The first “Best Practices” step to take in planning a new facility is Data Gathering. All of the information gathered here plays a crucial role in the sizing of the new or expanding an existing facility and ultimately establishing a more efficient manufacturing process and layout.
In order to get a baseline for current facility and operations that can then be used to properly plan for the future, the following items need to be secured:
- All existing drawings (AutoCAD, Blueprints, etc) of the current AS-IS facility layout. These should have details of all production lines, equipment, workstations, material handling, etc. If none exist, they should be created.
- A full inventory of all current equipment with machine name along with all dimensions, work space requirements, and all required utilities.
- Current material handling equipment and any future equipment being planned.
- All current and future planned product information.
- Present product flows including routings, process sheets and any process (value) maps/flow charts.
- Manning levels and capacity by operation or work center.
- Production standards and historical data and metrics. Most current up to 2 years.
- Current manufacturing volumes by process or operation.
Things to consider while gathering the needed data include:
- Will there be a Lean/Cellular fabrication and what are or will be the assembly build processes
- Are there sub-assemblies and/or multiple builds
- What is the current material flow, staging, and storage and are there any special material handling factors
- Will there be an inclusion of new, more efficient production and material handling equipment
- Will there be any new automation and operational changes
- What are the projected changes/additions to products or product families
Once this information has been gathered, it should be properly arranged by product or process and tied to position in the existing layout. This will be used to help in establishing current and future space needs. If the baseline is not correct and complete, projecting out future requirements may be difficult or incorrect so accuracy and completeness are a necessity.
Join us next week as we discuss the short and long-term volume requirements and capacity analysis to be factored in the sizing of the facility.