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Zwicker Engineering

Plant Layout

Plant layout falls into two categories: process layout and product layout.

Process Layout

In a process layout the production equipment is grouped according to the type of process.  For example welding is all done in one area, machining in another, coating in another, etc.  This type of layout is often referred to as “job shop”.  It’s applicable for a high variation in products.  The route or sequence of processes through the plant for one product can be completely different than for another product.  Efficiency is sacrificed for flexibility.  Many “machine shops” have a process layout.

Photo (below) of Process Layout       
Compliments of AC Dispensing Equipment Inc.

Zwicker Engineering Process Layout

Advantages are:

  • Flexible for a variety of products
  • Flexible for a variety of products simultaneously
  • Low setup and teardown costs

Disadvantages are:

  • Inefficient production of each product
  • Complex planning for each product
  • Difficult to predict output and cost/product




Product Layout

In a product layout the process is designed around the product. Flexibility is sacrificed for efficiency. An example is an automotive assembly line. The product always follows the same route through the plant. Production volume has to be high enough to justify the cost of dedicating the process to the product. Slight product variations can be accommodated. The production speed is fixed for long periods of time to allow for line balancing. This results in equally distributed workload and a smooth flow.

Photo (below) of Product Layout
Compliments of AC Dispensing Equipment Inc.

Zwicker Engineering Product Layout

Advantages are:

  • High efficiency
  • Predictable output
  • Lower cost/unit produced

Disadvantages are:

  • Long lead times for product changes
  • Long lead times for production rate changes
  • Requires high volume of one product
  • Requires consistent line speed
Full plant layout showing both product and process layout.
Click here to view a larger pdf image of the plant layout.
Zwicker Engineering Plant Layout
Contact Zwicker Engineering at: (902) 456 - 3018 or email:    We serve the Halifax and central region of Nova Scotia, Canada.