Why Sheet Metal Shop Layout Matters

The following blog post is part three of a multi-part series in which Mestek Machinery discusses the importance of a good shop layout and the ways in which our customers can improve their shops’ productivity by creating an efficient environment for production.  You can read the first two parts here.

 Why Does Shop Layout Matter?

Although it may seem obvious in retrospect, many contractors fail to realize that an efficient shop layout can be beneficial not only to themselves but also to their employees.  It is easy to overlook the benefits of creating a cohesive flow in a shop especially when contractors have so many other things on their mind while managing their business. Contractors should keep in mind the following benefit of an efficient shop layout:

Advantages for Employees:

  • Reduce physical effort
  • Reduce the number of times they handle materials
  • Gives employees an opportunity to do what they like best or what they are best at doing
  • Permits efficient working
  • Provides a safer work environment

Advantages for Contractors:

  • Increase output per man hour
  • Reduces the distance of moving materials between operations
  • Reduces lost time waiting to use a machine
  • Reduces the number of handling operations requiring no skill

Making the Shop Layout

If you are looking to redesign or laying out a shop for the first time, using a drawing board is the best way to do so if you are working with a smaller shop or a portion of a larger shop.  If you are working on setting up a larger shop; however, working on designing the shop in sections (but keeping in mind how the sections interact with one another) is best. Breaking a larger shop into sections while putting machinery and other work-related equipment in place is helpful so that the shop remains easy to navigate during the moving process.