Z94.8 Facility Planning & Design

The facility planning & design section contains terms in the areas of facility layout, material handling and storage equipment, bar coding, and warehousing.  This revision of facility planning terminology is based upon the 1989 edition.   A minor number of terms were deleted, a significant number of term definitions were changed, a significant number of terms were added, and a bibliography was added.  Past subcommittee members, whose names are listed in the previous editions, are thanked for their development of a solid base of definitions.  Similarly, the efforts of the present subcommittee members are appreciated for their work in contributing to the expanded set of facility planning definitions.


Thomas A. Lacksonen, Ph.D., P.E.
Assistant Professor
Department of Industrial and Manufacturing
Systems Engineering
Ohio University


Mark H. Baldwin
Warehouse & Distribution System  Div.
Remstar International Inc.

Sunderesh S. Heragu, PH.D.
Assistant Professor
Decision Sciences and Engineering System
Rensselear Polytechnical Institute

Russell D. Meller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Auburn University

John Raab
Vice President, Marketing
Rapistan-Demag Corporation 


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ACCELERATION RESISTANCE. Inertial reaction opposing increase in speed of a vehicle.

ACCESSORY. Any supplemental device for an industrial truck that cannot be classified as an attachment.

ACCIDENT. Any unplanned occurrence which may result in damage to property or equipment, injury or illness to persons, and/or adversely affects an activity or function.

ACCORDION ROLLER CONVEYOR. A roller conveyor with a flexible latticed frame which permits variation in length. (See ROLLER CONVEYOR.)

ACCUMULATOR CONVEYOR. Any conveyor designed to permit accumulation of packages, objects, or carriers. May be roller, live roller, roller slat, belt, power-and-free, or tow conveyors. (See MINIMUM


ADDRESS. (l) A character or group of characters that identifies a register, a particular part of storage, or some other data source or destination. (2) To refer to a device or an item of data by its address.

AGV ROUTING. The act of determining the specific paths over which an automated guided vehicle must travel in a given time period and programming the controller to execute the travel path.

AIM. Automatic Identification Manufacturers, Inc.

AIRBILL. A nonnegotiable shipping document used by U.S. airlines for domestic air freight. It contains shipping instructions, a description of the commodity and applicable transportation charges. May be used as through documents for coordinating other transportation.

AIR CARGO. In the United States, goods transported by air mail, air freight or air express. In other countries, air freight only.

AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT. Any accident that occurs between the time the aircraft engine(s) is started with the intent of flight until the aircraft comes to rest with engine(s) stopped upon completion of flight.

AIR-FLOAT CHAIN CONVEYOR. A chain and roller conveyor in which the chain is supported by an inflatable air hose to control and minimize line pressure.

AIR FREIGHT. Air cargo service for the transport of goods not classified as air mail or air express.

AIR FREIGHT FORWARDER. An agent who collects, ships and distributes cargo under his or her own tariff usually consolidating the cargo into a larger unit that is tendered to the airline. Clearing of cargo through Federal Customs may be handled by the agent.

AIR MAIL. Mail service having priority over all other air cargo.

AIR PARCEL POST. Air mail weighing more than eight ounces and not exceeding 70 pounds and 100 inches in combined length and girth. In common practice, Air parcel post is most widely used for packages of five pounds or less.

AIR WAYBILL. A nonnegotiable shipping document used for air freight.

AISLE. That space used to accommodate the movement of people, material, firefighting apparatus and/or equipment.

AISLE CAPTIVE AS/RS. A person-on-board or automated storage/retrieval device that is designed or restricted to travel within a specific aisle.

AISLE TO AISLE S/R DEVICE. A person-on-board or automated storage/retrieval device that is able and allowed to travel from aisle to aisle. 

AISLE TRANSFER CAR. A machine or vehicle for transferring an S/R machine from aisle to aisle, which normally runs on a rail or rails.

ALTERNATE CAPACITY. A capacity, other than basic capacity, that adjusts for variations such as load center, fork height, and application of an attachment.

APPROVED INDUSTRIAL TRUCK. A truck that is listed or approved for fire safety purposes for the intended use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory using nationally recognized testing standards.

APRON. A series of pans or plates pivotally attached to one another to form the conveying medium of a conveyor.

APRON CONVEYOR. A conveyor in which a series of pans or plates, attached to a chain or pivotally attached to one another, form the moving bed.

AREA. Length X width space required for a department or facility.

AREAWAY. An open subsurface space, exterior and adjacent to the building, used to admit light or air, or as a means of access.

ARM CONVEYOR. A conveyor consisting of an endless belt, one or more chains, to which are attached projecting arms, or shelves, for handling packages or objects in vertical or inclined path.

ARM TO COLUMN CONNECTOR. A bracket affixed to the arm, which is used to attach a complete arm to a column.

ASME TYPE LP GAS CYLINDER. A fuel container for liquefied petroleum gas made and inspected under the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, for Unfired Pressure Vessels. Where used for storage of an industrial truck's fuel supply, it may be permanently affixed to the vehicle or removable.

ASPECT RATIO. (1) The ratio of height-to-width of a bar code symbol. A code twice as high as wide would have an aspect ratio of 2; a code twice as wide as high would have an aspect ratio of 1/2, or 0.5. (2) Maximum of L/W ratio and W/L ratio.

AS/RS RACK. A rack with bar codes and other special attachments and surfaces that can be used by a storage /retrieval device.

ASSEMBLY SERVICE (AIR TRANSPORT). A service under which an airline consolidates shipments from many shippers and transports them as one shipment to one receiver.

ATTIC. The space between the ceiling framing of the top story and the roof framing.

AUTOMATED ELECTRIFIED MONORAIL (AEM). A conveyor system on which each individual vehicle is powered by its own on-board electric drive unit.

AUTOMATED STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM (AS/RS). A combination of equipment and controls which handles, stores, and retrieves materials with precision, accuracy and speed under a defined degree of automation. Systems vary from relatively simple, manually controlled order-picking machines operating in small storage structures to giant, computer-controlled storage/retrieval systems totally integrated into the manufacturing and distribution process. Vertical heights of these latter systems can exceed 100 feet.

AUTOMATIC  COUPLER. A trailer connection that may be connected without manual actuation.

AUTOMATIC DISPENSER. A sortation system in which small items are manually stacked up on the exterior of an A frame in their respective columns and dispensed by a computer-controlled mechanism.

AUTOMATIC GUIDED VEHICLE SYSTEM (AGVS). A vehicle equipped with automatic guidance equipment, either electromagnetic or optical. Such a vehicle is capable of following prescribed guide paths and may be equipped for vehicle programming and stop selection, blocking, and any other special functions required by the system.


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