Objectives of Plant Layout
If a layout is to fulfill the goal of an organization and to maximize production, it should be planned with the following objectives in mind:
1. Economy in materials Handling
Economy in handling of materials, work-in-progress and finished stock.
2. Optimum utilization of Resources
Ensuring optimum utilization of men, materials, equipment and space available.
3. Better Inventory Control
Minimizing work-in-process and maximizing inventory turnover. The material should move rapidly through the plant and the points of congestion should be eliminated to have low levels of inventory.
4. Good work flow
Minimizing chances of delay and eliminating bottlenecks in the production system. Ensure a good work-flow avoiding accumulation of work at vital points.
5. Efficient Control
Good plant layout ensures efficient supervision and production control in an organization.
6. Avoidance of Changes
Avoiding frequent changes so that production programme is not upset, causing the cost of production to rise.
Ensuring safety for the workers by eliminating or at least minimizing the chances of accidents.
8. Better Services
Providing adequate service centres at convenient locations.
9. Higher Morale
Boosting up employees morale by providing incentives and also comforts while at work.
Ensuring flexibility of layout for future changes and requirements.
The above objectives of plant layout are laudable in themselves, but it is often difficult to reconcile all of them in a practical situation. As such, a highest level of skill and judgement are required to be exercised by a management executive. To achieve this, a close coordination between him and the production manager is very essential.
Advantages of a Good Layout
The advantages of a good layout can be studied from the stand point of the worker, labour cost, other manufacturing costs, production control, supervision, and capital investment.
a. Advantages of layout to Worker
1. Reduction in the effort of the worker.
2. Fewer material handling operations.
3. Extension of the process of specialization.
4. Ensuring maximum efficiency.
5. Better working condition and reduction in the number of accidents.
b. Advantages of layout in Labour Costs
1. Reduction in the number of workers.
2. Increase in production per-man-hour.
3. Reduction in the length of haul.
4. Minimum lost motions between operations.
c. Advantages of layout in Other Manufacturing Costs
1. Maintenance and tool replacement costs are reduced.
2. Spoilage and scrap is minimized.
3. Greater saving in the waste of raw material consumption.
4. Improved quality of product due to reduction in the number of handling.
5. Saving motive power.
6. Effective cost control.
d. Advantages of layout in Production Control
1. Provision of adequate and convenient storage facilities.
2. Better conditions for receipts, shipment and delivery.
3. Increased pace for production.
4. Achievement of production targets unfailingly.
5. Reduction in the number of stock-chasers who are employed to get the work done on time.
e. Advantages of layout in Supervision
1. Helps in easing the burden of supervision.
2. Reduces the level of inspection and this minimizing the cost of inspection.
f. Advantages of layout in Capital Investment
1. Investment in machinery and equipment is reduced because of
- increase in production per machine
- utilization of idle machine time and
- reduction in the number of operations per machine
2. Permanent investment is kept at the minimum
3. Floor space and shop areas required for manufacturing are reduced.
4. Reduction in the number of material handling equipment, work-in-process and reduced stock of finished products.
Thus, an efficient layout is necessary for achieving the objectives of the business i.e., higher production, turnover and profits by minimizing the cost of manufacturing.
Bad Layout – Effects on Cost
A bad layout results in unnecessary handling of materials and movement of men and equipment. Actually, the quality of the product may come down due to damage suffered in production process thus reducing the value added. Further, loss due to breakage, pilferage, deterioration, etc., add to costs being incurred. All these factors increase the cost of manufacturing.
Symptoms of Bad Layout
The symptoms of bad layout are as follows:
1. Congestion of machines, materials, part assemblies and even workers.
2. Excessive number of work-in-process.
3. Poor utilization of space.
4. Long material flow lines.
5. Excessive handling by skilled workers and increased handling costs.
6. Increase in maintenance time.
7. Long production cycles.
8. Delay in delivery schedules.
8. Increase in handling costs.
10. Difficulty experienced in supervision and control.
11. Increase in breakage of materials and products.
- Objectives of Plant Layout
- Advantages of a Good Layout
- Bad Layout – Effects on Cost