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Plant Layout and The Bottom Line

(March 2008) posted on Thu Mar 06, 2008

Four shops discuss how to improve facility layout and workflow.

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Then the building 20 feet behind us became available, and that’s when we decided we had to do something dramatic. So our first move was to get all of our production equipment out of our first building and into the new one behind us. So we ended up with sales, accounting, design and install-the "clean" part-in the first building. And the "dirtier" part went into the back building.

Once they began getting cramped and we began noticing that volumes were going up and too many people were working too close together, a building physically attached to building number two became available. There was a roll door between the two buildings, and we just threw the roll door up and scooted the equipment over. The company that was in building number three builds inflatable slides for airplanes, so it came to us with all the power you could imagine, and the floors were all perfectly shiny.
Green: Our moves had to do with growth. Creative Color’s Salt Lake operation began with three people in 1978. We [Ferrari Color] got involved in ’87 and I think that was a 3000-square-foot facility. We were processing film, and we had all kind of challenges, including bad plumbing and backup and bad electrical. So we moved from that building to our second building, and that took us to about 6000 square feet, and then we moved closer to downtown, to about 15,000 square feet.

But we found that, as we got into the larger pieces of equipment, we still didn’t have enough room in that building, so we picked up a second building and we were actually located in two facilities, about a mile apart. But you may as well be 20 miles apart or 50 miles apart-it doesn’t matter because you’re always running back and forth. So we built a larger facility. We were able to pick up some ground where we built the new building and still have an additional three acres for expansion. We expect to be here for a while, but additional land gives us the opportunity for further growth.