Equipment Positioning

Written October 16, 2019

As has already been stated, the primary objective of a layout is “to arrange a plant in a logical order, from the beginning of the job to the end.” We have also noted that for the majority of production plants, layout is a process of flow.  In our “arranging the plant,” equipment positioning relative to other pieces of equipment, is the pivotal area of our concentration.  Because every shop differs in some way as to the physical area allotted for equipment, this manual will not attempt to address specific arrangements. The following suggestions, should, however, be looked at with the idea that final decisions for equipment placement, directly interrelate every segment of the process of flow and how efficiently goods are moved.

Press Area

  • Consider the position of the press for ease of substrate transfer to dryer conveyer or racking.
  • Tape out areas on floor (actual size) for proposed equipment positioning.
  • Allow sufficient open area between pieces of equipment for proper ventilation, especially at levels lower to the ground.
  • Determine where stock is kept before moving to press area.
  • Determine the best site for substrate placement during printing, and allow additional floor space for staging of orders.
  • Know where printing items will be delivered after exiting dryer.
  • Check exhaust capacities for stack exhausting-type dryers.
  • Assure electrical, plumbing, draining, air lines, etc., accessibility in all areas.
  • Determine quality control check areas within or adjacent to production line.
  • Maintain sufficient distances between walls and equipment for safe passage.
  • Leave appropriate distance for access in performance of maintenance.
  • Involve employee input into situations where expansion or relocation to other facility is contemplated.
  • For employee safety, never bottleneck an area with equipment that would prevent a prompt emergency evacuation.

Materials Handling 

Movement of materials from one place to another is a very time-consuming operation.  Cutting lost time to a minimum is an important function of plant layout.  The use of the most appropriate materials handling equipment for movement of paper and other items is essential to the overall efficiency of the plant. Eric C. Schmidt, in his article, “A Material Handling Solution,” (Graphic Arts Monthly), recommends the following checklist of considerations when selecting a lift truck for a printing plant:

  • Type of material to be handled.
  • Weight of the load.
  • Distance to be transported.
  • Available aisle width.
  • Lift height required.
  • Length of workshift necessary.
  • Floor conditions.
  • Physical dimensions of area in which equipment is to be used.
  • Overhead clearances.
  • Loading and unloading conditions – docks, ramps, etc.
  • If material is palletized, on skids, or in skid boxes.
  • If the equipment is capable of handling secondary jobs.
  • Good equipment should not be sacrificed for price considerations