Protocol: Material flow risk evaluation for layout design

Aída Sáez Más, José P. García-Sabater


The need of design new layouts or redesign current situation to manufacture new products has increased principally due to changes in customer demand, on both variety aspects and quantity (Lu, Shpitalni, and Gadh, 1999). The complexity increase is also associated with the traffic generated by material handling equipment. This situation can be described as unsafe for workers. Many authors defend that during layout design/redesign a risk analysis is necessary. In contrast others believe that material flow analysis should be a mainly task during this step. Therefore, in this research both considerations have been integrated. So that it is proposed a protocol to evaluate the risk generated by material flow with handling equipment in manufacturing plants. This methodology identify the process steps and propose dimensions, measurables, tools and suggestions in order to analyse and reduce risk correctly. All the above aspects are validated in a case study of a complex assembly plant in the automotive sector.


Material Flow Analysis (MFA); Discrete Event Simulation (DES); Risk management; Facility layout; Traffic engineering

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