fusion point research Marketing Research Reports

Marketing to Facilities Layout & Design Leaders in Manufacturing

Understanding Their Role

Facility layout is the arrangement of machinery, workstations, inventory and all other assets related to production. A good layout improves productivity and lowers costs. In fact, poorly designed layouts are one the most substantial causes of inefficiency.1 Facility layout and design is not a one-time event. Factories are constantly changing due to new product development, customer feedback, new equipment and findings from improvement projects. Managers are constantly trying to improve the layout of their facilities to drive waste from the production process.2

 

Facility design depends on the product to be produced. There are several different high-level approaches, including:

 

  • Production lines – products move through rows of workstations, with each station contributing one step of the manufacturing process. This approach is good for quickly producing similar or identical products.
  • Process layouts – workstations with different capabilities are arrayed around the facility, and workers move products to the necessary station based on the product’s requirements. Good for products with many different variations, customizations, or making different products at one facility.
  • Fixed position layout – the product does not move due to its size (for example, houses or ships) and machinery is brought to the product’s location.3

 

Once the overall layout type is selected, designers array workstations, materials and product flow to ensure maximum productivity and worker safety. Material handling cost, the expense of moving materials within a facility, represents a significant portion of most facilities’ total operating cost and is directly shaped by the efficiency of the layout.4

“…there cannot be a perfect outcome at the first shot. We can always adjust and improve, but having our three main pillars - safety, modularity, and optimal flow - to guide us was critical.” - Ilona Takács, Global LCI Director at LEGO Production Systems.5

1 Professionals, Council of Supply Chain Management, and Nada Sanders. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MANUFACTURING AND SERVICE OPERATIONS . Edited by Jeanne Glasser Levine. 1st ed. Pearson Education LTD., 2013.

2 McKendall, Alan R., and Wen-Hsing Liu. “New Tabu Search Heuristics for the Dynamic Facility Layout Problem.” International Journal of Production Research 50, no. 3 (2012): 867 – 878. EBSCOhost(74279962).

3 Professionals, Council of Supply Chain Management, and Nada Sanders. THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MANUFACTURING AND SERVICE OPERATIONS.

4 McKendall, Alan R., and Wen-Hsing Liu. “New Tabu Search Heuristics…”

5 Takács, Ilona. “Lean management and modular factory layout make LEGO a model manufacturer.” July 2014. Planet Lean. Accessed 11/17/15. Available at: http://www.planet-lean.com/lean-management-and-mod...

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Facility planning and design is an extremely important aspect of manufacturing management. The facility’s layout has a direct impact on material handling costs, inventory levels, quality and the product rate.
fusion point research Marketing Research Reports
Facility planning and design is an extremely important aspect of manufacturing management. The facility’s layout has a direct impact on material handling costs, inventory levels, quality and the product rate.
  • – products move through rows of workstations, with each station contributing one step of the manufacturing process. This approach is good for quickly producing similar or identical products.
  • – workstations with different capabilities are arrayed around the facility, and workers move products to the necessary station based on the product’s requirements. Good for products with many different variations, customizations, or making different products at one facility.
  • – the product does not move due to its size (for example, houses or ships) and machinery is brought to the product’s location.