7 Key Considerations for Effective Factory Layout Design

The success of a factory largely depends on its layout design. Whether you’re establishing a new facility, reorganizing your existing one, or incorporating new equipment, it’s crucial to keep in mind the seven essential flows that contribute to an optimized factory design.

Raw Materials

Consider how raw materials are replenished in the production cell. Is there an efficient signaling system for quality problems? Can these materials be conveniently located near workstations? Additionally, assess whether forklift access is necessary for the smooth flow of operations.

Work in Process (WIP)

Ensure an effective process for moving work in progress (WIP) within the cell. It’s vital to implement measures to guarantee that the correct job is being worked on at all times.

Finished Product

Determine the designated area for finished products. Establish whether they should move on to the next cell or proceed to dispatch. Additionally, assess whether quality checks are required for the finished assembly.


Identify the essential consumables needed for operations and their origins. Establish a reliable supply chain to ensure smooth and uninterrupted production.

People Movement

Evaluate how people move within the production cell. Determine whether their movements are optimized to enhance productivity and minimize hindrances.


Consider the display of work instructions and ensure an efficient workflow. Establish a method for team members to easily comprehend what needs to be built.

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Waste Management

Devise a waste management strategy for effectively removing waste materials. Assess whether forklift access is necessary for waste disposal.

Factory Layout

Ames Farm Center Can Assist with Your Factory Layout Design

The Lean Plant Layout Development Process offered by Ames Farm Center provides a comprehensive approach to ensure your team works seamlessly during the implementation process. By leveraging the Value Stream Mapping approach, Ames Farm Center aims to understand your business requirements and product flows. This understanding enables the creation of detailed cell designs, taking into account the seven essential flows mentioned above, as well as workload optimization for specific product ranges.

The cell layouts are then assessed within the broader context of the entire factory, considering available equipment and facilities. The Ames Farm Center team iteratively explores multiple layout options, allowing your team to experience different possibilities. This iterative process helps identify the benefits and potential issues associated with each layout, ultimately culminating in an agreed-upon design that aligns with most of the criteria while acknowledging any necessary compromises.

It’s crucial to prioritize factory layout optimization before relocating to a new facility. By investing effort into developing a well-designed layout in advance, you can save valuable time, money, and mitigate the stress associated with potential mistakes.

Understanding Factory Design and Layout

Factory design and layout encompass the strategic arrangement of machines and equipment within a manufacturing facility. It involves the structural planning of departments, positioning devices within those departments, and organizing individual workstations.

To maximize operational efficiency, including production, inventory dispatch, and administration, consider implementing a lean plant layout during the design phase.

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Exploring Factory Layout Types

When planning your factory layout, you can choose from four fundamental layout types:

  • Product or line layout: This approach focuses on the sequential operations involved in product development.
  • Process or functional layout: This layout is beneficial for areas with low production volume, offering flexibility suitable for non-repetitive tasks.
  • Fixed-position layout: In this scenario, the primary component remains stationary, requiring the team to bring other necessary parts, materials, machinery, tools, and supporting equipment to the specified location.
  • Combination type of layout: This flexible layout design combines elements from multiple layout types based on the requirements of the factory.

Seven Strategies for Effective Factory Layout Design

To enhance your factory layout design process, consider these seven crucial strategies:

  1. Raw materials: Strategize how to ensure raw materials are located conveniently near workstations and replenished efficiently.
  2. Work in process (WIP): Implement a streamlined process to maintain the correct workflow throughout the production cycle.
  3. Finished product: Designate specific areas for finished products, deciding whether they should progress to the next cell or be dispatched promptly.
  4. Consumables: Identify the necessary consumables required for operations and establish reliable sourcing channels.
  5. People movement: Optimize the movement of personnel within the factory, ensuring smooth cooperation without hindrances.
  6. Instructions: Implement an efficient workflow display system and establish clear communication channels to ensure the team knows precisely what needs to be built.
  7. Waste: Develop effective waste management strategies, including the proper disposal of waste materials and providing access to forklifts when necessary.

For comprehensive insights and expert guidance on factory layout design, turn to Ames Farm Center. Their knowledgeable team can provide valuable consultation tailored to your specific needs.

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