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Types of Plants Layout – 5 Common Types in Detail | Operations Management

Types of Plants Layout

A plant layout is the arrangement of machines, equipment, workspace, and other resources within a manufacturing or production facility. It is crucial to efficiency and productivity.

A plant’s layout directly affects its efficiency, productivity, safety, and cost-effectiveness, making it an integral part of industrial and manufacturing facilities’ design. To ensure smooth and streamlined operations, it involves arranging machinery, equipment, workstations, storage areas, and other resources within a facility strategically.

Several types of plant layouts are available, each suited to different production requirements, processes, and industries. This detailed explanation will explore the most common types of plant layouts, their advantages, and disadvantages.

Some of the common types of plants layout are as follows:

Types of Plants Layout

1. Process Layout:

A process layout, also referred to as a functional layout, combines similar machines and equipment based on their functions or processes. As the name suggests, this type of layout places all machines of a particular type in one area, regardless of the product they are producing. For example, the milling machine will be located in one section, the lathe in another, etc.


a. Flexibility:

A flexible process layout can accommodate changes in production processes or product designs without significant reconfiguration.

b. Specialization:

Each department can specialize in a particular process, leading to a high level of expertise and efficiency.

c. Lower Investment:

Compared to other layout types, the initial investment is lower with this layout since machines are grouped according to their function.


a. Material handling:

Moving products between different process areas can lead to increased costs and requirements for material handling.

b. Complex Scheduling:

Managing the flow of materials between departments can be challenging and can cause delays.

c. Floor Space Requirement:

It is possible that a process layout will require more floor space in order to separate processes.


The layout of a process can be used in many industries with a wide variety of products and customizations, such as job shops or companies that customize products for clients.

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