When you visit a friend‘s house, you can see what’s the difference between your home in many aspects (furniture, decoration, dimensions..) but it is clear that it is not distributed like yours. It could be that your distribution was very similar but it will never be exactly the same. When you buy a house you thought that room will be for clothes or for your children, but you never put your office next to children room or also you have been thinking about if next to this bedroom it has to place the kitchen or a bathroom.
When you buy a house it is a difficult decision to choose which one will be adapted for your conditions. So I am writing this post, because it happens something similar when you have a company and you have to connect all process between them to reduce the time, the cost, the bottlenecks and movements of materials in your warehouse. All these will positively affect increasing the effectiveness and security of the production of the whole system.
You should use your space in the best way for everything can be accessible putting in the right location to optimize your productivity. So it’s a difficult task when you don’t have a clear idea of your process. It is necessary think before placing a machine in whatever location, so you should ask about why should I put it here and no in other place.
The other day I was in a company and I realized how important the layout is for all things that we mentioned before, so I’m going to enumerate which methods can we use to develop an adequate layout.
We have to distinguish between quantitative method (6 steps and algorithms) and qualitative method (Systematic Layout Planning), also it could be included LEGO method that we saw in class. Moreover, these hand methods are useful in simple situation, but for complex distributions we can use specific software like CRAFT (Computerized Relative Allocation of Facilities Technique) also there are others like CORELAP, ALDEP or COFAD. If we need to implement a warehouse with several levels we can use SPACECRAFT, CRAFT 3-D or MULTIPLE. Finally we have FADES (Facilities Design Expert System) that use artificial intelligence.
You should open these pictures to see how to apply briefly the two hands methods. To develop these images, I have use some notes that I wrote down last year (Joaquin Cestero Ramos, 2013).
To sum up, the perfection of a perfect layout, it will only be achievable when it is seen from the experience, good theoretical framework and the required knowledge of the whole process, but it is important consider that the best solution is when you have already done it and you can see how it is handle in the situation of maximum stress on the warehouse.
Cestero, J. (2013). Gestión de la Producción,Universitat Politècnica de València. Departamento de Organización de Empresas(DOE).