Functional layouts are by far the most common layout you will find in organizations. These layouts can be seen in how machines and people are positioned. A functional layout is a workplace configuration in which operations/processes are organized by the type of work (function) they do.
For example, a manufacturing plant that has sanders in one area, saws in another and assembly in another is a functional layout. The machines are grouped according to the function they perform. Keep in mind that this same idea applies to office environments as well. Each functional group sits together in a work area and supports different product families, lines or teams. Another closely related term to functional layouts is departmentalization. This is where departments are established according to the work that they do. In Lean organizations activities and processes are established based on the process in an effort to establish flow throughout the organization.
Functional layouts are actually quite common in organizations that have not undertaken Lean as a strategy. Some believe that it is easier for people to manage fewer "functions". For example a machining department, a planning department, a financial department. One thing to consider when laying out machines is that the machine may support multiple families and or functions. In these cases, one may consider placement in a more functional manner. Nonetheless, if a functional layout is established you must also be aware that in most cases:
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