Fixed Position Layout
In a fixed position layout, the primary focus is on retaining the production of the most important product stable and stationary in a single location. This designated web page serves as the main hub for all associated activities, wherein equipment, tools, components, and labor are all brought together collectively. This arrangement, which entails bringing both employees and equipment to the manufacturing place of the key product, is considered logical because, when confronted with the choice of moving a size key product or relocating the team of workers and equipment to the manufacturing website, the latter option seems very easy. It is an important type of facility layout.
This kind of layout is most suited to the manufacturers of heavy engineering goods like ships, generators, wagons, aircraft, etc. For a small-scale industry, it needs to be considered appropriate. Fixed position layout in respect of the shipbuilding industry has been depicted in the following:
Advantages of Fixed Position Layout
The benefits of a fixed position layout may be summarised as follows:
1) Substantial time and money are saved, as the site of manufacturing the key product is permanent, and there is no movement of pieces of machinery and men from one location to another.
2) The job design and the sequence of working activities are easily changeable, giving a lot of elasticity to the layout.
3) It is possible to accomplish a number of orders at various stages concurrently, which makes the layout cost-effective.
4) Due to flexibility in the order of operations, it is easy to carry out the necessary modifications to overcome the shortage of men and materials.
Disadvantages of Fixed Position Layout
Fixed position layout suffers from the following shortcomings:
1) Huge funds are invested, and the process of production is prolonged.
2) The cost associated with equipment handling is at a higher level.
3) A lot of space is needed for the storage of various equipment and materials at the manufacturing site of the key product.
4) The utilization level of men and pieces of machinery is rather at a lower level.
5) As this type of layout provides the scope of carrying out various operations concurrently by a number of departments, the chances of misunderstandings and inconsistencies amongst various groups must be considered.
Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS)
Within the Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS), a well-installed transportation device seamlessly connects distinct machines and workstations. This machine efficiently and robotically moves workpieces to their respective machines with precision. To carry out this undertaking, FMS relies on the use of pallets or other superior interface devices.
In FMS, you may find groups of processing workstations organized into clusters. These workstations are interconnected via an automatic storage and material handling system. The entire FMS is carefully supervised and managed by using an integrated automated terminal.
Characteristics of Flexible Manufacturing System
It is characterized by the following:
1) It can manufacture various parts without resorting to the exercise of retooling.
2) It is a measurement of the speed with which a company changes its processes from manufacturing an old line of goods to the production of an entirely new product.
3) It is competent to
(i) bring about changes in production schedule
(ii) amend a part
(iii) manage multiple parts.
4) In a nutshell, FMS is a layout with some flexibility, which ensures that the system responds appropriately to the changes.
Advantages of FMS
The system of flexible manufacturing gives the following beneficial edge over the other systems:
1) A Flexible Manufacturing System is considered a competent system, which may be utilized with a view to getting completely rid of or at least shrinking various problems that disturb the manufacturing sectors.
2) Flexibility and a prompt reaction to any stimulus are two hallmarks of FMS.
3) Under FMS, manufacturers are able to get an extensive range of jobs done in an efficient and trustworthy manner with the help of a few machines and a few personnel.
4) As a result of a better monitoring/control mechanism, automation of various processes, less dependence upon human resources, etc., the length of the entire process of production is reduced to a great extent under FMS.
5) It has an edge over other systems because of its result-oriented efficiency.
6) Inventory requirements, in general, and WIP, in particular, are at a low level.
7) There needs to be more throughput time and consistency.
8) Monitoring and control over the manufacturing process improves a lot under the FMS.
9) There is an improvement in the product quality, which leads to a low scrap rate.
10) Floor space requirement is comparatively less.
11) Machines, tools and material handling devices may be monitored in a better manner.
Disadvantages of FMS
FMS as a system exhibits the following shortcomings:
1) The ability to adjust according to changes in a product is restricted.
2) Investment is of a higher order and also requires meticulous planning.
3) There are additional requirements pertaining to tooling and fixtures.