Table of Contents
Journal of Industrial Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 2796806, 8 pages
Research Article

Development of a Layout Model Suitable for the Food Processing Industry

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa, 10400 Katubedda, Sri Lanka

Received 28 February 2016; Accepted 4 May 2016

Academic Editor: Björn Johansson

Copyright © 2016 W. N. C. Wanniarachchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The food processing industry is a subset of the manufacturing sector with unique challenges. Among these, ensuring food hygiene and preventing contamination are two issues of prime importance. Hence, designers have to overcome such challenges when designing facilities suitable for food processing. The paper formulates a model that simplifies the layout planning process for the food processing facilities (FPF) in order to help the designers. A generalised framework that helps to visualise the Facilities Layout Problem (FLP) was initially developed. A layout model for FPF was then developed considering the unique features that need to be present in the layout. The model classifies the areas of FPF into five: primary, secondary, utilities, warehouse, and administration based on the activities and the level of risk present in food processing. It further proposes specific locations for the five sections in the factory layout. In order to test the performance of the framework and the model, a case study was conducted in a malted milk powder processing facility in Sri Lanka by changing its layout according to the proposed model. The framework and the model showed promise in its implementation. However, the approach and the layout model need to be evaluated in further cases in order to ascertain their usability and performance.