This article throws light upon the fifteen main steps involved in the procedure for building plant layout. Some of the steps are: 1. Accumulate Basic Data 2. Analyse and Coordinate Basic Data 3. Decide Equipment and Machinery Required 3. Decide Equipment and Machinery Required 4. Select the Material Handling System 5. Sketch Plan of the Plot 6. Determine a General Flow Pattern and Few Others.
Step # 1. Accumulate Basic Data:
i. Volume and rate of production.
ii. Product specification and bill of materials.
iii. Process sheets indicating tools, equipment, the method and the product which will be manufactured.
iv. Flow process charts.
v. Standard time to complete each operation, etc.
Step # 2. Analyse and Coordinate Basic Data:
Required in order to find:
i. The workforce size and type.
ii. Number of work stations required.
iii. Type of equipment required.
iv. Storage and other space requirements.
Assembly chart and operation process chart help coordinating basic data.
Step # 3. Decide Equipment and Machinery Required:
Number of equipment required to meet a particular production target can be calculated by knowing:
(i) Number of articles to be produced.
(ii) Capacity of each equipment.
(iii) Time in which the order is to be completed, etc.
Step # 4. Select the Material Handling System:
Required for moving raw material, semi-finished goods and final products.
The type of material handling equipment to be selected depends upon:
i. Material/product to be moved.
ii. Container in which it will be moved.
iii. Length of movement.
iv. Frequency of movement.
v. Speed of movement, etc.
Step # 5. Sketch Plan of the Plot:
Required to mark building outline, roads, storage and service areas, etc.
i. The plan orientation should utilise maximum, the natural heat, light and other weather conditions.
Step # 6. Determine a General Flow Pattern:
i. Machinery may be laid as per production process requirements and plant building be erected around the same.
ii. The flow pattern of materials should be such that the distance involved is least between the store and the shipping department through the production centres. There should be minimum back tracking and bottlenecks.
iii. Flow patterns may be analysed using operation process charts or travel charts in case of multiple flow patterns.
Based upon the process or product requirements, one may adopt:
(i) A process layout,
(ii) A product layout, or
(iii) A combination layout,
Plant layout should be flexible so that it can accommodate changes in product or product diversification.
Step # 7. Design Individual Work Stations:
Each work station should be laid for achieving optimum
i. Performance of operations;
ii. Materials and space utilisation; and
iii. Safety and comfort of employees, etc.
Step # 8. Assemble the Individual Work Station Layout:
Assemble the individual work station layout into the total layout in accordance with the general flow pattern and the building facilities.
Step # 9. Calculate the Storage Space Required:
i. Stores accommodate raw materials, in process goods and finished products.
ii. Storage size increases with the plant size.
iii. Storage space can be calculated by knowing:
(a) Volume of each store item.
(b) Number of items to be kept in stores.
(c) The time (date-wise) each item may be kept in the stores.
Step # 10. Make Flow Diagrams for Work Stations:
Make flow diagrams for work stations and allocate them to areas on plot plan.
Step # 11. Plan and Locate Service Areas:
ii. Toilet and wash rooms.
iii. Tool rooms.
iv. Rest and lunch rooms.
vii. Power generation areas.
viii. Parking areas, etc.
Step # 12. Make Master Layout:
Make master layout by using templates and models.
Step # 13. Check Final Layout:
Check final layout and associate in this act, all the persons concerned, e.g., those from plant, production, personnel, safety and other departments.
Final plant layout is checked as regard the following aspects:
(i) Safe and economical material handling.
(ii) Adequate production and production control.
(iii) Plant building and its surroundings.
(iv) Product design.
(v) Service areas.
(vi) Employee safety and comfort, etc.
Step # 14. Get Official Approval of the Final Layout:
After the final plant layout has been checked, it is get officially approved and signed by the team which checked the final layout.
A final layout accompanies:
(i) Product drawings,
(ii) Bill of material (parts lists),
(iii) Assembly and operation process charts,
(iv) Manpower requirements,
(v) Equipment requirements, and
(vi) Estimated expenditures and revenues, etc.
Step # 15. Install the Approved Layout:
Make detailed plans for installing production, service and other centres. Install equipment, machinery, work benches, offices, etc.