Layout Optimization: More Than Automation
Optimizing your plant goals and objectives
- October 31, 2022
What does it mean for you to achieve optimized layouts? What is the potential and actual value of efficient, profitable line layouts?
We previously spoke with OEMs and end users to better understand how layout experience and design expertise can create a valuable foundation for layout optimization. Now we’re ready to take it one step further.
To better understand the real-world implications and benefits of layout optimization experience and design expertise, we spoke with Jean-Pierre Dhermies, Royal Canin Commissioning, Validation, and Startup Manager.
Prioritizing End User Needs
Meeting and exceeding plant goals and objectives are the highest priorities of what layout optimization can offer you. The value that experienced layout optimization experts provide is ensuring your plant is more efficient than when they got there. “While our entire line is not automated, the system is designed well and automated where needed most,” says Dhermies. “Our workers can work in better conditions as a direct result of layout optimization.”
“A layout optimization partner needs to help achieve your goals and meet your business needs,” says Dhermies. “At one of our plants, we did not have enough space in our layout for a case packer and were not able to automate the palletization area of our plant; we were managing with manual palletizing. The reason why we were able to manually box effectively was because the areas of our plant before the palletizer were optimized efficiently with that in mind.”
Layout optimization experts at Intralox provided us with all the information, support, and expertise we needed to select the best equipment and OEM partner to achieve our goals on our terms.Jean-Pierre Dhermies
Royal Canin Commissioning, Validation, and Startup Manager
Layout optimization experience and design expertise aren’t simply about automating every aspect of your plant. At their core, they’re about optimizing your business and making sure you’re prepared for the future, whatever that may be. “What impresses us most about a layout optimization partner is the ability to creatively and with precision help us meet our needs, regardless of any obstacles that may exist,” says Dhermies.
Project Time Savings
Time is the potential nemesis with any project. You could be affected by high installation times, long project cycles, and increased downtime and startup time as the result of a poorly designed layout. It is important to consider when you incorporate layout optimization in your project life cycle. A project may take longer if layout optimization is introduced in the middle or toward the end of the project.
“The reality is, losing time on a project cannot happen,” says Dhermies. “After initial consultation, how quickly can you deliver an effective and optimized design for our line? Once that is achieved, how clear can you make the design so we can understand exactly what we need to do to implement the layout?”
Layout optimization experts in your industry will be able to quickly—and precisely—design a layout that achieves your goals with minimal business interference and reduce the risks associated with time.
In addition to expert consulting, physics-based simulation tools and other 3D renderings add to potential project time savings. Dhermies has had direct experience with this: “We are not the layout optimization experts, that is why we look to them for clarity. When our layout optimization partners show us 3D renderings of a proposed layout, we often find aspects of the project that we did not fully understand and potential issues we were not planning for. The value this adds to our project timelines is priceless.”
Team Tip: When working with layout optimization partners on a project, it is easier to understand and conceptualize the implications of the project—as well as identify potential gaps—in 3D compared to 2D.
Great layout optimization service needs experience and design expertise, but the value created does not—and should not—stop there. That experience and design knowledge ultimately need to translate into actionable and measurable benefits with lasting value to you, your team, and your business.
You can see the added value of increased functionality, reduced costs, and improved overall performance in a single application or within an entire line and achieve results not possible with traditional technologies by working with Intralox layout optimization experts in the early stages of your project.