Technology, Task Design and Process Layout

Technology, Task Design and Process Layout

Technology: the application of science or knowledge that enables people to do new things or perform established tasks in new or better ways.

  • Using the latest technology can help a business gain a competitive advantage.
  • Can allow businesses to operate more efficiently and effectively.

Manufacturing technologies include:

  • Robotics: a programmable machine capable of doing several different tasks.
  • Computer-aided design (CAD): a computerised design tool that creates products from a series of input data.
  • Computer-aided manufacturers (CAM): software that controls manufacturing process.


Task design: how a task is classified and how it is to be performed by breaking it down into a series of steps.

  • Demonstrates the interdependence of HR and Operations.

Process layout: the physical layout of machinery or equipment by their function. It deals with high-variety, low volume production.

  • Process layout is different to production line or production layout where equipment and activities are organised in sequence.

Product layout: for mass production (assembly line)

Fixed layout: when a product remains in one location due to its size.  Employees and equipment come to the product.

Project production: deals with layout requirements for larger scale, bulky activities such as the construction of bridges, ships, aircraft, buildings. Employees and equipment come to the product.

Extract from Business Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2010 Board of Studies NSW.