Facility Layout
Facility Layout


A typical manufacturing plant has a number of diverse activities interacting with each other. Raw materials arrive at a shipping dock, they are unpacked and checked in a quality control area, they may then be processed through several processing areas, and finally the finished product again passes through the shipping dock. In addition to areas specifically related to production, there must be dressing rooms, lunch rooms, and restrooms for employees; offices for supervision, design, and production control; and space for inventory and aisles. In fact, a plant may be viewed as a number of finite geometric areas arranged on the floor space of the building. The problem of arranging these areas in an effective manner is the facility layout problem.

Clearly, the layout problem has relevance in many areas of facility and equipment design, from the layout of the rooms in a home to the layout of chips on an electronic circuit board. Although the facility layout problem may arise in many contexts, in this section we assume we are dealing with a plant manufacturing products for sale. Use the links at the left or the squirrel below to move between pages.

This section addresses the design problem of facility layout. A printed introduction is found in the PDF document linked at the left. The OM/IE Computations section describes the Facility Layout add-in that implements the CRAFT method. The ORMM Computations section uses the Combinatorial add-in to solve the Quadratic Assignment model for equal department sizes.


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Operations Management / Industrial Engineering
by Paul A. Jensen
Copyright 2004 - All rights reserved

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