It should be remembered that the layout of an organization has an impact on its other functional or operational areas. There is strong interaction or relationship between layout planning and other decision areas such as work measurement and methods study.
Steps in planning the Layout for a new enterprise
(i) The first thing in planning a layout is to study the objectives, production plan and the nature of machines, equipment and manufacturing operations involved in the production process.
(ii) On the basis of information collected in step (i), charts, diagrams and templates are prepared.
(iii) Decision about the location of service facilities like cafeteria, toilets etc. inside the plant building is taken, keeping into consideration the requirements of the production process and comforts of the workers.
(iv) The sequence of mechanical operations is studied to fix the position of respective machines performing the respective operations.
(v) The position of windows, ventilators, electric fittings, drainage system also in the plant building are properly and thoroughly studied.
(vi) After analyzing all the details in steps (i) to (iv) drawings of the layout are drawn and the production run is tested.
(vii) Modifications can be done according to the experience of test runs.
Features of a good Layout
The layout of a plant can be planned in a number of ways but a good layout should possess some basic characteristics, namely
(i) There should be sufficient space for the workers as well as for the equipment to perform their functions. This will ensure smooth and continuous flow of production process.
(ii) Must provide adequate safety and security to workers against accidents or injury e.g. provision of fire fighting equipment, first-aid boxes etc.
(iii) Sufficient gang way space for materials, workers and semi- finished goods. This lead to increase in efficiency.
(iv) Arrangement of machines and equipment should be such that mini-mum material handling is necessary.
(v) Stores for in-process material should be provided at some convenient place i.e. not far from the place of operations.
(vi) Supervision, co-ordination and control of the activity should be effectively and easily executed.
(vii) There should be sufficient scope for making adjustments and modification whenever any need arises i.e. the layout should be flexible.