Changes requirements of customers increase productions performancenew technologies and modernization of machine devices, change of product range, requirements to increase flexibility, layout optimization and material flows, plant relocation or part thereof construction of a new greenfield plant etc. often require a change, respectively. designing a production or logistics system. Whether it is a minor or significant change, oriented locally or comprehensively, it is beneficial to approach the search for a solution - to design the new system systematically.

In designing production and logistics systems, the following approach has been proven in cooperation with industrial companies:

Quick scan of current state

Knowing the true baseline will greatly reduce design and implementation time and contribute to reducing transformation costs. The system to be changed needs to be known through numbers and facts before it is possible to design and implement changes to meet your expectations. Quickly check the baseline to see if:

  • Do you have all the necessary documents, facts, information?
  • Does the drawings of the production layout match the reality?
  • What is the actual use of machines, equipment, employees?
  • Are defined time standards (cycle times, changeovers, settings, etc.) adhered to? 
  • Where are the bottlenecks in the system and how are they used?
  • What is the running time of production resp. the contract? 
  • Where are the greatest potentials for improving the system?
  • What is the current level of parameters that you need to improve and how is the system set up to measure them (assessing the achievement of the expected level)?

Of course, in the case of specific requirements, expectations can be adjusted or supplemented in the context of a quick scan. After processing a quick scan, you will find out what the real starting point is and how ready you are for further transformation activities.

Defining common goals

The most common initial requirement for design production and logistic systems is usually "logically deploying production to larger premises due to the introduction of new lines and machines". In order to achieve maximum effect, it is appropriate to extend this requirement of return on investment (ROI) as follows:

  • increase productivity,
  • reduction of logistic costs,
  • quality improvement
  • reduction of production costs.


Setting the right goals also defines the boundaries of the project, which will determine the requirements for setting up a research team (involving interested managers in analyzes and in finding the most appropriate solution). 

Concept design of future state

Based on analysis of the product range is possible define value flows (product groups with similar characteristics). If the value flow is complicated and composed of several parts, it is advantageous to divide it into several basic blocks and then analyze for these blocks:

  • capacity options,
  • achievement of quality levels,
  • necessary inputs and outputs,
  • interconnections between blocks,
  • etc.

The aim of these analysis is mainly to define the basic and supporting elements of the production system, design "Block layout" and at the same time determine the links between these blocks. Saving individual blocks can be difference:

  • product layout,
  • process layout,
  • cellular layout,
  • flexible layout,
  • etc.

This approach can be used for either single part production even for mass production. Even in such different conditions, it is possible to look for solutions that ensure greater flexibility of the production system and thus more satisfactory fulfillment of the objectives - key performance indicators (KPI).

Choosing the alternative

Since conceptual design takes multiple parameters into account, it is possible to create multiple layout combinations. There are usually more variants available. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Each variant may show different levels for key performance indicators (KPI)


Based on these facts is possible proceed to choosing the best solution (solutions that best meet the defined expectations of the submitter). For this best solution (sometimes for the best solutions) they are assembled static or dynamic simulations. Thanks to them, the client can easily understand the relationships, links and limits of the proposed solution.

Detailed design

When we creating a block layout, we often encounter the first significant pitfalls -outdated and inaccurate documentation, non-drawn production machines and equipment, missing service parts, mismatches in hall dimensions atc. For solve this situation, we advise the client to consider 3D skenovania and update respectively creation of the 3D dokumentation production layout.

A detailed design of the new layout is then processed into the current production layout, which includes the identification of all the necessary areas and zones:

  • work zone,
  • service zone,
  • input and output material,
  • areas for components and aids,
  • zone for maintenance,
  • zone for logistics.

It is necessary to aggregate data associated not only with the main production process, but also with the data needed for maintenance, supply, operation, ergonomics, etc. The proposal processed in this way is a good preparation for including the necessary information in Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Verification and evaluation of design

For the evaluation of a new design of the production or logistics system it is necessary to take into account all direct costs resp. investments, but the side effects of the new proposal must also be borne in mind. For a comprehensive evaluation it is useful to assess:

  • costs associated with the purchase of new technologies,
  • costs associated with the building modifications,
  • costs associated with the production limitation,
  • costs associated with the change of business processes,
  • costs of retraining employees to new processes,
  • additional costs for the operation and maintenance of new technologies,
  • etc. 

On the other hand, any benefits or impacts should be taken into account when assessing the impact of the proposed solution on the production or logistics system. Typical questions we face when assessing the benefits of the proposed solution:

  • What will be the performance of the new production or logistics system?
  • What will be the impact of the new solution on the quality level?
  • How will the level of inventories and thus the commitment of funds in inventories change?
  • What will be the use of operators resp. how many operators will be needed in the new system?
  • How many logistics resources will be needed in the new system and how will they be used?
  • How will failures affect the new system?
  • What will be the running time of production resp. running time of logistics process?
  • How to choose production batch size? How to dimension the size of transport batch?
  • etc.

To find answers to these questions is preferably used to computer simulation. More information here.

Implementation of final design

By designing a new layout (a new production or logistics system), the process of change just begins. Implementation process can have a significant impact on the overall benefits of the new solution, namely:

Highly positive impact

  • fast implementation,
  • early benefit of the new,
  • solutions
  • lower costs for implementation,
  • etc.

Highly negative impact

  • more expensive implementation,
  • additional costs,
  • no-filling the expectations, 
  • etc.

Quality and detailed planning and management of the change process can improve your return on investment. Defines the correct sequence for making a change eg. sequence of movements / changes, whether stocks need to be prepared, additional resources obtained, temporary use of external services, etc.
Equally important is the promotion of change, informing employees of the reasons, benefits and how the change will go. In order to ensure that the objectives are met, great emphasis must be placed on the correct and thorough implementation of the proposal - assistance in the actual implementation.

Solutions for you

Realization of a quick scan of the current situation

Do you need an external independent view of the current situation in your operation? Contact us to schedule a personal meeting.

Processing 2D or 3D documentation

Do you want to process 2D or 3D drawing documentation? Contact us to schedule a personal meeting.

Detailed design and verification of the solution

Do you have a conceptual solution proposal and need to elaborate it in detail? Respectively. do you need to verify it by computer simulation? Send us your assignment to process your offer.

Project management, implementation assistance

Do you not have free capacity for project management? Aren't you able to keep on the implementers, to implementation would be realised by your expects? Take advantage of our capacity.

Do you want more information without obligation?

References

Satisfied customers are the best advertising! Therefore, we decided to publish a selection of satisfied customers with a selection of implemented projects: 

  • Layout adjustment for production expansion
  • Layout design of the new plant
  • Processing 2D layout documentation
  • Layout design for production transfer
  • Layout optimization according to logistics needs
  • Layout design for construction project
  • Evaluation of layout efficiency
  • Layout optimization based on material flows 
  • Visualization of material flows in layout