Plant & Facilities Layout: Creating a Lean Layout

One of the Eight Wastes of Manufacturing is Excessive Transportation. It’s doubly difficult to create a lean manufacturing environment if the physical plant layout you’re working in causes excessive movement of materials and products. Most facilities are laid out to be efficient when they’re new, and more than likely laid out around functional departments rather than process flows, but times change.

With each new addition or new piece of machinery or equipment, your production facility probably has become increasingly less efficient. Perhaps you’ve already decided your existing plant just won’t allow you to get the job done and you are going to build a new facility.

How Lean Layout Works: 

To insure that your efforts at creating lean manufacturing processes are supported by the space you work in, consider a Lean Layout project.
Using the value stream approach and a team of people from your facility, our plant layout specialists will:

  • Create a map of the what the current flow of products or processes looks like
  • Identify boundaries, assumptions, and parameters for what the new flow of products or processes might look like
  • Build a consensus on the team regarding the new flow
  • Create the new flow layout in hard copy
  • Test the identified assumptions and flow paths
  • Along with the company team, present the concept to management

The new layout will consider your plans for production scheduling (Kanban) systems, cells, and Point of Use Supply in order to fully integrate the layout with your lean strategy. If building new, the physical size, shape, cost and location of the plant will be considered.

Once the conceptual plan is approved by management, our specialists will then be available to plan the move with time fences and sequences, help you coordinate with outside movers and utilities, and create a communication plan so all employees understand what is being done and why.

Supporting Resources for Lean Layout

WMEP has made special arrangements with technical resource providers to coordinate on delivery of services in your Lean Layout project. Those resources include experts on building design, construction and costs, site planning, environmental considerations, equipment designers, and even energy use experts. All of these resources are available to you through the WMEP to insure that the move complies with applicable regulations and procedures.

Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM)

For Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) contact Jerry Thiltgen.

Download a printable information sheet on Plant Layout.

Contact us for a free consultation.

Get to know Eric Decker, Business Development Leader

“The organization’s mission to help improve and strengthen Wisconsin’s manufacturers aligns very closely with my own. I’ve known the WMEP and its staff through my various roles over the years and have always had a lot of respect for the organization.”

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