

These days, the most of the manufacturing industries have adopted this kind of layout. In this type of layout, a set of machinery or equipment is grouped together in a section, and so on, so that each set or group of machines or equipment is used to perform similar operation s to produce a family of components. 

A combination layout is possible where an item is being made in different types and sizes. In such cases, machinery and manufacturing equipment are arranged in a process layout but a group of a number of similar machines is then arranged in a sequence to manufacture various types and sizes of products. 

In this layout, it is noted that no matter the product varies in size and type, the sequence of operations remain same or similar. This layout is suitable when similar activities are performed together thereby avoiding wasteful time in changing from one unrelated activity to the next. 

It focuses on avoiding unnecessary duplication of an effort. It is preferable for storing and retrieving information changing related to recurring problems thereby reducing the search for understanding information and eliminating the need to solve the problem again. 

It is also useful when a number of items are produced in the same sequence but none of the items is to be produced in bulk and thus no item justifies for an individual and independent production line. There are some merits, demerits and application of this layout which are given as under :

Merits

The merits of this type of layout are:

1. Reduction in cost of machine set-up time and material handling of metals.
2. Elimination of excess work-in-process inventory which subsequently allows the reduction in lot size.
3. Simplification of production planning functions, etc.

Demerits

The major demerits of this layout are :

1. Change of the existing layout is time-consuming and costly.
2. The inclusion of new components in the existing component requires thorough analysis.
3. Change of input component mix may likely to change complete layout structure.
4. Change of batch size may change a number of machines.

Application

Manufacturing circular metal saws, hacksaw, wooden saw, files and crankshaft

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