Importance Of Factory Layout

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The only thing which is constant in the manufacturing environment is ‘change’. The technology and market requirements keep on changing and it is of increasing importance to design and operate manufacturing facilities which quickly and smartly adapt to these changes. The aim of this chapter is to understand the importance of efficient and effective layout to meet the factory’s competitive requirement. Layout includes decisions regarding the placement of assembly benches, CNC machines, welding machines, test benches, and paint shops in production facilities; working desks, printers, meeting rooms in offices or service providers. Factory layout has numerous strategic significances in regards to capacity, process development, flexibility, and cost.…show more content…
low variety and high volume. E.g. Assembly line manufacturing of automobiles The selection of these layout options can be modeled mathematically (Kreng & Tsai, 2002) or can be done through the use software (Ngampak & Phruksaphanrat, 2011) to find an optimal factory layout which has the highest flexibility, improved flow of materials at a lower cost, improved flow of information, reduced WIP, high robustness index, and is safer for the employees (Heizer & Render, 2011, pp. 376-377). Kreng and Tsai (Kreng & Tsai, 2002) discussed the use of robustness index as a performance measuring tool to examine the layout design in changing environments. They concluded that flexibility should be considered while planning factory layout and that robustness index can be a good tool to measure the flexibility. Robustness index is the measure of how robust the facility layout is to changing production requirements. Kreng and Tsai use fuzzy set theory to calculate the robustness index. Ngampak and Phruksaphanrat (Ngampak & Phruksaphanrat, 2011) used Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) to analyze and design possible layouts for a manufacturing factory and further used Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to choose the best facility layout. SLP was developed by Richard Muther in 1973 with the purpose of finding relationships between the various process activities and also the frequency of interactions between these activities. The relationships are representated on a chart and the possible layouts are drafted. AHP, developed by Thomas Saaty, in 1980 is a complex decision making tool which considers evaluation criteria and assigns priorities to select the best possible outcome (Simone, 2007). Ngampak and Phruksaphanrat proved the need of cellular manufacturing in a high variant and high volume manufacturing organization through the use of SLP and

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