Lean Plant Layout Design

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Lean Factory Layout

"You cannot be world class with a third class work place"

What is factory layout design?

Factory layout design is a fundamental basis of today’s industrial factory. The ability of a producing facility to quickly and effectively adapt to changing market environment is becoming increasingly important to the success of any manufacturing organization. In the face of shorter product life cycles, higher product variety, unpredictable demand, and shorter delivery times, manufacturing facilities dedicated to one line can't be cost effective any longer.

However these challenges can be counteredwith existing resources through Plant Layout Optimization. It is one of the tools of Lean Manufacturing to respond to increasing industrial productivity needs. Lean Consultants, through their rich experience, can appropriately plan and position employees, materials, machines, equipment, and other manufacturing supports and facilities to create the most effective factory layout.

Lean Plant Layout Factory Design


Value-stream mapping, also referred to as "material- and information-flow mapping", may be a lean-management method for analysing the present state and designing a future state for the series of events that a product or service undergoes between the origin and the customer. A value stream map may be a visual tool that displays all critical steps during a process and quantifies easily the time and volume taken at each stage. It should always be the first and last step of designing a Lean Layout.

Although value-stream mapping is usually related to manufacturing, it's also utilized in logistics, supply chain, service related industries, healthcare, software development, development and administrative and office processes.

Benefits of Value Stream Mapping:

  • Helps identify waste
  • Visualising a process from start to finish helps to illuminate non-value adding activities
  • Helps identify bottlenecks – the slowest part of the process
  • Align cross-functional teams
  • Brings process improvement to the forefront
  • Inexpensive and fairly easy to do


What is a Spaghetti Diagram?

Spaghetti diagram may be a visual representation employing a continuous flow line tracing the trail of an item or activity throughout a process. A spaghetti diagram, also known as spaghetti chart, spaghetti model, or spaghetti plot, is a lean tool for determining the distance travelled by man or material.

Benefits of Spaghetti Diagram:

  • It identifies inefficiencies in Area/Work layout.
  • It helps in identifying the wastes of transportation, motion.
  • It helps in reducing the time spent in NVA of identifying missed products
  • It helps to improve the efficiency and reduce the fatigue of employees due to unnecessary movements.
  • It identifies and works on the areas of Occupational safety


Manufacturing plant manages variety of flow in the premises – Raw Material, WIP, Finished Goods, Operators, Machines, Information and Engineering. Optimized plant layout design is very critical in managing these flows so as to operate the infrastructure to the best efficiency levels.


What is Cellular Manufacturing?

Cellular manufacturing may be a manufacturing process that produces families of parts within one line or cell of machines operated within the road or cell by machinists who work only. Often the cells are arranged in a "U-shape" design because this allows ease of overseeing, move less and have the ability to more readily watch over the entire process. Several types of arrangements can be as linear, L-shape, multi-row machines layout types like U-shape, S-shape layouts and Loop layout.

Benefits of Cellular Manufacturing

  • Highlight Inefficiencies
  • More Floor Space
  • Improved Safety
  • Improved Employee Morale
  • Reduced Inventory
  • Lower risk of a product becoming obsolete


What is One Piece Flow?

One-piece flow, sometimes called continuous flow or single-piece flow, is a Lean Production method used instead of traditional mass production. The concept of one-piece flow is to only process and produce what the customer wants, effectively working to scale back the danger of excess production. In mass production, materials move through the manufacturing process in batches which can be highly inefficient and reduces the Muda of High Inventory.

Benefits of One Piece Flow

  • Improved Built-in Quality
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Reduced Inventory
  • Improved Productivity
  • Simplifies material replenishment
  • Improved space utilization
  • Standardized Work in Progress


Line Layout:

In this sort of layout, all the machines are arranged within the sequence, as needed to supply a selected product. It is called line layout because machines are arrange in a straight line.It is called line layout because machines are arrange in a straight line. The raw materials are fed at one end and brought out as finished product to the opposite end. Special purpose machines are used which perform the specified jobs (i.e. functions) quickly and reliably.

Functional Layout:

In this sort of layout, all machines performing similar sort of operations are grouped at one location i.e. all lathes, milling machines etc. are grouped in the shop and they will be clustered in like groups.It provides greater flexibility with regard to work distribution to machinery and personnel. Adapted to frequent changes in sequence of operations.

Combined Layout:

In practice, plants are not usually laid out either in product or process layout form. Generally a mixture of the 2 basic layouts is used to derive the benefits of both systems of layout. The combination is suitable to most businesses where variants are to be managed for a similar product family

Fixed Layout:

It is also called stationary layout. In this type of layout a product that remains in one place owing to its size and men, materials and machines are brought to it. Ship-building, air-craft manufacturing, heavy construction of dams, wagon building, bridges, buildings etc. are typical examples of such layout.

Cellular Design:

In cellular manufacturing system machines are grouped together according to the families of parts produced. The major advantage is that material flow is significantly improved. This reduces the distance travelled by materials, inventory and cumulative lead times. Cellular manufacturing is most suitable for batch manufacturing.

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