Flow Planner®

Material Flow Analysis

Flow Planner® ensures that facility layout changes are actual improvements.

Working within AutoCAD, Flow Planner® can automatically generate material flow diagrams and calculate material handling travel distances, time and cost. With variable-width lines color-coded by product, part or material handling method, users quickly see how layouts should be arranged and where excessive material handling should be eliminated from the manufacturing process. The ultimate result is a better factory layout faster.

Ask about the Core, Standard, and Pro versions of Flow Planner®.

Also available from the Autodesk Exchange App Store.


Common Areas and Tasks for Flow Evaluation Include:

  • Aisle design (location and sizing)
  • Dock quantity and placement
  • Off-line storage placement
  • Work station placement and replenishment design
  • Indirect labor requirements estimation
  • Plant traffic for intersection/aisle safety evaluation
  • Efficient handling methods selection (Fork, Conveyor, Crane, etc.)

Tugger (Tow-Train) Route Design:

  • Fast or Optimal Traveling Salesman Solver
  • Uniform, Triangular, Scheduled or Sequenced Delivery
  • Cart Capacity Calculation from Container Size or Quantity
  • Route Return Time and Volume
  • Fixed or Dynamic Route Definition
  • Multiple Plant Staging Area Support
  • Cart Load and/or Unload Analysis
  • Automatic AutoCAD Route Flow Calculation through Aisles 

Client Results Achieved:

  • Reallocated 59 material handling personnel, which generated a potential savings of $4.3 million annually.
  • Saved $1.3 million by integrating bar code and ID systems to evaluate inefficient flow.
  • Saved $1 million annually by reducing overhead and changeover time.
  • Improved drop zone assignments and reduced overall distance traveled by 3.6 million feet per year.
  • Improved manpower assignments and reduced the number of fork truck operators from 11 to 7.

  Spaghetti Diagram          Future State Spaghetti Diagram
     Current State Material Flow                  Future State Material Flow


Systematic Layout Planning

In addition, based on Richard Muther's Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) techniques, Flow Planner® diagrams, charts, and scores alternative designs using relationships between activities as the key measure of layout efficiency.  Relationships are assigned reason factors such as supervision, noise and dirt, energy requirements, shared equipment, and material flow intensity.  Since little up-front data gathering is required, multiple layouts can be created, scored, and analyzed in drastically less time than traditional, manual methods.


  • Variable width and color-coded relationship lines generated automatically from either adjacency and/or flow data for up to 256 unique activities
  • Intelligent layout-based relationship lines can be queried or filtered
  • Sophisticated layout scoring and comparison capabilities
  • Based on Richard Muther's Systematic Layout Planning techniques


  • Quick and easy generation of colorful and informative layout-based relationship diagrams
  • Sophisticated layout analysis with little to no data collection
  • Powerful analysis routines effortlessly score and compare layout routines quantitatively.

     Current State SLP Analysis          Future State SLP Analysis
       Current State SLP Analysis               Future State SLP Analysis




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Additional Documents


Popular Feature Details


Advanced Flow Analysis

There are many advanced flow utilities in Flow Planner® to help users improve flow analyses.



Eliminate Wasteful Moves

Flow Planner® is a factory wide product flow analysis tool that combines...



Flow Results

Flow Planner® generates a path file that summarizes data about routings, travel distances...



Interface Combines Layout with Routings

Creating material flow routings can be done..



Relationship Charts

Flow Planner® uses relationship data to automatically generate relationship charts, organizational tools for identifying relationships between areas in a plant.



Relationship Diagrams

Relationship Diagrams relate the various plant activities to each other visually and geographically to form the basic pattern of a layout.



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