Plant Layout Objectives and Principles31st January 2021
The concept of plant layout is not static but dynamic one. It is on account of continuous manufacturing and technological improvements taking place necessitating quick and immediate changes in production processes and designs. A new layout may be necessary because of technological changes in the products as well as simple change in processes, machines, methods and materials”.
A new layout also becomes necessary when the existing layout becomes ineffective and poor or is not conducive to the changed circumstances. There are certain indications which raise alarm for immediate changes in the existing layout of plant.
These indications may be in the form of excessive manufacturing time, improper storage, lack of control over materials and employees, poor customer service, excessive work in progress and work stoppages etc.
Objectives of Plant Layout:
- Maintaining high turnover of in-process inventory
- Streamline flow of materials through the plant
- Effective utilisation of men, equipment and space
- Minimise material handling
- Facilitate manufacturing progress by maintaining balance in the processes
- Reduce hazards affecting employees
- Maintain flexibility of arrangements and of operation
- Increase employee morale
- Minimise interference (i.e. interruption) from machines
- Hold down investment (i.e. keep investment at a lower level) in equipment.
Principles of Plant Layout:
(i) Principle of Space Utilization:
All available cubic space should be effectively utilized – both horizontally and vertically.
(ii) Principle of Minimum Movement:
Materials and labour should be moved over minimum distances; saving cost and time of transportation and material handling.
(iii) Principle of Interdependence:
Interdependent operations and processes should be located in close proximity to each other; to minimize product travel.
(iv) Principle of Flexibility:
Layout should be flexible enough to be adaptable to changes required by expansion or technological development.
(v) Principle of Overall Integration:
All the plant facilities and services should be fully integrated into a single operating unit; to minimize cost of production.
(vi) Principle of Safety:
There should be in-built provision in the design of layout, to provide for comfort and safety of workers.
(vii) Principle of Smooth Flow:
The layout should be so designed as to reduce work bottlenecks and facilitate uninterrupted flow of work throughout the plant.
(viii) Principle of Economy:
The layout should aim at effecting economy in terms of investment in fixed assets.
(ix) Principle of Supervision:
A good layout should facilitate effective supervision over workers.
(x) Principle of Satisfaction:
A good layout should boost up employee morale, by providing them with maximum work satisfaction.
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