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objectives of a good plant layout

Only through an efficient layout, the organization can attain the following

Economy in handling of materials, work-in-process and finished goods.

Minimization of product delays.

Lesser work-in-progress and minimum manufacturing cycle time.

Efficient utilization of available space.

Easy supervision and better production control.

Greater flexibility for changes in product design and for future expansion.

Better working conditions by eliminating causes of excessive noise, objectionable

odor smoke etc

Principles of a good plant layout:

Overall integration of factors: A good layout is one that integrates men, materials,
machines and supporting activities and others in a way that the best compromise is
obtained No layout can satisfy each and every principle of a good layout. Some
criterion may conflict with some other criterion and as a result no layout can be
ideal it has to integrate all factors into the best possible compromise.

Minimum movement: A good layout is one that permits the minimum movement
between the operations. The plant and machinery in case of product layout and
departments in case of process layout should be arranged as per sequence of
operations of most of the products.

Since straight line is the shortest distance between any two points, men and
materials as far as possible should be made to move along the straight path

A door may be made in a wall or a hole may be drilled in a ceiling if that eliminates
or reduces material handling in place of stairs or a distant door.
Uni-direction flow: A good layout is one that makes the materials move only in the
forward direction, towards stage of completion, with any backtracking.

Since straight line is the shortest distance between any two, points, materials as far
as possible should be made to move on the principle of straight-line flow. And when
straight line flow is not possible, other flows like U-shaped flow, circular flow or zig
zag flow may be adopted, but the layout may ensure that materials move in the
forward direction.

To ensure forward flow, equipment if necessary may be duplicated.

Effective use of available space: A good layout is one that makes effective use of
available space both horizontal and vertical.

Backtracking and duplicated movements consume more time, involve un-necessary

materials handling, add to cost and lead to inefficiency.

Raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods should be piled vertically one
above another rather than being strewn on the floor.

Pallets or equivalents should be made use of to pile up several layers one above

Area below the work tables or in the cupboards built into the wall are welcome since
they reduce requirement of space.

Maximum visibility: A good layout is one that makes men, machines and materials
ready observable at all times.

All departments should be smoothly integrated, convenient to service and easy to


Every piece of positioning or screening or partitioning should be scrutinized and

carefully planned.

Special cupboards, enclosures, offices, partitions etc. should be avoided except

when their utility is established beyond doubt.

Maximum accessibility: A good layout is one that makes all servicing and
maintenance point readily accessible.
Machines should be kept sufficiently apart and with reasonable clearance from the
wall so that lubrication, adjustment and replacement of belts, removal of parts at
the time of repairs etc can be done conveniently by the maintenance staff.

Area in front of electrical panels and fire extinguishers should be kept free from

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