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Question 8:
What is the trade-offs that occur when a process layout is used? What is the
trade-offs that occur when a product layout is used?
The trade-offs between product layout and process layout includes the
a. Process layout has more equipment flexibility.
b. Process layout generally has higher skilled workers.
c. Product layout involves higher volume manufacturing.
d. Process layout benefits from high flexibility to be able to
produce a variety of products, while product layout benefits
from large volume manufacturing at low cost.
e. The major goal of process layout is to minimize the
transportation and material handling costs while the primary
objective of the product layout is to minimize idle time and
maximize efficiency of the process.
f. The utilization of process layout generally results in higher
levels of work-in-process inventory than the product layout.
g. For a product layout, the flow of work is straight, while for
process layout, the flow of work is mixed depending on the
product produced.
h. There is more dependency between workstations for product
layout than for a process layout.
i. The preventive maintenance and machine reliability are more
important in a product layout than process layout because
equipment breakdown may involve shutting down a work station
which may in turn result in shutting down downstream work
j. Routing and scheduling is much less complicated for processes
with product layout than processes with process layout.
Question 10:
Briefly describe the two main layout types.
Product layouts: are generally characterized by specialized labor
and equipment designed for continuous processing. The layout is
often arranged on the basis of processing sequence. Process
layouts are more general in nature, in terms of labor, processing
equipment and material handling equipment.
Process layouts: often feature machine groups or departments.
Items processed in process layouts tend to follow differing paths
through the system.
Fixed position layouts: are used to facilitate processing of a single
job which is usually large , such as: construction of a large
building or a hydro-electric power plant. Labor, equipment and
materials are typically brought to the job site (product) rather than
the other way around. Fixed position layouts are commonly found
in farming, road building, home remodeling and minin
Question 15:
. Compare equipment maintenance strategies in product and process layouts.
With a product layout, equipment breakdown has serious implications
because the separate pieces of equipment are closely tied together. If
one piece of equipment fails, the line will quickly come to a halt.
Consequently, preventive maintenance to reduce the failure rate is
In contrast, a process layout often contains duplicative equipment so
that if one particular piece of equipment fails, the work can usually be
shifted to another piece of equipment. Consequently, there is less
need for preventive maintenance and less need for repair of
equipment when it does break down. Moreover, process layouts
utilize more skilled workers who tend to take better care of the
equipment than their lower skilled counterparts in a product layout