After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Need for Improvement of Plant Layout 2. Work Simplification Study for the Improvement of Plant Layout 3. Procedure.
Need for Improvement of Plant Layout:
Layout of an existing plant may have to be revised and improved with alterations and additions deemed necessary in keeping pace with trend of technological and competitive changes occurring in the industry.
Revision of plant layout becomes necessary due to following reasons:
(a) Expansion in production capacity due to permanent increase in demand involves provisions of new physical facilities to increase the output of the product.
(b) Adoption of technological innovations and improvements in order to enhance the competitive standing of the firm will obviously require major revision of the layout.
(c) Plant layout may also have to be revised as the part of work-simplification campaigns for betterment of production techniques and systematized and simplified sequence of plant operations.
Work Simplification Study for the Improvement of Plant Layout:
Plant layout requires constant review in order to correct the imbalances to eliminate the symptoms of inefficiency and to streamline the use of plant and its allied facilities for achieving better productive results.
Simplification and improvement of the work aims at plugging the following possible loopholes in plant layout:
1. Wasteful allocation of floor space resulting in congestion and non-use of overhead space and outdoor areas in the premises.
2. Poor or defective combination of product and process layout leading to obstacles in smooth sequence of operations.
3. Superfluous operations, excess work-in-process and wastage of installed physical facilities.
4. Excessive production-cycle-time due to avoidable delays, temporary storage and operational bottlenecks owning to defective planning.
5. Inadequate provision for future expansion of plant capacity and facilities.
6- Insufficient provision for plant maintenance.
7. Slow adoption to technological changes.
The Procedure for Improvement of Plant Layout:
1. Objectives for Re-Layout:
The layout engineer should ascertain from the top management the main considerations prompting the rearrangement of the plant.
Objectives for plant improvement usually are:
(a) Refashioning the product design to suit demand changes;
(b) Production of new articles having demand potential;
(c) Increase in production capacity to meet the rise in demand;
(d) Possibilities of reducing the unit-costs and;
(e) Improvement of facilities to employees manning the plant.
The layout engineer should also collect information about available funds for plant re-arrangement to achieve the above noted objectives,
2. The floor-plan drawings, plot-plan drawing for the existing plant-layout should be studied to fund out the spots indicating scope for improvement.
3. The layout engineer should compile following information about the lines of plant improvement:
(i) Flow diagram to show the logical arrangement of plant and flow of work for eliminating the long lines for handling, back-tracking congestion, etc.
(ii) Flow process chart to explore the possibilities of simplification of the job rearrangement work-sequence for redesigned models or for meeting additional demand or for accommodating technological changes.
(iii) Operation analysis implying intensive study of machine operation in order to introduce new methods or to recycle the work and to decide upon equipment replacement.
(iv) Service activities analysis to reorganize auxiliary departments like storage, inspection, receiving, transporting zones, office space, employee amenities, etc.
4. Information about alteration in building design and specifications deemed necessary for plant re-layout should be collected, so that additional equipment and plant can be installed without congestion of floor area and dislocation of existing facilities.
5. Templates of new machines, tools and of altered or revised sequence of operations should be prepared and fixed on the floor plan in order to observe the effect of changes mooted in the layout.
6. Consideration of cost factors is essential to judge the financial impact and prospect of better earnings consequent upon re-layouts. Engineers should ensure that re-layout brings in added revenues, improves quality of the product, reduces overhead costs against the background of additional investment needed for plant rearrangement.