Warehouse Layout in Factory Design

In factory design, the warehouse is not only a place to store raw materials and finished products but also directly impacts the operational efficiency of the entire factory.

In factory design, the layout of the warehouse plays an extremely important role. The warehouse is not only a place to store raw materials and finished products but also directly impacts the operational efficiency of the entire factory. A well-designed warehouse helps to optimize space, ensure the safety of goods, and enhance the efficiency of transportation, organization, and inventory management. In this article, BIC explores the principles and methods for effective warehouse layout in factory design.

Designing a Warehouse in Factory Design

To design an effective warehouse, several factors need to be considered, including product type, quantity, size, turnover rate, and many other factors. A typical warehouse includes the following main areas:

1. Receiving Area

Function: The receiving area is the first gateway of the warehouse in factory design, where goods are received and quality-checked before entering the storage process. This ensures that only standard-compliant goods are accepted and stored in the warehouse.


- Location: Near dock doors or easily accessible areas for trucks and containers.

- Size: Large enough to handle the volume of incoming goods during busy shifts.

- Flexibility: Must be flexible to accommodate unexpected arrivals, especially during peak times.

2. Storage Area

Function: The storage area in factory design is the main place for managing and organizing goods to ensure quick flow and retrieval when needed.


- Space Optimization: Study the turnover rate of each type of goods to allocate high, medium, and low storage areas.

- Racking Systems: Use appropriate racking systems to optimize space and increase storage capacity.

- Categorization: Distribute goods according to the FIFO (First In, First Out) or LIFO (Last In, First Out) principles depending on the product characteristics.

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3. Dispatch Area

Function: The dispatch area in factory design is the hub for managing and distributing goods out of the warehouse as required.


- Strategic Placement: Located near storage and receiving areas to optimize the picking and packing process.

- Operational Efficiency: Design based on a logical workflow, from order receipt to dispatch, to minimize time and optimize throughput.

4. Lighting System

Function: The lighting system in the warehouse not only ensures safe and efficient working conditions but also saves energy costs.


- Type of Lights: Install industrial LED lights to provide even illumination and save energy.

- Arrangement: Ensure that the entire warehouse area is adequately lit with no dark spots.

Overall, warehouse design in factory design is not just about storage space but also includes balancing factors such as goods movement, space arrangement, and operational management to ensure efficient and safe operations.

Warehouse Layout in Factory Design

I-shaped Warehouse Design

The I-shaped layout is very suitable for warehouses with a large volume of goods. This design is set up in the shape of an “I,” with loading and unloading areas at one end and the transportation area at the other. Between these ends is the storage area, creating a smooth and efficient flow of goods.

In factory design, goods in the I-shaped warehouse are received and unloaded at the first area, where they are checked and classified before storage. This area must be fully equipped to quickly handle large volumes of goods, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted process.

The storage area is arranged in the middle of the warehouse, between the front and rear areas. Goods in this area are organized so that more frequently needed items are more accessible, usually at the outer edges. However, to optimize space and facilitate transportation, most products will be arranged along the warehouse's length. This makes moving goods from the storage area to the transportation area easier and more efficient.

The transportation area is located at the other end of the warehouse, where goods are prepared and ready for dispatch. Separating the transportation area from the receiving area helps minimize confusion and increase work efficiency.

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L-shaped Warehouse Design

The L-shaped warehouse design creates a flow in the shape of an “L,” offering convenience and efficiency in goods management. This layout optimizes space and storage processes, suitable for various types of warehouses.

In this design, loading and receiving areas are arranged on one side of the warehouse space, facilitating the immediate receipt and processing of goods as they enter the warehouse. Goods are received, checked, and classified immediately upon arrival. This layout helps the receiving process happen quickly and efficiently, reducing waiting time and congestion.

On the side, the dispatch and picking areas in factory design are arranged to optimize the outbound process. Goods, once prepared and packed, are transferred to this area for dispatch. The clear separation between receiving and dispatch areas helps avoid confusion and ensures scientific management of goods.

The remaining warehouse space is dedicated to the storage area. Depending on the type of goods and storage needs, this area can be divided into several sections to accommodate different types of goods. Placing the storage area in the center or rear of the warehouse helps optimize space and ease access when needed.

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U-shaped Warehouse Design

The U-shaped layout is an excellent solution for most warehouses thanks to its simple factory design and flexible application in various environments. This is one of the favored layouts for its effectiveness in optimizing storage and transportation processes.

In this layout, unloading and shipping areas are arranged side by side, facilitating the transfer of goods from outside into the warehouse and vice versa. Placing the receiving area right behind the unloading area helps ensure quick and convenient handling of goods. Similarly, the picking area is arranged right behind the shipping area, enhancing efficiency in preparing and transporting goods.

The receiving counter is where goods are sorted and inspected before being placed in their respective storage areas. This is an essential step to ensure that goods are stored correctly and can be easily located when needed. The storage area in the warehouse is divided into two main sections: dynamic storage and static storage.

- Dynamic Storage: Usually located in easily accessible positions and contains fast-moving or quickly dispatched goods. This helps minimize search and handling time, enhancing work efficiency.

- Static Storage: Holds goods with longer life cycles, often staying on shelves longer. These goods are usually less frequently moved and do not need to be placed in easily accessible positions like dynamic storage.

The U-shaped layout also supports the FIFO (First In, First Out) method, ensuring that goods received first are dispatched first. This is crucial in inventory management, especially for products with expiration dates or that are perishable. The FIFO method helps minimize the risk of obsolete or spoiled inventory, ensuring product quality upon customer delivery.

Overall, the U-shaped warehouse design in factory design not only optimizes storage space but also enhances operational efficiency, helping businesses manage goods scientifically and efficiently.

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Principles of Warehouse Design

Purpose of the Warehouse

Before designing a warehouse, clearly defining its purpose is crucial. This primary goal will guide decisions on size, area, structure, and other factors to ensure the warehouse operates efficiently and avoids wasting resources.

Warehouse Location

Choosing the right location before designing a warehouse in factory design is vital to ensure the convenience of goods transportation. Select a site with wide roads, close to key transport and public transport areas to minimize transportation time and costs.

After determining the location, the construction team will inspect the ground and propose the most suitable designs considering the natural and surrounding environmental conditions.

Storage Area Allocation

Dividing and organizing the storage area is an important step in warehouse design. Storage areas should be designed to match each type of goods, optimizing preservation and management.

Warehouse staff can easily identify and arrange goods in appropriate areas, reducing search and handling time. Less frequently used items are placed in narrow and less accessible areas, while high-turnover goods are allocated in easily accessible storage areas, ready for transport and sale.

Applying the FAST Method in Warehouse Layout and Design

The FAST method is a crucial concept in factory design and warehouse layout, comprising the following elements:

Flow: Organize activities logically and continuously to ensure efficient movement of materials, people, and goods, avoiding bottlenecks and interruptions.

Accessibility: Ensure all necessary items and tools are easily and quickly accessible. This includes setting appropriate storage areas and racking systems to optimize space use and enhance work efficiency.

Space: Design and use warehouse space optimally to ensure smooth storage and operational activities. Consider racking systems and space distribution to meet the needs of different types of goods and optimize workflows.

Throughput: Evaluate and optimize warehouse throughput to ensure it can meet peak demand levels, like during high production periods.

Applying the FAST method helps businesses design rational and efficient warehouses, optimizing production and goods management in storage environments. By adopting these principles, businesses can achieve flexibility and high efficiency in warehouse operations.

A standard and efficient warehouse design in factory design requires careful consideration of many factors such as location, area, storage, goods arrangement, and technology solutions. By applying reasonable warehouse layout principles and methods, managers can optimize space, enhance operational efficiency, and minimize risks for production activities.

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