Plant layout refers to the arrangement
of physical facilities such as machines,
equipment, tools, furniture etc. in such
a manner so as to have quickest flow of
material at the lowest cost and with the
least amount of handling in processing
the product from the receipt of raw
material to the delivery of the final
Objectives of good Plant Layout:
A well designed plant layout is one that can be beneficial in
achieving the following objectives:
Proper and efficient utilization of available floor space
Transportation of work from one point to another point
without any delay
Proper utilization of production capacity.
Reduce material handling costs
Utilize labour efficiently
Provide for volume and product flexibility
Provide ease of supervision and control
Provide for employee safety and health
Allow easy maintenance of machines and plant.
TYPES OF LAYOUT:
There are mainly four types of plant
(a) Product or line layout
(b) Process or functional layout
(c) Fixed position or location layout
(d) Combined or group layout
PRODUCT OR LINE LAYOUT:
In this type of layout the machines and
equipments are arranged in one line
depending upon the sequence of
operations required for the product. It
is also called as line layout. The
material moves to another machine
sequentially without any backtracking or
deviation i.e the output of one machine
becomes input of the next machine. It
requires a very little material
It is used for mass production of
Advantages of Product layout:
Low cost of material handling, due to straight and short
route and absence of backtracking
Smooth and continuous operations
Continuous flow of work
Lesser inventory and work in progress
Optimum use of floor space
Simple and effective inspection of work and simplified
Lower manufacturing cost per unit
Disadvantages of Product layout:
Higher initial capital investment in special purpose machine
High overhead charges
Breakdown of one machine will disturb the production process.
Lesser flexibility of physical resources.
In this type of layout the machines of a
similar type are arranged together at
one place. This type of layout is used
for batch production. It is preferred
when the product is not standardized and
the quantity produced is very small.
Advantages of Process layout:
Lower initial capital investment is required.
There is high degree of machine utilization, as a machine is
not blocked for a single product
The overhead costs are relatively low
Breakdown of one machine does not disturb the production
Supervision can be more effective and specialized.
Greater flexibility of resources.
Disadvantages of Process layout:
Material handling costs are high due to backtracking
More skilled labour is required resulting in higher cost.
Work in progress inventory is high needing greater storage
More frequent inspection is needed which results in costly
A combination of process & product
layout is known as combined layout.
Manufacturing concerns where several products are produced in
repeated numbers with no likelihood of
continuous production, combined layout
FIXED POSITION OR LOCATION LAYOUT:
Fixed position layout involves the
movement of manpower and machines to the
product which remains stationary. The
movement of men and machines is
advisable as the cost of moving them
would be lesser. This type of layout is
preferred where the size of the job is
bulky and heavy. Example of such type of
locomotives, ships, boilers, generators,
wagon building, aircraft manufacturing,
Advantages of Fixed position layout:
The investment on layout is very small.
The layout is flexible as change in job design and operation
sequence can be easily incorporated.
Adjustments can be made to meet shortage of materials or
absence of workers by changing the
sequence of operations.
Disadvantages of Fixed position layout:
As the production period being very long so the capital
investment is very high.
Very large space is required for storage of material and
equipment near the product.
As several operations are often carried out simultaneously so
there is possibility of confusion and
conflicts among different workgroups.