When compared to other layout optimization software packages, Fully Automated Optimization, Unbeaten Performance and Unmatched Functionality highlight as the most distinctive features of VIP-PLANOPT. It is a practical and efficient tool for industrial facility layout designers. It can solve large problems of up to 1000 departments on a PC with a speed no other optimization algorithm can match and with guaranteed lowest cost layouts.


Easy Data Entry

VIP--PLANOPT minimizes the modeling and data input time. Most of the input requires just a few clicks of the mouse. To facilitate the process even more, VIP-PLANOPT provides meaningful tool tips guiding the engineer throughout the data entry phase.

Minimum User Interaction

The required input is basically simple and consists only of dimensions/areas of modules, and flow/cost matrix. VIP-PLANOPT does not require any initial design or user-specified tuning parameters. It generates layouts free from overlaps without any user interaction.

Optimum Orientation

VIP-PLANOPT can determine the optimum orientation of departments that have user-specified fixed dimension. Such departments are called Hard Modules . For departments with variable dimensions called Soft Modules VIP-PLANOPT determines the best possible dimensions. User can mix the two types of modules and optimize.

Pick-up and Drop-off Points

VIP-PLANOPT user can specify pick-up and drop-off points anywhere inside or on the boundary of a department with a click of the mouse pointer. Optimization produces the lowest cost layouts for the user-specified pick-up and drop-off points. Pick-up and drop-off points are indicated by green and red triangles in the display of optimal layouts.

Anchored Module

Layout designers require optimal layouts for departments of shape and dimensions they want and not the other way around. VIP-PLANOPT produces optimal layouts that exactly satisfy this requirement. Similarly, departments tagged as Anchored by the user are kept precisely and strictly at the user-specified locations in the optimal layouts.

Composite Boundary Shape

Restricting the layout to be within a boundary of given shape is required in some applications. PLANOPT allows the user to impose this constraint. The user may specify any boundary shape. The only restriction is that the boundary shape is made of orthogonal line segments. All the user has to do is to point-and-click to specify the line segments.

Composite cost function

Composite cost function option allows the user to specify a weight on the area of the rectangle enclosing all the modules in the optimized layout. Optimization considers the constraints on maximum allowable module-to-module distance specified by the user.

Module Padding

Many applications require the departments to be separated from each other with empty space around them for reasons related to environment, safety, logistics etc. VIP-PLANOPT allows the user to specify padding of empty space around any number of departments. Optimal layouts are produced with empty spaces around the modules exactly as specified by the user.

Compare Alternative Layouts

Graphical display of the optimized layout allows the user to relocate any departments and compare the cost of alternative layouts. AutoCAD script file of the optimized layout is generated enabling the user to work on detailed design.

Forbidden Area Module (FAM)

VIP-PLANOPT has introduced a novel concept of Forbidden Area Module to model obstructions and non-usable spaces of a facility. An example is a lake or hill inside the boundary of a facility that does not contribute to any processing. Any flow specified by the user for a FAM is ignored during optimization or any cost calculations.

Upper Bound on Inter-department Distance

VIP-PLANOPT can optimize with user-specified upper bounds on distances between any pair of departments. This capability is useful in applications where certain departments must be kept within a given distance.

Negative Flow

VIP-PLANOPT allows the user to specify negative flow between any pair of departments. This capability is useful for applications where any two departments must be kept as apart as possible in the optimal layout.