Reasons An Ineffective Plant Layout Could be Hurting Your Efficiency

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Ineffective Plant Layout

The manufacturing industry is responsible for more than 11% of the economy and close to 9% of workforce employment. 

If this is your field of choice and you run a plant, it’s up to you to run your plant as efficiently as possible. A well-run plant means productivity, safety, and big profit margins. A lot of the efficiency you hope to receive will come down to the layout of the plant. 

So what should you know about planning and managing this layout? We’ve got you covered. 

Keep reading to learn more about how your plant layout makes a huge difference. 

Plant Layout Mistakes to Avoid

Sometimes, the best way to learn is to know what not to do. Here are some plant layout mistakes you should avoid at all costs: 

  1. Your Manufacturing Lines Aren’t Set Up Efficiently

You need to control the motion that happens in your plant. When your traffic isn’t predictable or effective it becomes chaotic. 

Cut out many of these issues upfront by getting control of your manufacturing lines. Set them up in a way that your professionals don’t have to move much to do their job and get the supply chain running. 

Giving them full range of motion and simplifying their manufacturing lines will help your employees stay focused, which means they’ll make fewer mistakes.  

  1. The Plant Layout Doesn’t Make the Best Use of Space

Without question, space is your greatest asset when you run a plant. However, it’s not just about the space you have, but what you do with it. 

Create a plant layout that allows you to capitalize on your space and avoid accidents. With the COVID-19 pandemic, you absolutely need to make enough room so that employees aren’t on top of each other. 

Design your layout with enough space for each station, and make sure that your business is organized so that every area has its purpose clearly designed. 

You can always improve manufacturing efficiency with a lean plant layout. It’s easier to upgrade from a minimalist floorplan that it is to scale back a cluttered operation.  

  1. Internal Logistics Have Room for Improvement

Your plant layout will always fail when your internal logistics aren’t properly accounted for. 

Logic is king whenever you are planning a factory layout. Every piece of this puzzle has to make sense, and this logic will dictate your workflow and layout.

Consider your materials stations and determine if they’re arranged with a system that makes the most use of time and resources. Assess how far operators and employees have to travel to restock shelves or handle materials.

Think about your current operation and how easy or difficult it is to retrieve items. Your layout will always take care of itself as long as the principles of your internal logistics are sound. Start with this and the rest will be more straightforward.

  1. You Need to Upgrade Your In-House Technology

Make sure you’re always implementing up-to-date technology for your manufacturing setup. 

There’s always room to get a better handle on technology in your factory. If you are making the best use of technology right now, your layout is most certainly leaving potential on the table.

Automation should be a primary area of focus when you’re trying to upgrade the technology in your manufacturing facility. Some examples of industrial automation might include robotic arms that sort inventory, systems that process and dispatch orders, and dispensers that mix chemicals and other materials.

Your layout has to be built for these Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancements. Think not just of now, but how big a role AI will play in your manufacturing company for the foreseeable future.

The layout needs to be lean enough to handle your current AI setup, with enough room to expand. 

  1. The Factory Space Isn’t Well-Lit

In baseball, unforced errors are a cardinal sin. The same applies to the manufacturing business. You have enough variables to juggle without creating more liabilities from avoidable accidents.

Simply providing an abundance of lighting for your manufacturing facility will drastically reduce the number of accidents you have. This improves visibility and also adds to the morale and energy of the people you have working on the floor.

Using high quality LED will allow everyone to remain focused and on task and will point out potential blind spots where accidents and injuries can occur. Choose eco-friendly lighting so that you can save money on your bills. 

  1. Your Ventilation System Needs Upgrading

It’s also important to include ventilation with your manufacturing facility layout. In doing this, you’ll get better air circulation that protects the health and well-being of your workers.

Poorly ventilated workstations also overheat and can cause people to pass out or fall ill from heat exhaustion. Again, consider the variables that COVID-19 brings. You’ll be better equipped to combat the virus with a professional-grade ventilation system that keeps fresh air flowing in and out of your building.

  1. You Aren’t Optimizing Your Office Space

Finally, make sure that you’re getting the full potential out of every square footage set aside for office space.

This is where meetings are had and decisions are made. Shore up plenty of space for offices outside of the manufacturing floor. These offices should be outfitted with all of the technology and comforts you need to stay productive and engaged each day. 

Improve the Layout of Your Plant

Consider your plant layout and the mistakes you may be making. The tips above will help you transform your manufacturing company with layout plans that make sense. 

Taking these types of steps will help your business succeed beyond your wildest dreams.  

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