product-focused layouta FACTORY LAYOUT in which the equipment is arranged according to the needs of the product and in the same sequence as the operations (for example drilling, milling, grinding, assembly) necessary for production (see Fig. 66). Each production-line or assembly-line layout requires sufficient and stable demand to ensure a high utilization of equipment and a regular supply of raw materials and components. Failure in the supply of a piece of equipment results in the entire production line stopping, and quite remote failures can often result in disproportionately high losses.
The provision of machine services (power, maintenance, etc.) is difficult in product-type layouts, since where particularly elaborate machinery is used quite different pieces of equipment with different characteristics and requirements may be located adjacent to one another. A mixture of skills and operations frequently occurs, resulting in difficulties of payment and supervision; usually, however, little specialized supervision is required since the work performed is often highly rationalized. Minimum floor space is required, work in progress is minimized and through-put time is low. The requirements for handling materials are small and machine utilization is high.
A product layout is appropriate for the production of a small range of products in very large quantities and is a comparatively rigid production system. See PRODUCTION-LINE, PROCESS-FOCUSED LAYOUT. See also CELLULAR MANUFACTURING.