Workhorse Group Inc. is a company that designs and produces electric battery power trains, as well as truck chassis. While its main administrative, research, and developmental offices are located in Ohio, the plant producing medium-duty truck chassis, which is to be discussed in this paper is situated in Union City, Indiana.
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The virtual tour over the plant allows examining the layout of the facility. It is a manufacturing facility divided into several sections that coincide with the stages of the manufacturing process. The facility consists of the following zones that coincide with the production stages: maintenance, shock install, tail pipe install, gas tank install, stabilizer bar install, master cylinder install, harness install, engine trail, brake test, power steering, harness rooting, radiator install, fuel line pressure test, tire install, and engine start (Workhorse: A New Breed. Virtual Tour. n.d.).
The site is well-landscaped. Entrance and exit are relatively easy to recognize, clearly market, and wide enough to allow workers to escape in a case of danger. The photos of the facility show that it is well-lit, and the light is comfortable for working. The facility layout can be considered intuitive; it is easy to understand where to move next and how to leave the facility. All equipment seems to be in perfect condition, work areas are clean, and the materials are stored properly and securely in separate stores.
Therefore, stored materials are not an obstacle for employees when they work. Tools are kept where they belong. Floors are clean and free from oil or small details. Railings, which are necessary for producing chassis, are in good condition, connections and cables are in the same condition. Elevating devices are also in good condition and used properly. In general, the layout is well-developed and properly maintained.
However, several improvements can be made. First, it is necessary to make several additional entrances for fire safety. Second, warning signs need to be established near potentially hazardous equipment to prevent workers from dangerous activities. Third, a developed drainage system is needed. Apart from the mentioned, no improvements seem necessary.
The studied plant is a manufacturing facility. Unlike service facilities, manufacturing ones need not be designed as to suit the needs of the customers. The layout of a manufacturing facility does not include a sales floor. Its design can be (and usually is) efficient rather than attractive since it does not need to attract customers. The requirements of aesthetic apply to service facilities, but they are irrelevant for manufacturing ones. The design of manufacturing facilities is shaped solely by the requirements to its production. For instance, if the product is made in five stages, the facility would most likely be divided into five sections.
Ventilation, sound, climate control, lighting, acoustics are maintained in such a way as to be perfectly comfortable for people at service facilities. Conversely, at manufacturing facilities the primary function of these options is to suit the needs of the production process; for people, these parameters are often inconvenient, even though they are kept within the standards of safety. Such concerns as status and privacy influence the layout of service facilities but not manufacturing ones (Facility Layout and Design, n.d.).
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In short, the layout of service facilities is developed to fit the needs and expectations of people (customers or office workers) while the layout of manufacturing facilities is designed to suit the needs of the production process.
Facility Layout and Design. (n.d.). Web.
Workhorse: A New Breed. Virtual Tour. (n.d.). Web.