363-1117-00L  Factory Planning and Design

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersR. Binkert, T. Netland
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThis course deals with the complex process of planning and designing manufacturing factories and warehouses, from idea conception to operation. It provides students theoretical knowledge as well as practical insights into various aspects that need to be considered when managing factory planning and design projects.
ObjectiveThe general objective of this course is to enable students to effectively participate in real factory planning and design projects. Specifically, after completing this course:
1. Students can outline the basic factors to be considered when planning a new factory.
2. Students can explain and apply methods for factory planning and design.
3. Students can identify issues and difficulties in factory planning and design.
4. Students can select suitable material handling systems.
5. Students have a basic understanding of the tasks and how to face them when a new factory and its systems are being built and put into operation.
ContentThe planning and design of factories and warehouses is a truly interdisciplinary task and a central activity for any manufacturer and logistics service provider. A factory is much more than just a building or a working space. Factory planning and design is a strategic task that will have a long-lasting effect on a business’ ability to create value. Many aspects must be carefully considered. Among the most important ones are location, size, capacity, technology, factory floor layout, materials flow, resources flow, human factors, and construction aspects.

In this course, students will learn about the planning and design of factories through the introduction of theory and real-life examples. Basic principles of this discipline will be introduced and discussed in class. Students will learn concepts about project methodologies, layout planning, process management, materials flow, and building specifications. In addition, various real project examples will be presented.

In the beginning of this course, students will be given a realistic factory planning and design case which they solve through group work. The necessary knowledge and methods to solve the case will be covered throughout the course. Finally, the groups hand in their solution in written form and present their solution in class.

This course is taught by a practitioner with longstanding project experience in planning and designing factories all over the world and in different industries. Students are encouraged to reflect upon the course content and actively engage in class discussions.
Lecture notesLectures notes by René Binkert.
LiteratureWiendahl, H-P; Reichart, J. and Nyhuis, P. (2015) Handbook Factory Planning and Design, Springer Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. ETH has full e-access at Link
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course Production and Operations Management is highly recommended, but not a prerequisite.