Various tools and techniques of layout are used for the planning of layouts for new plants. Broadly, the following steps have to be taken to develop a layout plan for a new establishment:
1. Fixing the objectives and compilation of data. This will include fixation of layout goals with respect to capacity, production, flexibility and plants for future expansion. This may be followed by the preparation of operation process chart, machine data cards and templates of production machinery and material handling equipment.
2. Formulation of an over-all plan. The next step in the development of a layout will be to prepare an over-all plan including the flow of production, the arrangement of service activities and the best suited type of building. A floor plan may be prepared by grouping the machinery on line or functional basis. Then, the type of building that will be most economical to construct keeping in view the layout plan and the location of the plant may be chosen. This should be followed by a tentative plot plan arrangement suited to the plant layout of the building, and long-run utilization of the site should be prepared.
3. Arrangement of templates. Templates representing machines and equipment may then be arranged on the floor plan according to the sequence indicated in the operation process chart. A flow process chart may be prepared at this stage.
4. Service activities. The location of service activities should then be decided keeping in view the facility of the manufacturing process and the convenience of workers. This will include decision about the development of material handling system, the location of shipping and receiving areas, the maintenance shop, power plant, offices and employee facilities and conveniences.
5. Building specification. The next step, then will be to specify building requirements in respect of floor space, load capacities, ceiling heights, location of partitions, size and location of doors and windows.
6. Preparation of layout drawings and test run. As a final step, drawings of the layout and the supporting charts developed by the engineers should be submitted to management. When the building is acquired and the equipment is installed, test production runs should be made. Necessary adjustments can be made in the light of such a test-run.