The Importance of Good Shop Layout By Richard S. Budzik originally appeared in SNIPS Magazine.

At the same time that an efficient shop layout is of benefit to the contractor, it also is of benefit to his employees. 

Advantages for your employees:

  1. Reduces their efforts.
  2. Reduces the number of times they handle materials. 
  3. Uses specialization where possible, each person doing what he likes to do or does best. 
  4. Permits efficient working. 
  5. Provides better working conditions with the least interference.
  6. Reduces accidents. 

Advantages for the contractor:

  1. Increases output per ”man-hour.”
  2. Reduces distance of moving materials between operations. 
  3. Reduces lost time waiting to use a machine.
  4. Reduces number of handling operations requiring no skill.

Being Practical 

In an ideal situation, you can plan the best shop layout for the specific machines and equipment, materials and work areas you need; then you can design the building around this layout.

Most sheet metal contractors, however, find that they must plan in the opposite manner; they must fit the best possible work flow into an existing building. This means working around existing structures and facilities such as doors, loading areas, beams, columns, and walls.