An idea to design a foundry with an effective process and equipment layout is a multifaceted issue. There are many contradictory and differing guidelines involved in an effective layout, depending upon the type of project.Guidelines influencing layout :
- Space - There should be maximum space utilization.
- Transportation - The distance for transporting materials should not be large so as to allow quickest flow of materials at lowest cost.
- Storage - Storage of raw material, particularly scrap should be under dry and ambient temperature conditions.
- Work Environment - Should maintain a healthy and sound workplace.
- Removal of waste - A properly maintained dust removal and ventilation system should be made available at appropriate distance from site boundaries and the people living in local neighborhood.
- Future Growth - A well planned layout would consider the future expansion of the plant within the existing business.
- Other prerequisites- This would include easy access for in plant transportation and operations and maximum utilization of all the productive and non productive equipments, material handling devices and manpower to attain "maximum energy conservation".
- Safety measures- An emergency escape route should be provided .
Energy Conservation, can lead to major energy crisis and high costs involved if not properly planned and implemented. The biggest planning problem arises, is to supply the furnaces with scrap and returns and to get the molten metal to pouring as effectively as possible.
Another important concern for energy conversation would be an appropriate arrangement of contained exhausts from dust and emissions-producing pieces of equipment to avoid excessive air change which leads to wastage of energy.Energy Conservation Dynamics :
A new approach of energy saving have been opted to prepare effective plant layouts from exiting ones and attain high levels of performance from every aspect. To explain this new strategy, following parameters are considered as: X, in MJ/kg of product (unit of product) is the specific energy consumption of existing foundry Y, in MJ/kg of product (unit of product) is the projected specific energy consumption
Value of X and Y, should be a close ballpark figure, given various progress issues depending upon available manufacturer's data. Value of Y should include all the energy introduced in different manufacturing process of the project by the use of new energy conserving strategies. The new energy efficiency would now be expressed as:
E (%) = [(X - Y) / X] × 100
This new approach for improved energy efficiency is required to be built into the building designs and should be computed regularly to ensure energy savings. Also, since every project requires compatibility between basic necessities and project restraints. Energy Efficiency can help in attaining this compatibility.Advantages of an effective Layout :
An ideal plant layout should reflect following features :
- Controlled Production process: A good control over method of processing will facilitate smoother inflow and outflow of the materials and will make better work balance
- Effective material handling: A well synchronized activity between location of equipments and handling distances between various processes involved in the project.
- Effective utilization of space: A well planned plant layout offers a well balanced use of the area available for effective communication of the services and the equipments.
- Minimum investments: Effective space utilization, well-coordinated activities and other effective handling measures reduces investments in equipment and manpower.
- Future Expansion provision: Making the best use of existing space, equipments and process activities offers a provision for future growth.
As manufacturing industry is characterized by low profits and tuff competitions, it becomes essential to understand the effective use and implementation of plant layout.