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Facilities and Factory Planning

Jennifer Gordon

Find the best facilities and factory planning tools for your manufacturing enterprise

In facilities and factory planning consideration must be given to a start-to-finish production plan. Also consider a factory facilities layout in relation to that plan in order to optimize tooling and machinery, capacity and inventory, raw materials and finished product storage and packaging. Work to reduce the time and number of physical motions required to set up and move through the manufacturing process.

Facility planning must also take into consideration federal and industrial standards for workers, the production process and end product safety.

1. Learn all you can about facilities and factory planning.

2. Enlist the factory planning services of a consultant.

3. Use facilities and factory planning software to make planning easier.

Educate yourself about facilities and factory planning to stay in control of the project

Educating yourself on the fine details involved in planning a facility is key to staying in control of the project. Take advantage of the information provided by using the following resources.
Ohio State University offers an online graduate certificate in facilities planning and management. The program consists of four online courses. Case studies are used and students are given the opportunity to work in teams and engage with in-depth projects. The University of Washington also has an online certificate program in facility management.

Enlist the factory planning services of a factory production planning consultant

Efficiency experts and consultants who specialize in factory facilities layout and factory production planning have already encountered problems and details you haven't thought of. They save you valuable time and money in taking your plan from idea to reality.
CH2M Hill IDC Facilities Services is a factory and facilities planning consultant who manages a project's entire life cycle: from facilities engineering to project management, facility support, administration, operations and maintenance scheduling. SRA facilities engineering and design services minimize costs and risks by optimizing enterprise architecture and design, operations center engineering through its team of professional consultants who maintain various professional and technical certifications.

Incorporate software into the facilities and factory planning

Use factory planning software and facilities planning software to create a facility layout that works best with your factory production planning. Choose software that allows you to run simulations of the best and worst case scenarios in terms of equipment failure, inventory shortages, reductions in workforce and possible "acts of God."
FaciPlan 3D is a Microsoft gold certified partner CAD and all facility management software that features 3D facility flyovers and walkthroughs with color coded change capability to make facility layout modification easy to see and assess. Flow Planner is a factory layout planning and workflow analysis software that helps optimize plant layouts. Flow Planner diagrams manufacturing flow through the plant facility and calculates distance, time and cost to help you arrange your plant's physical structure to minimize cost and maximize efficiency.
  • Factory planning encompasses not only physical and spatial considerations but also legal considerations. Don't forget to factor federal laws such as OSHA into the designs. Also keep environmental laws in mind. It's cheaper to plan for compliance than to go back and retrofit your organization to meet even minimum standards.
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Jennifer Gordon