Types of Layouts
Types of Layouts: The fulfilling the objectives of a good layout as per yearly product requirement and product types, the layouts are classified into four major categories namely fixed or position layout, line or product layout, process or functional layout and combination or group layout. Each kind of layouts is explained with respective merit, demerits and application as under.
Fixed or Position Layout: Fixed or position layout is also known as project layout. A typical fixed layout is shown in Fig. 1. In this type of layout the major part of an assembly or material remains at a fixed position. All its accessories, auxiliary material, machinery, equipment needed, tools required and the labor are brought to the fixed site to work. Thus, the product by virtue of its bulk or weight remains at one location. Therefore the location of the major assembly, semi
assembly component and material is not disturbed till the product is ready for dispatch. This layout is suitable when one or a few pieces of an item are to be manufactured and material forming or treating operation requires only tools or simple machines. This layout is highly preferable when the cost of moving the major piece of material is high and the responsibility of product quality by one skilled workman or group of skilled workers is expected. This type of layout is mainly adopted for extremely large items manufactured in very small quantity such as ships, aero planes, boilers, reactors etc. It main merit of this layout is the minimum movement of men, material, and tooling during manufacturing process. This layout is high flexible as the type of product and the related processes can be easily changed without any change in the layout. The merit and demerit of this type of layout is given as under.
Fig. 1 Typical project layout
Merits: Its main merits are—
1. Layout is highly flexible for varieties of products having intermittent demand as the type of product and the related processes can be easily altered without any change in the layout.
2. There is a minimum movement of men, material, and tooling during manufacturing process.
3. The material is drastically reduced.
4. Highly skilled operators are required to complete the work at one point and responsibility for quality is fixed on one person or the assembly crew.
5. Every personnel of manufacturing team is responsible for quality work for manufacturing the product.
Demerits: The major demerits of this layout are
1. The cost of equipment handling is very high.
2. Labors and equipments are difficult to utilize fully.
3. It is limited to large items only
Applications: This type of layout is mostly adopted for extremely large items manufactured in very small quantity such as ships, aero planes, aircraft, locomotive, ship assembly shops, shipyards, boilers, reactors etc.
Process or Functional Layout: A typical process or functional layout is shown in Fig. 2. In this type of layout arrangements of similar machines, production facilities and manufacturing operations are grouped together according to their functions. Machine tools of one kind are positioned together so that all the similar operations are performed always at the same place e.g. all the lathes may be grouped together for all kinds of turning and threading operations, all drilling machines in one area for carrying out drilling work, all tapping machines in one area for carrying out tapping work, all milling machines in one area for carrying out milling work all buffing and polishing machines at one place for carrying out surface finishing work, and so on. This type of layout is normally preferred for the industries involved in job order type of production and manufacturing and/or maintenance activities of non- repetitive type. This layout needs not to have to be changed every time of the product or component changes. Also the breakdown of any machine does not affect the production. This type of layout is highly suitable for batch production.
Fig. 2 Typical functional layout
Merits: The major merits of this layout are :
1. There exists a wide flexibility regarding allotment of work to equipment and workers.
2. There is a better utilization of the available equipment.
3. Comparatively less numbers of machines are needed in this layout and hence thus reducing capital investment.
4. There is an improved product quality, because the supervisors and workers attend to one type of machines and operations.
5. Varieties of jobs coming as different job orders thus make the work more interesting for the workers.
6. Workers in one section are not affected by the nature of the operations carried out in another section. For example, a lathe operator is not affected by the rays of the welding as the two sections are quite separate.
Demerits: The major demerits of this layout are :
1. This layout requires more space in comparison to line or product layout for the same amount of production.
2. Production control becomes relatively difficult in this layout.
3. Raw material has to travel more which increases material handling and the associated costs.
4. This layout requires more efficient co-ordination and inspections.
5. Increased material handling cost due to more movement of process raw material to various paths
6. More material in process remains in queue for further operations.
7. Requires large in-process inventory.
8. Completion of same product takes more time.
1. This layout is used for batch or moderate production.
2. It specify path for group technology.