Time management is integral to a manufacturing process and this is reflected in the way shop level facilities are created to ensure minimum loss of time in looking for a raw material or a tool or a component or a spare part. In other words, for all in-house manufacturing and assembly operations, project layout is synonymous with supply chain management.
Layout of a manufacturing facility is a comprehensive exercise involving movement of incoming and outgoing materials and successive stages of processing. Incoming materials may be raw materials and/or semi-finished items and outsourced components/subassemblies. Outgoing materials are usually the finished products duly packed for delivery. The manufacturing process itself generates waste and scrap which are to be collected and disposed in a planned manner.
Depending upon the type of operation at each stage in a manufacturing process, the layout is finalized in a variety of ways like a work center or a manufacturing cell or an assembly line or a continuous process etc. The layout designer keeps in mind the flow of materials in these stages while determining the space and facilities. While a centralized purchase and stores management takes care of timely availability of all incoming materials, sub-stores are organized at the floor level as per production plans. In a work center, these stores cater to the raw materials, tools and consumables while in the assembly line, they are used for components, subassemblies or bought out items. Continuous processing lines also have shop level stores for incoming materials, consumables, and essential spares. Organizational set up ensures availability of materials in the sub-stores at the floor level as per production plans.
Economic analysis is the basis for ‘make or buy’ decisions and invariably a substantial amount of outsourcing happens in all manufacturing processes. Suppliers are very important part of