Test Laboratory Amalgamation Layout

Schefenacker Vision Systems Australia (SVSA) in Lonsdale manufactures Passenger Vehicle Exterior & Interior Rear View Mirrors, Light Truck Rear Mirrors, Motor Mechanisms for Electric Motors and Door Handles. Schefenacker Lighting Systems Australia (SLSA) in Taree manufactures Tail Lamps, Turn Signals, High Mounted Stop Lamps, Interior Lighting and Small Lamps. Both of these divisions have their own laboratory where usage and environmental tests are performed on the product. The tests performed are comparable to normal usage of the product over ten years. SVSA, Lonsdale has expanded their testing in the last year. Testing of a new mirror family which is larger than earlier mirrors has resulted in investment of new test equipment and a split of the laboratory in May 2006 into two facilities. One new test laboratory area was created on Aldershot Road 500m from the laboratory area on Sheriffs Road. To make the laboratory more effective an amalgamation of these two laboratories and the photometric laboratory in Taree is planned in the beginning of 2007.

The aim for this project is to recommend one layout for a new amalgamated laboratory, planned with a view towards Lean Production.

The new layout shall fit in an allotted area of 1006 m2 in the warehouse on Aldershot Road, which belongs to SVSA, Lonsdale. The facilities that will be included in the amalgamation are the existing laboratory facility on Sheriffs Road and the additional laboratory facility already located on Aldershot Road, and the photometric facility from the test laboratory in Taree.

The methods used for achieving the layout are Simplified Systematic Layout Planning, data collection, literature studies and benchmarking.

Two detailed layouts were developed and evaluated. Layout1-room has one temperature controlled room located in the middle of the warehouse, with equipment for testing the performance. Layout2-open has two open areas, one for new planning of performance and durability, and one area for the durability test planned for the flow of the new mirror family already existing on Aldershot Road. The layouts include areas for reception, offices, employee rooms, goods reception and delivery, vibration room, sound room, dust room and the photometric laboratory from Taree. These two layouts were both adequate for the laboratory business and a final evaluation between theses two were necessary. The two layouts were very similar in function and the cost for investment and running becomes the knock-out factor. Layout 1-room was most appropriate in all issues for the amalgamation and is the one recommended.

Additionally a further recommendation is to install a well functional heating and cooling system and the purchase of work benches with adjustable height giving space for legs, knees and feet when standing work is performed.

Author: Johansson, Matilda; Julin, Anna-Karin

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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