Plant Layout

Dairy functions and equipments require number of considerations. Therefore, best match of these considerations would give optimum layout to allow smooth plant operations without hindrance and cross contamination at economical cost. While finalizing the layout plan, future expansion of facilities and product line also need to be kept in mind. The ideal layout permits production of new product or modification in production system at the least possible expense and interruption in production schedule.

Good plant layout has short pipeline, least number of bends. As far as possible,sequencing of equipment should follow the process layout. Plant machinery should be placed apart at sufficient distance to allow movement for cleaning, operation and monitoring. Minimum holding of product during production is another aspect of consideration. Least possible stock of intermediary or in-process and finished item should be present on the production floor. The premises should allow use of the material handling equipment. Development of good layout should fulfill following objectives:

a. Improve or facilitate production operation,

b. Minimize material handling,

c. Have flexibility of operation for alterations and expansions,

d. Minimize investment in equipment,

e. Economize use of floor area,

f. Make labour utilization effective,

g. Make effective utilization of by-products,

h. Provide convenience and comfort for employees,

i. Ensure proper cleaning, operation and monitoring of processes, and

j. Prevent cross contamination.

The above points can be planned according to the type of layout. In multi purpose production system, product layout is preferred, whereas specialized production needs process oriented layout. Depending upon the requirement and nature of production, each function should have their optimized layout. All such individual layouts then be integrated to provide comprehensive dairy plant layout meeting the above mentioned objectives.

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