Colloquium announcement

Faculty of Engineering Technology

Department Design, Production and Management
Master programme Mechanical Engineering

As part of his / her masterassignment

Robin Haverkate

will hold a speech entitled:

Facility layout design, a model combining theory and practice



In November 2015, companies Spiraal and Tribelt relocated from Hengelo to Haaksbergen. Both companies manufacture products made of metal strip and wire and have their production in one and the same facility. The layout for the new facility was designed by making use of experienced employees with knowledge of the production processes of the company. Was it wise to implement this new layout designed by employees based mostly on common sense?

The scope of this Master thesis is to challenge whether or not the approach used was sound. This is done by a quantitative comparison between the existing layout and new developed layouts based on theoretical models. In order to make this comparison literature has been studied to find models that can be used for facility layout planning. This research makes use of a customized method for designing layouts for a production facility. It is based on a combination of existing models and methods, which are adjusted in favor of making this method work. It is used for designing three layouts for the companies based on different principles. These layouts have been evaluated with regard to the existing layout.

It is concluded that one of the new layouts would recoup the extra investment cost within seven years because of lower cost of movement (of employees). Since only three layouts have been designed, it is most likely that more outcomes are possible which could probably have even better results. In conclusion, it would have been sensible for Spiraal and Tribelt to take on a different approach and make use of existing theoretical models rather than only knowledge of employees.

The relevance of this thesis is not only applicable for Spiraal and Tribelt. For future layout planning for other (production) companies it can be used to design new layouts as well as improving existing layouts. It can be stated that proven theoretical methods should be chosen above a pragmatic solution based on common sense.