Layout Models for the Food Processing Industry

Read this article. The topic focuses on the most efficient and effective layout model for food production. Can you identify one advantage of modifying an existing layout to increase efficiency?

3. Development of Framework

A systematic process has to be followed in layout design to ensure that the design is in accordance with the production requirement. Therefore, sufficient information to start a layout design process is crucial. The layout design or modification problem becomes even more difficult to resolve when there are practical limitations such as demolition of existing walls and structures, adding more space to an existing facility, accommodating the complexity of a manufacturing process, and maintaining capacity and flexibility of a plant. The cost of implementation of a new layout and the available time for execution are other limitations often overlooked in the literature. Hence, there has to be greater understanding of these limitations when designing a layout.

The proposed framework illustrated in Figure 2 was thus developed to support the industrial designers to obtain the required information in a systematic manner. It consists of five main steps. Step A is concerned with the capacity of the required machinery. Step B addresses the issue of design parameters of the manufacturing process. Step C helps to generate space requirements for different sections of the layout. Step D considers the layout alternatives and Step E is dedicated to the selection of the most practical layout from the available options.

Figure 2 Proposed framework.

Step A.
Details of six items are to be known to derive the machinery capacity: monthly demand, shift operation information, headcount of personnel, finished goods inventory, actual plant capacity, and machine capacity. Here, shift operation, head count, and the finished goods inventory constitute the operation method.

Step B.
This is to consolidate the process details and machine details for the layout design. Energy requirement, level of automation, and the size of machines are the determining factors of machine details. Process and machine details decide the design parameters for the layout design. When the OEE is known, this information can be used to feed information to obtain the actual plant capacity.

Step C. This helps to identify the required floor area for each section in the layout. In order to decide this, safety, GMP, and utility areas need to be assessed. The available area and possible new construction for additional area are then searched and finally the optimum mix of areas for the different sections is determined.

Step D. Layout development is carried out at this stage. A suitable layout design tool has to be used to develop an optimum solution to the facility layout problem. Relationship diagrams, from-to matrix, and other layout development methods can be used to develop the layout. This is where a model for layout planning can have a positive impact.

Step E.
The final step takes care of the practical aspects that affect the layout. The financial feasibility and feasibility as a project to implement the selected layout are emphasised in this step.