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Layout Management

Posted by Zeeshan, 21 October 2013 · 2,159 views

'Factory and department layout' for many people seem to be an ordinary segment of a management system but in fact it is one of the most vital and critical aspects regarding:

1- Productivity and manufacturing cost
2- Quality and food safety
3- Work environment and ergonomics

A business that does not consider the importance of 'Layout Management' fails at some point sooner or later.

So, if it is so important then what tools must be in the hand of a craftsman who is made responsible to design, develop and manage a layout. Here is a list of significant points which should be considered.

1- Maximum possible physical separation between functions especially critical functions. For example there should be a physical separation between raw material storage area and production area. Physical separation does not always mean to be masonry wall. It could be a properly painted or coated metallic partition. In some areas physical separation is required within areas. For example while storing materials high risk items must be physically separated from low risk items. So layout must be designed keeping this limitation in mind.

2- Production and storage areas must be designed such that separate areas are allocated within each shop or store for keeping raw and finish material appropriately. Risk assessment will suggest whether rigid boundaries are necessary to separate both type of materials or a visual separation is enough.

3- Ventilation with temperature and humidity control and air filtration system must be considered with respect to international recommended standard.

4-Overall layout must be designed to avoid crossing in the flow of activities. Also flow against logical sequence must be avoided too. Some time, layout fulfills the requirement of avoiding crossing in the flow but illogical allocation of areas reduce productivity and increase manufacturing cost. Workers, material, waste flow must be such that material should not be contaminated or cross contaminated at any stage.

5-Corridors should be considered as separation aids and not the space killers.

6- Food and industrial safety provisions must be considered as mandatory.

7- Measured layout should be drafted. This will aid floor marking, logical placement of facilities and true calculation of capacity.

8- Considering Poka yoke (mistake proofing) while designing layouts returns the best result in future.

9- 100 percent perfection is not possible, so always focus on the ultimate purpose of layout management (food safety and quality) while adopting any compromise.

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