Levels of Facility Planning

Levels Prevent Detail From Overwhelming The Project 

The Levels of Detail

Factory layout is the focal point of facility design. It dominates the thinking of most managers. But factory layout is only one of several detail levels. At Strategos, we find it useful to think of facility planning at five levels:

At the Global level, we select a site location. This involves factors such as freight cost, labor cost, skill availability and site focus.

At the Supra-Layout level we plan the site. This includes number, size, and location of buildings. It includes infrastructure such as roads, water, gas and rail. This plan should look ahead to plant expansions and eventual site saturation

The Macro-Layout plans each building, structure or other sub-unit of the site. Operating departments are defined and located at this level. Frequently, this is the most important level of planning. A Macro-Layout institutionalizes the fundamental organizational structure in steel and concrete.

Levels of planning and strategic impactThe Micro Level IV determines the location of specific equipment and furniture. The emphasis shifts from gross material flow to personal space and communication. Socio-Technical considerations dominate.

The Sub Micro Level focuses on individual workers. Here we design workstations for efficiency, effectiveness and safety. Ergonomics is key.

Ideally, the design progresses from Global to Sub-Micro in distinct, sequential phases. At the end of each phase, the design is "frozen" by consensus. This settles the more global issues first. It allows smooth progress without continually revisiting unresolved issues. It prevents detail from overwhelming the project.

In practice these phases may overlap significantly, be omitted or taken out of sequence.
Next Page

Level Activity Planning Unit Envir- onment Output
I
Global
Site Location & Selection Sites World or Country Global facility planning
II
Supra
Site Planning Buildings or Site Features Site site planning
III
Macro Layout
Building Dept or Block Layout Workcells or Depts Building factory macro layout planning
IV
Micro Layout
Workcell of Dept Workstation or Cell Features Cells or Depts micro or detail layout
V
Sub Micro Layout
Work-
station Design
Tool & Fixture Locations Work-
station
workstation layout

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The Strategos Guide To Value Stream and Process Mapping goes  beyond symbols and arrows. In over 163 pages it tells the reader not only how to do it but what to do with it.

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