Facilities Layout/Plant Layout
The success of a manufacturing plant depends on the location of the plant and proper layout of the facilities. Layout problems are fundamental to every type of organization/enterprise and are experienced in all kinds of undertakings. The efficiency of manufacturing depends on how well the various machines, production facilities, and amenities are located in a plant. Only the properly laid out plant can ensure the smooth and rapid movement of material from the raw material stage to the end product stage. The manufacturing organizations must arrange their facilities, not only the departments within the factory but also the plant, stores and services so as to achieve smooth flow of products. The adequacy of layout affects the efficiency of subsequent operations. It is an important perquisite for efficient operations and also has a great deal in common with many of the problems.
According to Moore
Plant or Facility layout is the act of planning an optimum arrangement of facilities, including personnel, operating equipment, storage space, material handling equipment and all other supporting services along with the design of the best structure to contain these facilities.
According to James Lundy
Plant layout is the concept or the mechanism of steps involving allocation of resources in a unit at proper places or the arrangement of the equipment in the office for minimizing the operational cost.
According to E.L. Brech
Plant layout is the deposition of the various items of the organization along with other parts for usual utilization.
According to Prof. Haney
Plant layout is the mechanism of locating machines, plants etc. within the organization so as to achieve greatest possible output.
According to Weiss and Mark E. Gershon
Facility layout is the physical arrangement of everything needed for the product or service, including machines, personnel, raw materials and finished goods. The criteria for a good layout necessarily relate to people (personnel and customers), materials (raw, finished and in process), machines and their interactions.
Layout problems are common to all kinds of organizations. A retailer must arrange his counter, display of items etc. office management must positions desks, tables etc. in such a way that it facilities the flow of work. A manufacturing organization must position its machinery and other equipment so as to achieve smooth flow of products through their factories.
A good layout results in comfort convenience, safety efficiency, compactness and profits. A poor layout results in congestion, waste, frustration and inefficiency.
It begins with plant location and continues through three further levels, namely
i. The layout of department within the site.
ii. Layout of items within the department.
iii. Layout of individual work places.