Discrete and Repetitive Manufacturing
There are two basic kinds of factory layouts: the flow shop and the job shop.
In a flow shop, the machines are set up and the floor is laid out so that items flow uninterrupted from one operation to the next, hence the name. An assembly line is the standard example for a flow shop. In a job shop, the movement between operations is not as seamless; there may be significant move and queue time between them. A metal fabrication plant where each part is make-to-order and each must be bent, lathed and milled is a good example of a job shop.
When an item is manufactured in a flow shop, The machines that perform tasks will tend to be smaller than I the equivalent job shop, and the tasks they perform will be more defined. In order to reduce wait and queue time, the same task may be performed by several different machines.
In a job shop, the factory is laid out in a way that the flow of production; it is laid out into functional areas. The cutting machines are in one area or department the lathes are in another. Layout into functional areas usually prevents the smooth flow of inventory through the factory, because the production of a single item may require that it criss-cross the shop floor.
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