Line Layout for Increasing Productivity
Factory floor layout is called a ‘mixed’ when it is done by combining ‘product’ and ‘process’ layouts to get the advantages of both types. A mixed layout can also be called ‘group’ layout.
Mixed layout can be used to improve productivity:
Using a mixed layout effectively, means that the disadvantages of both product and process layouts are reduced. For example, a mixed layout has more flexibility than a product layout, and this is useful for frequent style changes that is, one machine problem will not affect the whole production system. A mixed layout can also reduce the idle time (increase the utilization workers and machines) that can be a problem with process layouts, also material handling and work-in-progress inventory will be reduced. These are shown in the figure below of the linking section. Generally, mixed layout also reduces tooling and machine setup time.
In the above figure, in the knitting section of sweater manufacturing, different products (different style of sweater) are processed in different knitting machines separately according to a process layout, but in the linking section, different machines are arranged according to the sequence of processes to produce a specific product, using a product layout.
Source: Reed Consulting Bangladesh