munications, supervision, equipment
sharing, and safety.
To evaluate your existing layout,
develop a Relationship Chart that illus-
trates the ideal arrangement of Process
and Support Elements. Then review
each box to identify those pairs that de-
mand attention in your layout planning.
Involve all affected personnel in assign-
ment of the reason and rating codes.
Milestone: You now have the key information necessary to rationalize your
layout: the products and quantities to be
made and the process requirements for
their manufacture. By carefully analyzing that information you have detected
the opportunities for improvement.
Your next step is to develop alternative block layouts that map out the
estimated sizes, configurations and
proposed locations of the necessary
Process and Support Elements. This
often requires balancing the space required and the space available for the
various Elements. More on that task in
the next Raymond’s View.
Credit: Everyone who has read the
late Richard Muther’s Systematic Layout
Planning will recognize his fingerprints on
✚ Want more? Read
more Art Raymond columns at
Over 48 years Art Raymond worked
with manufacturers of furniture, cabinetry,
and other wood products around the
world to solve management and technical
problems and to grow their businesses.
As the capstone to his career he served
retiring in 2013.
Contact him at