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Plant Layout Consideration

About a week ago my boss asked me something crucial about Plant Conceptual Design and Layout for our bankable feasibility study of ferronickel project. He asked me if I had explained why we chose this part as smelter plant and not on that part, why the gate should be on the west side of the processing plant, and so on. I just shook my head and grinning. BIG NO! 

My boss was emphasizing the philosophy to make site plan. There are several considerations to make site plan. For example, the processing facilities which are heavy, require high load, and very dynamic, should be positioned at the relatively flat and so on.

I started to think what aspects we need to consider making plant layout.

A plant layout study is an engineering study used to analyze different physical configuration for an industrial plant. Plant layout is special made and is designed before the actual installation of machinery. It also can be defined as the arrangement of physical facilities such as machines and equipment in such a manner so as to have quickest flow of materials with the lowest cost.

What is actually the importance of good plant layout? 

The main objective of plant layout is to optimize the workflow of people as well as product. Only through a good layout, the company can attain the following objectives:

  • Providing comfort to the workers
  • Giving good and improved working condition by eliminating causes of excessive noise, objectionable odor smoke, etc
  • Minimizing delays in production and making efficient use of the space that is available
  • Easy supervision and better production control
  • Greater flexibility for changes in product design and for future expansion
  • Allow easy maintenance of machines and plants

There are several principles in order to get good plant layout. They are:

  • Integration. A good plant layout is able to integrate its workmen, materials, machines in the best possible way
  • Minimum movement. A good layout is one that permits the minimum movement between the operation
  • Uni-direction flow. A good layout is one that makes the materials move only in the forward direction, toward stage of completion
  • Effective use of available space. Utilization of both horizontal and vertical spaces and height is very important to use the space as much as possible
  • Maximum visibility. A good layout is one that makes men, machines, and materials ready observable all the times
  • Maximum accessibility. All servicing and maintenance points should be readily accessible. For example, equipment should not be placed against the wall because necessary servicing or maintenance cannot be performed readily
  • Safety security. A good plant layout is the one which ensures proper security
  • Maximum flexibility. A good layout should be one that is adaptable or flexible enough to take care of probable future changes in the volume of production, in the range of products manufactured, and changes in the method/processes of production

To learn more about plant layout consideration, here I attach a cool presentation regarding this topic.

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