Product Layout: A Comprehensive Guide In 6 Important Points


Every organization will run for the basic motto of earning profit. This can be done only by providing qualitative products in more quantity. So producing those products need proper planning, mechanism, etc. Among all those processes, product layout is one of the major tasks to be done. So in this article, we may explore, what is a product layout? what are its features? the pros and cons of these product layouts.

  1. What is Product Layout
  2. Characteristics of product layout
  3. Types
  4. Product layout and Process Layout
  5. Advantages and Disadvantages of product layout
  6. Examples

1. What is Product Layout

product layout product layout

If we look at the product layout meaning, it explains various missions which work before and which work after to produce the whole product as an output. It is like the end product of the previous machine will become the source product of the next machine.

Define product layout,

The product layout can be defined as an arrangement or a mechanism of various machines run to produce the final product in a prescribed order.

In general, we can find these product layouts in the manufacturing units. Usually, the product layouts are either linear or u-shaped in design. In the product layouts, the linear arrangements are again divided into two types. One is paced lines and the other one is non-paced lines.

2. Characteristics of product layout

product layout product layout

The features of the product layout are quite qualitative and impressive to produce various products. Some of the characteristics are explained by Harald T Amrine. So let’s have a glance at them.

  • It involves huge equipment to produce the product.
  • The machines available in the product layout are semi-skilled because each machine can perform only a certain part of the whole production.
  • Sophisticated machines are used here.
  • The linear arrangement of product layout may be either paced or non-paced.
  • It requires huge amounts of investments to purchase machines.
  • The product layouts are required more physical work than that of technical skill.

3. Types

In the field of the manufacturing industry, we have different kinds of layouts. Each has its positives and negatives. The available types of layouts are,

Process layout:- These layouts involve various processes and machines but they may not be continuous. It also has the flexibility to place the machines at various locations and each machine produces different products.

Product layout:- Product layout is another type of layout that has a structured arrangement of various machines that work for a single kind of product.

Cellular layout:- These layouts are also known as group layouts. the machines work with the similarities, will make into a group or a single set of departments and placed at one location. It is nothing but a cellular layout.

Fixed-position layout:- These layouts are fixed in one place. They cannot be moved further. These are usually occupied by very huge industries and machinery. Battleships, hospitals, etc come under this category.

Combination Layout:- it is also known as a hybrid layout. Because it is a combination of three layouts namely process, product, and fixed position layouts. Certain industries and diversified companies may opt for these kinds of layouts. Because they involve the manufacturing process of raw materials and producing various kinds of products etc.

4. Product layout and Process Layout

Even though both the product layout and process layout show their significance and several similarities, a few differences are also available between them. These differences need to know when choosing which layout is perfectly apt for a particular industry.

Product layout has a structured arrangement of various machines that concentrate on producing a single kind of final product. Here the output of One machine at one step will become the input for the other machine. Whereas the process layout has various missions but each mission can produce different products and there is no restriction that it should be continuous.

The product layout requires a huge investment and a wide space to arrange the equipment. On the other hand, process layout doesn’t require much investment and one can choose multiple locations to place different machines.

The product layout is perfectly suitable for large-scale industries and the continuous process. In contrast, the process layout is suitable for small-scale industries.

The product layout has less flexibility and paperwork. It doesn’t require much skill also. But, the process layout is more flexible and requires clean employees to monitor specific machines.


The diagram of the product layout is shown below. As it is known that the product layouts may be either linear or u-shaped. It depends on the arrangement of machines and their sequential order.

5. Advantages and Disadvantages of product layout

product layout product layout

The product layouts are widely used in manufacturing units. They often work for producing qualitative products by following step-by-step procedures. Among all other layouts, product layout is one of the best suitable options for large-scale industries.

The advantages of product layout are

  • product layout is preferably used for several continuous processes industries because of automated work.
  • The product layout also requires less manpower when compared to other industries.
  • It involves the optimization of land resources and financial resources.
  • Very less scope for manual mistakes with the product layout.
  • It doesn’t require much scheduling and manpower.
  • Most of the work has been done by automated machines and no need to move them from one place to another.

Along with the benefits, a few limitations are also owned by the product layout. So,

The disadvantages of product layout are,

  • The product layout cannot assure the maximum utilization of all machines.
  • The product layout requires huge amounts of investment and large space to place the equipment.
  • Frequent disturbances like repairs, power fluctuations, etc will be faced by the product layout.
  • The product layout requires human resources for the supervision process. And they need to pay high amounts for them.
  • It is not easy to expand the product layout which becomes a risk factor for the growth of an organization.

6. Examples

The product layout examples are majorly manufacturing units and continuous processes. Certain industries like sugar, paper, and cement are the best examples. Also, automobile industries and electronic appliances like printers, and refrigerators were using these product layouts for manufacturing. Our daily needs like food, paper, etc manufactured which is the help of product layout. The product layouts are preferably used for large-scale industries having continuous processes.


Thus the product layout definition explains that a product layout is a systematic approach to arranging different machines in a sequential order to provide products. From the product layout diagram and product layout design, it is clear that it is either line or a U-shaped structure. So before choosing a layout for initiating an industry, it is very important to learn and get an awareness of each layout and the differences between those layouts to get productive results.

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