factory layoutthe arrangement of machines and equipment within a factory which includes the layout of departments within the factory site, the layout of machines within the departments and the layout of individual work places. The two principal types of factory layout are PRODUCT-FOCUSED LAYOUTS where a product is routed through the factory on a single path, and PROCESS-FOCUSED LAYOUTS where products may follow a variety of routes through job shops in the factory.
In the two above-mentioned layout systems the product moves past stationary production equipment, but in the case of layout by fixed position the reverse applies. In the extreme case, for example civil engineering, neither the partly completed nor the finished product moves. Alternatively, as in shipbuilding, the product remains stationary only until it is completed.
Changes in the level of demand, or the need to produce a new product or a redesigned product, may result in a need to reorganize existing plant or to provide additional plant. Obsolescence or failure of existing equipment may result in the decision to install equipment whose characteristics provoke some rearrangements. The need for cost reductions may promote a reappraisal of layouts, as may factory legislation, accidents, etc. See PRODUCTION, RELATIONSHIP CHART, ACTIVITY CHART, BLOCK MODEL.