All factories and warehouses are complex spaces, where different staff members have to carry out their roles, products flow between areas and machinery has to remain accessible and safe to use. This means that dividing the various parts of an industrial space is a major issue.
When factories are well defined by stairwells, handrails, painted floor markers and signs, they are safer, more efficient places. Where these dividing lines break down, they can become unsafe and unproductive. These are some things to think about when designing the layout of your industrial facility to get the balance just right.
Start by Planning Your Layout With CAD Packages
The first thing to do is source the right design tools. There are CAD packages that have been specifically designed for industrial organisations, which factor in the need for fire escape routes, communications cables, vehicle routes, loading platforms, ducting and lighting systems. Nowadays, you can visualise how your facility will look from an isometric perspective, and model how people and materials will flow between different areas.
Mark Out Machinery Flows on the Factory Floor
Wherever employees are handling heavy equipment, mark out safe routes for them to use that don't overlap with the routes of similar equipment. When you do so, paint is an option, but a much more flexible choice is to use ToughStripe industrial tape. This tape is designed to handle forklift trucks and has a powerful adhesive grip. It doesn't require time to dry and you can also remove and relay it if necessary, allowing you to accommodate changes in your production methods.
Install Handrails to Safely Mark Different Spaces
Along with floor markings, you also need to create physical barriers to the movement of equipment and people. Well-placed handrails are an excellent way to prevent workers moving cranes, trucks or trolleys into areas where they don't need to be. Handrails create a barrier between unqualified workers and dangerous machinery, and they can also provide viewing platforms for supervisors and safety officers. The railings you choose need to be strong, so go for stainless steel if possible. If you do need to add glass sheets to the design, use clamps that meet BS-EN 12600 standards to ensure they are as secure as can be.
Laying out a production facility is vital to ensuring that products are manufactured safely and efficiently. If you model the flow of materials throughout the production process, provide employees with well thought-out floor markings and use handrails wisely, you can achieve both of these goals.