There are four basic layout types: process, product, hybrid, and fixed position. In this section we look at the basic characteristics of each of these types. Then we examine the details of designing some of the main types.

images Process layouts

Layouts that group resources based on similar processes or functions.


Process layouts arrange items by type as seen in this grocery store.

Process Layouts

Process layouts are layouts that group resources based on similar processes or functions. This type of layout is seen in companies with intermittent processing systems. You would see a process layout in environments in which a large variety of items are produced in a low volume. Since many different items are produced, each with unique processing requirements, it is not possible to dedicate an entire facility to each item. It is more efficient to group resources based on their function. The products are then moved from one resource to another, based on their unique needs.

The challenge in process layouts is to arrange resources to maximize efficiency and minimize waste of movement. If the process layout has not been designed properly, many products will have to be moved long distances, often on a daily basis. This type of movement adds nothing to the value of the product and contributes ...

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