How to Build a Good Factory
Submitted to: Prof Alexander
Submitted by: Praveen Shivappa
How to build a
good factory, it’s a very crucial aspect to build the good factory without the
continuous improvement. Approach of building a good factory has been changed
across the years as industrial revolutions and management revolutions took
place. Based on the flexibility and productivity we can come to conclusion on
the efficiency of the factory. The efficiency of a factory depends on lot of
aspects. Does the Industry 4.0, lean management and six sigma aspects decide
your factory as good or bad? If YES, all the manufacturing companies would have
adapted it which is a very fascinated things in the industry now. If NO, than
why the successful companies broadcast their achievement on these systems. No
company as ever been so successful by following or copying the some other
company strategy. The witty managers of the Planning team come up with their
own ideas to make their factory as good factory. The management techniques are
not only enough to build a good factory. The systematic planning of layout,
flow control, material handling flow are also the important factors to build a
good factory. The factors affecting your factory might be enormous which u need
to strive a lot to find out them first and find a feasible and adaptable
solution. Let’s discuss some aspects and norms to build a good factory and
these are not only the aspects there are some aspects which are the strategies
of great achieved CEO’s. We are going to discuss briefly from qualities of good
factory to how to build a good factory which has the compromise strategies of
all the management techniques.
A factory or manufacturing plant or a value creation unit is
an industrial site, usually consisting of buildings and machinery, or more
commonly a complex having several buildings, where workers manufacture goods or operate machines processing one product into
In the modern era by the immense
growth of technology the definition of the factory should be lightly changed to
describe the factory. Now Factory is either a production factory or the service
factory. There is a difference in building the manufacturing factory or the
service factory. The service factory is to produce information in physical
quantity as reports, memos and other documents and electronic files using
computer systems or transfer of information directly through telephone calls or
face to face interaction. The main concept in service facility is to have
minimization of communication cost and the maximization of the employee
productivity. The production factory or manufacturing factory produces things. These things are moved with conveyors and lift trucks; factory utilities
include gas, water, compressed air, waste disposal, and large amounts of power
as well as telephones and computer networks. 2
The important thing about constructing a good factory is to study the
basic requirements of the value creation, elimination of wastes, elimination
unproductive time and labour to achieve the profit over the period of time. The
design of a factory is to be adaptable for flexibility and expansion in case
needed for the future use and establish a great brand over the competitors and
achieve the best targets in market. Factory layout must be considered very
carefully because we do not want to change or redesign the factory frequently. Specific
targets in designing the factory are to ensure a minimum amount of materials
handling, to avoid bottlenecks, to minimize machine interference, to ensure
high employee morale and safety, and to ensure flexibility. Essentially, there
are main two types of layout. Product layout and Process layout. Product layout
is about the assembly lines and mass production. Process layout is specified to
a custom made goods for the customers.
Factory might have lot of
constraints and variability. Let’s describe the few points to build a good,
sustainable and feasible factory briefly and these are not only the points
there might be some more which are not in the scope of our mind.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GOOD FACTORY
are the few characteristics of the good factory layout which will help us
building a good factory and good control over this points will lead to the high
productivity and profit.
1.1 Space utilization: As the factory
layout is considered space is also a matter of constraint. The floor space,
working space and the storage space of raw materials and finished goods are the
main points to be considered in designing the space utilization plan. Costs are
increasing day by the day. The efficient layout should utilize the available
space completely. Unnecessary utilization of space should be avoided. The
arrangement of machines, tools and employees must be arranged in efficient
method to use the space completely.
1.2 Accessibility: Workers or machine
should have good accessibility to manufacturing and service. To achieve this
purpose, there must be sufficient space between equipment so that raw
materials, machines and men are able to move freely from one place to another.
1.3 Flexibility: There is a relation
between flexibility and productivity. More the flexible productivity might
decrease. Too rigid may not be able to lead good profit in the long run of the
industry. Flexibility is required to compensate the dynamic changes in the
market. The process or machine tools improve every time by innovation so the
plant should be designed to implement the new process and machines in order to
incorporate the new techniques in the industry.
1.4 Visibility: Raw materials, finished
goods and semi-finished goods should have specific storage points in order to have
a good visibility of products. Workers and machines should be arranged clearly
to have good visibility to supervision and training of the employee. Great
visibility of plant layout will reduce the complexity in administration of the
1.5 Minimum Movement: Plant design should
ensure the minimum movement of employees and machines in order to avoid
unnecessary handling of material. The machines should be arranged based on
requirement from which machine we will get our work. This is one of the main
concept in LEAN management to avoid unnecessary movement which we learned from
our task LEAN GAME.
1.6 Good Co-Ordination: The plant layout
design should ensure that there is a good coordination between operations. The
good coordination of the departments and the employees help in mutual growth of
the departments and the productivity. The main thing is to be considered while
designing is to have a complete picture of organization.
1.7 Economic Handling of Materials: The
plant layout should provide sufficient opportunity to have the good economic
handling of material units in order to have a high productivity. The plant
designer should choose the handling units like conveyers, forklifts, and other
transport equipment’s to handle the materials based on the economy, weight and
non-value creation time of the material units.
1.8 Reduce discomfort: The layout should
motivate the employees to work in good environmental conditions. Less noise,
good air quality, proper lighting, ventilation, free from vibrations and heat
to ensure the safety of the employees. The healthy working environment would be
a factor to increase the productivity.
1.9 Rules and Regulations: The layout
design should have a set of rules and regulations for everyone in the plant to
ensure the safety and welfare of the employees like making safety jackets,
safety helmets, safety shoes, safety glasses and working gloves as compulsion
in industry. The well-directed regulations increase the productivity and
minimizes the accidents and absenteeism in work of the employees.
Safety guards: The layout should have
Safety guards against fire, moisture and theft of materials. The layout should provide
specific place to store hazardous and flammable materials. The regular alarms and fire drill should be
practiced to ensure the complete safety of employees. Specific markings and signs in the layout
which will help employees to differentiate the safety and risk place in the
layout in case of emergency. The emergency exists and proper signs showing the emergency
exit are all important in case of safety measures.3
BASIC FACTORS FOR GOOD FACTORY SITE
The following are the factors to
be considered while deciding the location for industry to achieve the best
productivity and the profit. These are the environmental factors which are not
so easy to accomplish.
Materials: Raw materials are the main component for the industry to
successfully lead the plant. Plant
should be near to the availability of raw materials which can save the
transportation costs and inventory space of the raw materials. Trade-offs can
be made if the availability of raw material is spread over the wide range of
area. Ex: Sugar plant should be near to sugarcane fields.
2.2 Markets: The
production plant should be near to its market so that it can deliver the goods
rapidly and reduce the costs. The inventory space also can be reduced. Crucial
trade-off s can be made if the market is widely spread globally. if the plant is production of the some
part to main assembler it would be feasible to have plant next to the assembler
so it will be easy to deliver the parts on time
and can have good relation with consumer by giving rapid service.
2.3 Availability of Water and Electricity: Most
of the production plants needs water and as the main requirement so the layout
should be somewhere near the water source and electricity is the unavoidable
factor so layout should get enough electricity to run the plant successfully.
2.4 Transportation: The transportation of
the raw material or the finished goods should be easy to reach the customer.
Mode of transportation also matters where you supply through road, railways or
by water. Waterways is the cheapest option to transport for mass carriages
which will reduce the costs.
2.5 Labour Costs: Labour costs are also one
of the main factor to decide the plant location in order to reduce the costs.
The availability of skilled labour and the resources of their knowledge matters.
The plant should be near to universities and colleges. The developing nations
have taken away the cheap labour. So the most of the European manufacturers
moving to ASIAN countries for cheap labour. There should be a trade-off between
the quality of labour and the cheap labour.
2.6 Government: The plant layout should be chosen
wisely because it has to follow the rules of the government present over der.
The exploitation of the industries is also possible in some countries due to
corrupt practices. Government can
encourage the industries directly by giving the concession in tax and giving
the cheap land. Indirectly government can also improve the infrastructure by
building the industrial areas and highways for easy access to transportation.
GOOD FACTORY LAYOUT PLANNNING TEAM
Building of good factory needs a good team in
order to accomplish the target of building a good factory. The team should
consists of the experts from all the departments needed for building a factory.
The team should have the following experts from various departments
1. Project Manager:
He is the head of the project in building a good factory. He will be having the
organizational roles to play. He will be financial in charge too. He will be
directly reporting to the owner or the CEO.
2. Architect: The
architect will be the planner to build the factory building and look after the aesthetics
of the factory. The motivating Work culture can be created by the architects.
3. Fire Proofing Expert: The main part of the safety unit. Where they will be designing the
emergency exits and experts in handling the disaster events. The most care
should be taken when u are handling the flammable products.
4. Electro Planner: The brain of the factory is the power where the planner executes the
correct distribution of power required by the equipment’s. Equipment run on
power so the uninterrupted power supply will lead to profitable factory.
5. HVAC Planner:
The heating and ventilation expert should have an idea about the products
manufactured because the equipment used might generate heat and heat dissipated
would create discomfort to the operators. Operators need fresh sufficient breathing
air. Clean and healthy environment motivates the employ to work efficiently.
6. Structural Designer: The Structural Designer designs the structure of the plant where the heavy
equipment need goods stability support. The factory layout should sustain the
loads, vibrations and sound of the machines.
7. Factory Layout Planner: Factory layout Planner is the one who decides the work flow
and the sequence of machining products and the location for inventory and the
space for the operators.
8. Internal stake Holders: The main feedback are the internal stake holders who have
experienced the difficulties due to bad factory planning. Good feedback from
the stake holders would help to design the good factory. Internal stake holders
might be employees or the owner.
PLANNING AND DESIGN OF A GOOD FACTORY LAYOUT
Good factory requires good planning and design of the layout. The below steps
are the fundamental approach to factory planning
Describe the goals what exactly want to produce
in the layout
Collect and analyse the data about the available
space and required space according to
Create the conceptual plan to reach the targeted
Determine the costs regarded with work space,
production and quality.
Summarize the solution and use it in the evaluation
of the project design and construction.
3.1 Systematic layout planning
The Systematic layout planning has the 4
phases of planning a good layout to build the plant effectively and
efficiently. These 4 phases are in sequential and each requires more effort when
its phases goes on increasing.
3.1.1. Location of the plant: (this aspect we have explained briefly in
chapter 2 those are the points to be in mind while deciding a factory site).
3.1.2. General layout planning
layout planning is more of considered about the inter department relations. The
general layout planning is also called the organizational planning. IT concentrates from product planning
to the sales planning unit. It considers all the aspects of the factory like
product, quantity (volume), process sequence, space available, and timing.
General layout planning has five steps to plan a good factory.
Types of layout: It is mainly dependent on the product and quantity. Let’s
look at some of the layout types
Layout by fixed position:
adopted when the product is physically large; the quantity, very small; and
when the process involves only hand tools.
Layout by Process: is adopted when the product is
physically smaller though of several varieties; the quantity, large; and when
the process or its equipment is large, costly, demanding special utilities or
Layout by product: is adopted when the product is
special in some way; the quantity, very high; and the process, relatively
B: Flow of Materials and Relationships:
It is the heart of layout
planning wherever movement of materials is a major portion of the process. This
is especially true when materials are large, heavy, or many in quantity or when
transport or handling costs are high compared with costs of operation, storage,
or inspection. When the material flows over the plant many changes it can under
go in order to be a finished product. It formed, treated, be assembled,
disassembled with other items or materials, transported, handled (arranged,
picked up, set down, re-oriented), counted, tested, checked or inspected.
Sometimes it will be in waiting for the process to be done. At last it will be
either stored or shipped to market. The plant will have lot many types of
materials it is very essential to categories the materials based on the it’s
some physical properties in order to maintain the good material flow such as
Heaviest, Largest, Bulkiest, Most fragile, Most hazardous, Costliest, Most
awkward to handle, Items with most operations, Greatest quantity, Worst quality
problems, Most customer complaints, Worst scrap or spoilage record.
Space Required and available: Space utilization defines the efficiency of
the planning. The planning team should have clear idea about the process and
equipment needed to manufacture the product and also the sequence in which the
equipment should be arranged. The operator space where he can freely move or
have the good visibility to the supervisors and have enough space to the
training and quality check programs. Quantity also decided the space
utilization factor where the buffer is necessary. The extra space to store the
products in case of sudden breakdown all these are the factors to consider
while using the space utilization plan.
D: Modifications and Limitations:
Modification of the plant is required when we have the different layouts to
choose for. Many solutions might exists for a problem. Choosing the best
possible layout will lead to profitability. The scope and scale of the layout
are the main limitations of the layout.
E: Evaluation and approval: Plant
layout needs approval from the experts, while evaluating the plant all feasible
and possibilities are checked out. The evaluation of the process and the need
for it. What are the basic needs for the equipment and is there any other
method which can be done cost effectively. Everything with respect to productivity
and profitability is checked and approved.
3. Detailed layout planning.