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Plant Layout

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Meaning, Definition and Scope:
A plant layout generally refers to an arrangement of machinery, equipment and other industrial facilities like receiving and shipping departments, tool rooms, maintenance rooms and various employee amenities, for the purpose of achieving the fastest and the smoothest production at a minimum cost. In other words, plant layout is a floor plan for determining the and arranging the desired machinery and equipments of a plant, whether established or yet to be established, in one of the best place to permit the quickest flow of material at the lowest cost and with the least amount of handling in processing the product from the receipt of the raw materials to the shipment of the finished products. According to Knowles and Thomson, a plant layout involves:

The planning and arrangement of manufacturing machinery, equipments and various services for the first time in completely new plants and improvements in the layouts already in use in order to introduce new methods and improvements in manufacturing procedures.

Objectives Of A Good Layout:
1. Provide enough production capacity.
2. Reduce the material handling cost.
3. Reduce hazards to the personnel.
4. Utilize the labour efficiency.
5. Increase employee morale.
6. Reduce the cases of accidents.
7. Utilize the available space effectively and efficiently. 8. Provides towards easy supervision.
9. Allow easy maintenance activities.
10. Provide for employee safety and health.
11. Allow optimum utilization of machines and equipments.
12. Improves the overall productivity.

Types Of Layouts:
A. Process Layout
Also refered as the functional layout, layout for a job lot manufacture or batch production layout, the process layout involves a grouping together of like machines in one department. For example, machines performing drilling operations are installed in the drilling department, machines performing casting operations are grouped in the casting department and like wise. The process arrangement is signified by the grouping together of like machines based upon their operational characteristics. For example, engine lathes will be arranged in one department, turret lathes in a second department and milling machines in a third department.

Advantages of process layout:
i. Reduced investment on the machines as they are general purpose machines. ii. Greater flexibility in the production.
iii. Better and efficient supervision is possible.
iv. Better utilization of men, materials and machines.
v. Easy to handle the breakdown of equipment by transferring work to another machine or station. vi. There is a greater incentive to the individual worker to increase his performance.

Disadvantages of process layout:
i. There is difficulty in the movement of materials. Mechanical devices for handling materials cannot br conveniently used. ii. This type of layout requires more floor space.
iii. There is a great difficulty in the production control. iv. There is an accumulation of work in progress at different places.

B. Product layout
Also known as straight line layout or layout for serialized manufacture, it involves the arrangement of machines in one line, depending upon the sequence of operations. Materials are fed into the first machine and finished products come out of the last machine. In between , partly finished goods travel automatically from machine to machine, the output of one machine becoming the input for the next.

Advantages of product layout:
i. There is a mechanism of materials handling and consequently reducing the materials handling cost. ii. It avoids the production bottlenecks.
iii. The layout facilitates better production control.
iv. It requires less floor area per unit of the production. v. Work in progress is reduced and investment is thereon minimized. vi. Early detection of mistakes or badly produced items.

Disadvantages of product layout:
i. Product layout is highly inflexible.
ii. This type of layout is also expensive.
iii. Very high difficulty in supervision process.
iv. Any breakdown in the equipments along the production line can disrupt the whole system.

C. Fixed position layout
Fixed position layout involves the movement of men and machines to the product which remains stationary. In this type of layout, the materials or major components remain in a fixed location, and tools, machinery and men as well as other pieces of material are brought to this location. This type of
layout is preferred where the size of the job is bulky and heavy.

Advantages of fixed position layout:
i. The layout is flexible as change in job design and operation sequence can be easily incorporated. ii. Adjustments can be made to meet shortage of materials or absence of workers by changing the sequence of operations. iii. The investment on layout is very small.

Disadvantages of fixed position layout:
i. As several operations are often carried out simultaneously so there is possibility of confusion and conflicts among different workgroups. ii. As the production period being very long so the capital investment is very high.

D. Combined layout
The combination of the principles of product layout and process layout form the fourth type of layout known as combined layout. Plants are never laid in their pure form because it is not feasible for a single type of plant to facilitate the production process. So a combination of two or more layouts is the best.

Layout planning of a healthcare unit

A health care unit includes places such as hospitals etc which need to be constructed keeping in mind various factors. Some of these factors include- * Regionalized planning.
* Total geographical data.
* Separation of the departments in an efficient manner.
* Proper planning of rooms for the patients as well as various other rooms for various activities to be constructed.

The process of layout planning of a health care unit involves: BED PLANNING- it includes the various setups in which the bed in a health care unit need to be placed so as to ease the efforts as well as the minimization of time factor. BED : POPULATION = A x S x 100

365 x PO

Where –
A = Number of inpatient admissions/1000 population/ year.
S = length of the bed stay.
PO = percentage occupancy.

DESIGN LAYOUT OF ICCU- design should take into consideration the integration and smooth functioning of three areas: * The patient area.
* The staff area.
* The support area.

Total area ranges from 350 to 500 sq. feet per bed which includes * Circulation area.
* Nursing station.
* Sanitary and ancillary accommodation.

The above are the two layouts of a hospital unit which can be used in general. Space requirement for some basic departments:

A hospital is a living organism, made up of many different parts, having different functions, but all these must be in due proportion and relation to each other and to the environment to produce the desired results. Thank you.

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