Top 10 Factors influencing design of plant layout
The following factors should be considered While designing the layout.
1. Nature of the product: The nature of the product to be manufactured has a significant influence on plant layout. Small and light products can be moved from one machine to another with minimum effort and time and therefore line layout would be more suitable. Stationary layout would be suitable for heavy and bulky products. In case of production of large variety of non-standardized products, process layout is ideal.
2. Production volume: Line layout should be preferred if standardized commodities are manufactured on a large scale. Functional layout is suitable if production is based on customers orders. It is better suited for low volume job production.
3. Location of the site: The topology and size of the site influences the choice of a particular layout. The idea is to maximize the utilization of space. Layout should also suit the factory building. The positioning of elevators, stairways, parking lots and storage points also influence the layout.
4. Type of machines: Stationary layout is preferable if machines are heavy and emit more noise. Such heavy machinery can be fitted on the floor. Adequate space should be provided for the location of machines and also there should be sufficient space between them to avoid accidents.
5. Climate: Temperature, illumination, ventilation should be considered while deciding on the type of layout. The above factors should be considered in order to improve the health and welfare of employees.
6. Service facilities: The layout should provide for the comforts and welfare of the employees. It should have adequate provision for rest rooms, drinking water, lavatory. There should be sufficient space for free movement of workers.
7. Safety of employees: While deciding on a particular type of layout, the safety of employees should be given importance. The layout should provide for obstruction free floors, non-slippery floors, protection against dangerous fumes, excess heat, strong odors Etc.
8. Type of production: Layout plans differ according to the type of production. In case of job orders, production of non-standardized products are undertaken, and therefore functional or process outlet is suitable. Line layout would be suitable when there is mass production of standardized goods.
9. Type of process: In the case of intermittent type of production (bi-cycle manufacturing, electronics), functional layout is suitable. For synthetic type of Production (cement and automobile industries), line layout is preferable.
10. Management policies: Policies of the management relating to type of product, quality, scale of production, level of plant integration, type of production, possibility of future expansion etc., influence the type of layout to be adopted.