How to Plan and Create Modern Factories and Industrial Areas

Plan and create modern factories

In this article, we will discuss how to plan and create cleaner looking factories and industrial areas. You must arrange the equipment, machinery and staff in such a way to ensure its streamlined flow smoothly increases productivity and adheres to occupational health and safety or OHS.

Some of the key factors in plant layout is it then must be enough space for volume of production. When I design my product and then I think about the space I'm going to use to make that product. I have to make sure I've got enough space because it is not enough space that can make the workplace quite dangerous or it can affect the efficiency of the operations process. 

I need to make sure that we have an appropriate location of stock and inventory now stock and inventory need to be ready for the operations process so that there's no delay. If I have my stock and inventory too far away then I have to stop every time I need more raw materials and I may need to make sure that there's an efficient flow of the product through the system. 

What we want is that from the time the raw materials start in the operation process there's absolutely no stoppages so that we can just have a constant flow the machinery can be set on and then we don't have to turn them off at all that actually saves energy. 

There's three ways to arrange a plant layout. You can have a process layout, a product layout or a fixed position layout. I'm going to explain each of these what you'll notice about layout; it depends on the product or the service. 

Process layout 

The machines and technology are grouped together by the function that they before it deals with a high variety and low volume and the production is intermittent it moves from one department to another now for example these are different machines that are needed in our operations process. 

What we'll notice is that the similar machines are grouped together and the raw materials are dealt with and they're produced there and then they move on to the next set of machinery. We're talking about low volume, so if I want to produce thousands and thousands of products I am NOT going to use this process layout.

If I want to have a lot of variety in my product, I then will use a process layout. So it's for high variety and low volume. For example, an electric sliding gates manufacturer may use process layout because they have a high variety in their price range. Now, for example hospitals have areas dedicated to a type of medical care. 

They have a process layout so they have one area, the hospital that's for maternity, they have one for intensive care and they have one for children's health.

Banks also use a process layout. They arrange their service to the different needs of consumers, so when I walk into a bank now I notice that they will have a desk for mortgages, they'll have a business area and sometimes they'll even have an insurance area and then they'll have general banking. So we've actually grouped their staff and their resources according to the needs of the consumer.

Product layout 

A product layout is completely different; machines and equipment in this layout are arranged to suit the sequence of operations, and the workflows from station to station. We need this layout if we're making a high volume of products, and they are standardized.

We often said in assembly lines, that the operations manager set time targets for each stage of production. So, it can be quite a stressful layout for working, because you're actually given a time limit to deal with your part of the operations process. 

The layout consists of workstations, conveyor belt tracking rollers, belts, offices, and a whole lot more. Let's have a look at an example and we're going to use the example of car production. The technology and labour is lined up in the order of their import into the production process. The unfinished product moves around the plant floor, so if you go and have a look at a car being made what you'll notice it is it's a massive big space and you'll actually see a car moving around that space.

You'll see the technology and the people waiting for that car so they can then complete their tasks in the operations process before it moves on to the next person. Sometimes when making a car, the workers and the machinery are actually moving with the product because the machines do not stop. 

Fixed position layout

What if we're making a very, very big product? In this case, we're going to need a fixed position layout. We also call this project production. We're talking about large-scale bulky tasks. Fixed position layout means the labour and machinery have to come to the product the product remains in one location. 

It is too big to move around an assembly line. Some examples are ships. You'll be very aware that a ship is a massive product and we can't have a ship moving around an assembly line. It's true that big aircraft, bridges and houses are all examples of a fixed position layout.

So when an aircraft is being made, the actual aircraft will stay in the same position. We call that fixed position and then all the inputs and the workers and the machinery will actually come towards the aircraft.

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