Business Layout

Office Layout

Office layouts are arranged so that staff can work together in departmental and team groupings, providing the best opportunity for efficient work flow, communication and supervision (Wikipedia).

An activity relationship chart (ARC) is a tabular means of displaying the closeness rating among all pairs of activities or departments (Wikipedia).

Retail Layout

Sales per unit area is a standard and usually the primary measurement of store success (Wikipedia). Firms sometimes pay a slotting fee to have their product placed on the retailer's shelves (Wikipedia).

Warehouse Layout

A warehouse is a commercial building for storage of goods (Wikipedia). For more detail on warehouses and warehouse layout click on the hyperlinks for each topic.

Warehouse layout must accomodate material handling equipment.

Fixed Position Layout

A fixed position layout is used when the product is so large or located off site. In this case, the materials, tools and workers come to where they are needed on the product.

Process Oriented Layout

A process oriented layout is used when the number and types of products being produced are highly variable. Because of this variability, the like machines and functions are grouped together and the product travels to each function in the order of its need. When creating a process oriented (or functional) layout, the designer wants to minimize the total distrance travelled between functions. This total cost is a function of the distance (or cost) between functions and the number of trips made between each function in the business.

Work Cell Layout

In Cellular Manufacturing systems machines are grouped together according to the families of parts produced. The major advantage is that material flow is significantly improved, which reduces the distance travelled by materials, inventory and cumulative lead times (Wikipedia). Processes are arranged in a U-shape so that the beginning and end of the material flow within the cell are near each other. This allows quick rebalancing of tasks without redesigning stations, because workers can cross the aisle (Wikipedia).

Staffing and Balancing Work Cells

The TAKT time (cycle time) for a work cell is the pace of production that is required to meet customer demand (Wikipedia).
TAKT time = total work time available / units required
To calculate the number of operators needed in a work cell:
# workers = total operation time for all steps / TAKT time

Product Oriented Layout

In a product layout, the workstations and equipment are located along the line of flow of the work units (Wikipedia). This is commonly understood as an assembly line, which is a manufacturing process (most of the time called a progressive assembly) in which parts (usually interchangeable parts) are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned logistics to create a finished product much faster than with handcrafting-type methods (Wikipedia).

Assembly Line Balancing

Production leveling (smoothing) reduces waste by producing intermediate goods at a constant rate (Wikipedia). To balance (level) a production line, follow these steps:
  1. Calcluate the TAKT (cycle) time of the line (see above)
  2. Calculate the min # workstations (# workers) (see above)
  3. Assign steps to a workstation using a heuristic
    1. Step with the most following tasks (most common method)
    2. Longest task time
    3. Ranked positional weight (sum of longest following task times)
    4. Shortest task time
    5. Learn number of following tasks
  4. Continue to assign steps until the TAKT time would be exceeded
  5. When TAKT time would be exceeded, create a new workstation
Efficiency of the design = (Sum of all step times) / (# workstations * longest cycle time of a workstation)