Line or Product Layout
Line or Product Layout: A typical line or product layout is shown in Fig. 1. This layout implies that various operations on raw material are performed in a sequence and the machines are placed along the product flow line, i.e., machines are arranged in the sequence in which the raw material will be operated upon. In this type of layout all the machines are placed in a line according to the sequence of operations, i.e., each following machine or section is arranged to perform the next operation to that performed by its preceding machine or section. In this layout raw material starts from one end of production lines and moves from one machine to next along a sequential path. Line layout is advantages in the continuous- production system where the number of end products is small and the parts are highly standardized and interchangeable. It is suitable for products having steady demand. This layout may have operational sequence namely forging, turning, drilling, milling, grinding and inspection before the product is sent to the finished goods store for packing and shipment. This layout is used for mass production and ensures smooth flow of materials and reduced material handling. Breakdown of any machine in the line in this layout may result in even stoppage of production.
Fig.1 Typical line layout
Merits: Its main merits are—
1. It involves smooth and continuous work flow.
2. It may require less skilled workers
3. It helps in reducing inventory.
4. Production time is reduced in this layout.
5. Better coordination, simple production planning and control are achieved in this layout.
6. For the same amount of production, less space requirements for this layout.
7. Overall processing time of product is very less.
8. This layout involves automatic material handling, lesser material movements and hence leads to minimum possible cost of manufacturing.
Demerits: The major demerits of this layout as compared with process layout are—
1. It is very difficult to increase production beyond the capacities of the production lines.
2. When single inspector has to look after many machines, inspection becomes difficult
3. This layout is very less flexible for product change.
4. The rate or pace rate of working depends upon the output rate of the slowest machine and hence leading to excessive idle time for other machines if the production line is not adequately balanced.
5. Machines being put up along the line, more machines of each type have to be installed for keeping a few as stand by, because if on machine in the line fails, it may lead to shut down of the complete production line. That is why the line or product layout involves heavy capital investments.
Applications: It is used in assembly work.
Combination Layout: Fig. 2 shows a typical combination type of layout for manufacturing different sizes of crank shafts. It is also known as group layout. A combination of process and product layouts combines the advantages of both types of layouts. Most of the manufacturing sections are arranged in process layout with manufacturing lines occurring here and there scattered wherever the conditions permit. These days, the most of manufacturing industries have
adopted this kind of layout. In this type of layout, a set of machinery or equipment is grouped together in a section, and so on, so that each set or group of machines or equipment is used to perform similar operation s to produce a family of components. A combination layout is
Fig. 2 Typical combination layout
possible where an item is being made in different types and sizes. In such cases, machinery and manufacturing equipments are arranged in a process layout but a group of number of similar machines is then arranged in a sequence to manufacture various types and sizes of products. In this layout, it is noted that, no matter the product varies in size and type, the sequence of operations remain same or similar. This layout is suitable when similar activities
are performed together thereby avoiding wasteful time in changing from one unrelated activity to the next. It focuses on avoiding unnecessary duplication of an effort. It is preferable for storing and retrieving information changing related to recurring problems thereby reducing the search tin understanding information and eliminating the need to solve the problem again. It is also useful when a number of items are produced in same sequence but none of the items are to be produced in bulk and thus no item justifies for an individual and independent production line. There are some merits, demerits and application of this layout which are given as under :
Merits: The merits of this type of layout are:
1. Reduction in cost of machine set-up time and material handling of metals.
2. Elimination of excess work-in-process inventory which subsequently allows the reduction in lot size.
3. Simplification of production planning functions, etc.
Demerits: The major demerits of this layout are :
1. Change of the existing layout is time consuming and costly.
2. Inclusion of new components in the existing component requires thorough analysis.
3. Change of input component mix may likely to change complete layout structure.
4. Change of batch size may change number of machines.
Application: Manufacturing circular metal saws, hacksaw, wooden saw, files and crank shaft.