A properly planned plant layout aims at achieving the following objectives:
- To achieve economies in handling of raw materials, work in- progress and finished goods.
- To reduce the quantum of work-in-progress.
- To have most effective and optimum utilisation of available floor space.
- To minimise bottlenecks and obstacles in various production processes thereby avoiding the accumulation of work at important points.
- To introduce system of production control.
- To ensure means of safety and provision of amenities to the workers.
- To provide better quality products at lesser costs to the consumers.
- To ensure loyalty of workers and improving their morale.
- To minimise the possibility of accidents.
- To provide for adequate storage and packing facilities.
- To workout possibilities of future expansion of the plant.
- To provide such a layout which permits meeting of competitive costs?
The objectives of plant layout have been nicely explained by Shubin and Madeheim. “Its objective is to combine labour with the physical properties of a plant (machinery, plant services, and handling equipment) in such a manner that the greatest output of high quality goods and services, manufactured at the lowest unit cost of production and distribution, will result.”
Principles of Plant Layout:
According to Muther there are six basic principles of “best layout”.
- Principle of Overall Integration:
According to this principle the best layout is one which provides integration of production facilities like men, machinery, raw materials, supporting activities and any other such factors which result in the best compromise.
- Principle of Minimum Distance:
According to this principle, the movements of men and materials should be minimized.
- Principle of Flow:
According to Muther, the best layout is one which arranges the work station for each operate process in same order or sequence that forms treats or assembles the materials.
- Principle of Cubic Space Utilization:
According to this, the best layout utilizes cubic space i.e. space available both in vertical and horizontal directions is most economically and effectively utilized.
- Principle of Satisfaction and Safety:
According to this principle, best layout is one which provides satisfaction and safety to all workers.
- Principle of Flexibility:
In automotive and other allied industries where models of products change after sometime, the principle of flexibility provides adoption and rearrangements at a minimum cost and least inconvenience.