Plant layout is a floor plan of the physical facilities which bare used in production. Layout planning is referred to the generation of several possible plans for the spatial arrangement of physical facilities and selects the one which minimizes the distance between departments. The following are the main objectives of plant layout:

  • Minimum investment in equipment
  • Minimum overall production time
  • Utilize existing space effectively
  • Provide for employment convenience, safety and comfort
  • Maintain flexibility of arrangement and operations
  • Minimized material handling costs
  • Facilitate the manufacturing process
  • Facilitate the organizational structure

Imagine yourself visiting a multi-specialty hospital for a master health check up. What if the radiology department was located in the second floor, the general physicians were sitting in the ground floor at the rear side, ECG and tread-mill test facilities were in the fourth floor and so on. Finally, imagine that you need to walk out of the main complex and go 50 meters away to another building to have your breakfast after you give your fasting food samples and return to the main complex to continue with the process. Such instances are uncommon. How many times have you felt that you were made to walk too much in a hospital when you went for a health check up or you went to a financial institution asking for a loan sanction or to a government office to pay some utilities bill and make some enquiries? What is the core problem in these examples? In simple terms, these examples suggest that with better arrangement of resources it is possible to provide better service to the customers. That is where layout planning in manufacturing and service organization is important.

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