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Book on Factory Design

Book on Factory Design

Book on Factory Design

Hi everybody,
I'm wondering whether there is any book which collects ideas regarding design of factories, for example common pitfalls that plant designers should avoid or collection of great ideas in production lines,...
Any recommendation will be highly appreciated.

Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has. Rene Descartes

RE: Book on Factory Design

"Factory Design" covers many areas and types of analysis. It is generally clumped together in the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering fields of study:
  • manufacturing metrics analysis (cycle times, capacities, etc.)
  • determination & specification of production system that will go into the factory: single/multiple stations, cellular, manual/automated, etc., material handling & storage, etc.
  • cellular manufacturing & group technology for optimized processes
  • physical plant layout for lean manufacturing design, material flow, line balancing, etc.
  • worker ergonomics
  • production system administration
  • and a bunch of other things that must happen for it all to be moderately successful like training, signage, inventory control, etc.
I've done this for my entire career and now teach a course in it. I've not been able to find a single, good textbook. Some sources for you to investigate:
  • textbooks in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering by Groover (even the older versions are still relevant and can be obtained inexpensively)
  • many textbooks on factory layout design are on the market
  • one of the most comprehensive single books I have found is a hard-core, old-school, badly written, unattractive spiral bound work book from SME called Planning Manufacturing Cells. It was developed by (presumably) successful Industrial Engineering consultants doing this type of work for money. The information & method is good, but students hated it...requires reading & digesting the info
  • There are a couple useful chapters in Maynard's Handbook of Industrial Engineering for this type of content
I'm not advertising because the jury is still out on the utility of this software. But for my next semester I investigating using Autodesk's Factory Design Utilities suite for my course. It has some interesting features to throw down 2D AutoCAD layouts, easily convert to 3D Inventor models, easily convert to something called Navisworks for collision/interference checking, group review & comment, visualize animated walkthroughs, then use their attempt at Discrete Event Simulation (a package they call Process Analysis) to simulate production and verify throughputs. It sure looks interesting, but it is a poorly-explained solution to a complicated niche-market and their marketing is simply awful IMHO.

Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering

RE: Book on Factory Design

Thanks tygerdawg for your elaborate response.
Actually, my interest is more on "collection of ideas" aspect of the book. In my career, I've visited a lot of factories and in each of them I saw a/some mechanism/mechanisms (in the production line, for example) that shows sort of ingenuity. For example, In a ceramic tile production line, the tiles shall be turned over every other one in order to have the embossing side not touching the flat side (after stacking them before going into the oven). The designer solved this problem in a simple way during movement of tiles on the conveyor. I mostly seeking a book with collection of these kind of ideas.

Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has. Rene Descartes

RE: Book on Factory Design

There's a publication called "Plant Engineering" you might want to look into.

RE: Book on Factory Design

When I was in school, long ago, I used Manufacturing Facilities by Sule. It may be completely out of date for certain manufacturing processes, but it covers a LOT of processes, and many of them haven't fundamentally changed much. I have no idea if it was better or worse than other books on the matter, but at least you have a name to look up and decide for yourself.


RE: Book on Factory Design

I once designed small manufacturing facilities for Lockheed, usually PEMB's housing rows of parts assembly stations. Most important: Where are the restrooms?! Next: Where is the break room?!
Actually, the big deal was how to get all the utilities to each station. We ran an elaborate cover-plated floor trench system.

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