Management & Development Center


 About Us | Our Services | Training | Consulting |

M&DC /


Facility Layout

  • Facility Layout is the configuration of Departments, Work centers, and Equipment, whose design involves particular emphasis on movement of work, customers and materials through the system

  • Layout planning is planning that involves decisions about the physical arrangement of Economic Activity Centers needed by a facility’s various processes.

Basic objective of layout is to optimize flow of Work, Material, Customers and Information through the system now and in the future.

The Master Plan consists of two layouts:

  1. The Grand ٍScheme

    It is the layout of the overall plant and how and where each department fits into it and how
    much of the floor space each department will get. We have to figure out which departments need to be adjacent.

    Therefore, the following questions must be addressed:

  • What centers should the layout include?

  • How much space and capacity does each center need?

  • Where should each center be located?

  1. Internal Plan

    It deals with equipment footprints and internal traffic and staging. We heave to answer the following question:

  • How should each center’s space be configured?

4. Importance of layout

  • Requires substantial investments of money and effort

  • Involves long-term commitments

  • Has significant impact on cost and efficiency of short-term operations

5. Requirements for effective layout to meet competitive priorities

  • Reduce operating costs

  • Minimize Material handling costs

  • Utilize Space efficiently

  • Utilize Labor efficiently

  • Eliminate Bottlenecks

  • Facilitate Communication and interaction between workers, between workers and their supervisors, or between workers and customers

  • Reduce manufacturing Cycle Time and customer service time

  • Eliminate wasted or Redundant Movement

  • Facilitate the Entry, Exit, and Placement of Material, Products, and People

  • Incorporate Safety and Security measures

  • Promote product and service Quality

  • Encourage proper Maintenance activities

  • Provide a visual Control of Operations or activities

  • Provide Flexibility to adapt to changing conditions

6. Performance Criteria

  • Customer satisfaction

  • Level of capital investment

  • Requirements for materials handling

  • Ease of stock picking

  • Work environment and “atmosphere”

  • Ease of equipment maintenance

  • Employee and internal customer attitudes

  • Amount of flexibility needed

  • Customer convenience and levels of sales

7. Steps to increase plant operating efficiencies

  • Identify current and future production needs of customers and promising prospects.

  • Optimize movement of people and materials (e.g., raw materials, work in progress,
    finished goods) within departments and from department to department.

  • Identify space wasters (e.g., old equipment that’s never or seldom used, raw
    materials or finished goods that have been around for years, etc.) and do something
    to reduce or get rid of them.

  • Be aware of areas in the plant that are underutilized or not used at all. Rethink
    your use of space, with an eye to increasing efficiencies.

It is the general principles that govern the overall design

Rule #1: Develop from the general to the specific

Good plant layouts always develop from the general to the specific

Therefore, you have to start form the Grand Scheme first then you configure the Internal Plan

Rule #2: Review Design Program and the Master Plan during every stage or at any modification

"The choices that are available at any given point in a design are determined by the decisions that preceded it and constrains those parts of the design that remain to be developed"

Therefore, we must frequently review the Design Program and initial layout alternatives and especially to reassess the whole design whenever any aspect of that program changes.

Rule #3: Consider Everything in layout planning

Most companies give no big attention to the back-end operations such as shipping and receiving.

Rule #3: Back to Front Planning

  • Before considering plant layout, you must consider what impact the site will have on and to layout planning

  • The site influences how and where you ship and receive product, which then leads where shipping and receiving should be located on the site

  • The layout planning starts from the back end (shipping) and move to the front (main entry).

Rule #4: Layout logic (bouncing ball)

  • Customer (market) determines Product

  • Product determines Warehouse and Equipment

  • Equipment locations determines Material and Personnel Workflow

  • Workflow determines location of Office and Employee Entry

  • Employee Entry determines location of toilets/lockers, cafeteria, Human Resources

  • Office determines location of Main Entry

Rule #5: Layout Assessment Questions

  • Are there any areas which might become underutilized?

  • Is expansion possible without adversely impacting any of the other departments
    or areas?

9. Location Dimensions

The location of a center has two dimensions:

  • Relative location: The placement of a center relative to other centers.

  • Absolute location: The particular space that the center occupies within the facility

10. Basic Layouts

There are 3 basic types of layouts:

There are 3 hybrid types of layouts

11. Layout Design Steps*

  1. Understand volume-variety characteristics of the operation.

  2. Define the process type:

    This is influenced by the volume-variety characteristics of the operation. Process types, e.g.

  • Jobbing process

  • Batch process

  • Mass production process

  • Continuous process

  1. Select basic layout. This is the general type of arrangement of the facilities or plant of the factory, e.g.

  • Fixed position layout

  • Process layout

  • Cell layout

  • Product layout

  • Mixed layout

The decision as to which layout type to adopt will be influenced by the understanding of their advantages and disadvantages. The volume-Variety characteristics of the manufacturing operations would narrow the choice down to one or two options.

Cost implications of the various layout types are a significant factor. The total cost, fixed and variable will depend on the volume of products produced as shown in the figure below:

  1. The final stage is to design the layout based on above considerations. This entails the detailed location of machines. However the following need to be considered:

  • Cycle time

  • Task-time variation considerations

  • Balancing line

  • Arrangement of stages

In addition to the operational objectives other important factors that need to be taken into account are:

  • safety,

  • accessibility,

  • use of space and

  • long-term flexibility.

12. Resources