The pattern and scope of interdepartmental circulation of items within a facility are depicted using a relationship chart (REL chart).

REL or cross charts are designed to gather data regarding facility department relationships. Such as the number of items transported every day from each department as well as which department receives them. This data can be utilised to determine the ideal relative position for every department, aiding with facility layout development. 

However, creating a REL chart on your own can be daunting, which is where REL chart templates come in handy.

Here’s one example:

Example Template #1

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The layout design is a crucial role in the current activity when a manufacturing system is built or enlarged. Manufacturers can reduce material-handling expenses, work-in-process, the total cost of production, and system efficiency by arranging facilities efficiently.

The facility plan includes an activity relationship diagram, commonly known as an affinity analysis diagram. An activity relationship chart is a table that shows the degree of similarity between all combinations of operations or departments. Each pair of departments in an ARC can be given 6 proximity ratings, and also 9 justifications for those scores.

Every pair of relationships is rated in terms of intimacy (A, E, I, O, U, and X). There are N(N-1)/2 evaluations when analysing activity relationships for N activities. The rationale for the assigned rating is expressed using a number code, except for the U rating.

Closeness ratings are a ranking of how important “closeness” is to you. The A and X ratings, in particular, are seen to be the most important. As a result, any layout must meet the A and X classifications. Therefore, A and X > E > I > O > U, where > denotes “more significant than.”

Rating symbols

The rating symbols are as follows:

A: Absolutely necessary 

E: Especially important 

I: Important

O: Ordinary closeness OK

U: Unimportant

X: Undesirable

Reason codes

The following are the reason codes:

  • Same table
  • Flow of material
  • Service
  • Convenience
  • Inventory control
  • Communication
  • Same personnel
  • Cleanliness
  • Flow of parts

Rule of thumb

A rule of thumb is used to limit the number of rating letters available:

  • Only a small percentage of A and X associations (less than 5%) should be allocated.
  • E should make up no more than 10% of the total.
  • I should make up no more than 15% of the total.
  • O should account for no more than 20% of the total.
  • About half of the relationships should be with U.

Hierarchical approach

The sizes, forms, and relative positions of departments or other designated activities are first determined when creating block designs, or block layouts. To build block plans and elaborate layouts, several REL charts are required. The existence of various relationships that will affect the style of the layout can make the process of creating an operation relationship chart more difficult.

Example Template #2

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You can make an activity relationship diagram out of the REL chart. The goal is to show how the activities are related spatially. The core assumption is that geographic closeness can be exploited to meet certain relationship needs. When activity relations represent the magnitudes of material flows, for instance, pairings of activities with the highest pairwise flow are situated near to each other. Likewise, A-rated activities are clustered together.

Example Template #3

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Graph-based process

A circle, a node, or a vertex represents each activity. Linking the various nodes or vertices with lines, connections, or edges indicates activities that must be adjacent.

The activity relationship diagram or graph is the result of this representation of activities and relationships. 

A graph is flat if its vertices are points in space and each edge contacts neither any edges nor goes past no other vertices.

The graph must be planar for a layout to exist that meets the activity correlations represented in the graph.

Faces are the regions specified by a graph; the external face is the unbounded outer region. When two faces share a shared edge, they’re said to be neighbouring. The dual of a graph is an additional feature of it. Place a dual node for each vertex of the primal graph to create a planar graph’s dual. 

Link the respective dual nodes with an edge that intersects the edge that separates the primal faces when two faces are adjacent in primal. The REL diagram’s counterpart graph will be planar if it is a planar graph.

For a sufficiently big layout issue, determining the planarity of a graph is not easy. However, there are computer codes for doing so. More crucially, there is an upper limit on the number of nearby activities that can be paired together. There can only be 3N-6 pairs of activities contiguous if there are N activities. That is, if there are more than 3N-6 edges in the graph of adjacency connections, it is not planar. This is, however, a maximum limit. Non-planarity can be achieved by using fewer neighbouring activities in the examples.

The upper bound provides the following constraints on the multitude of initiatives if at least the majority of the linkages are U ratings. Planarity would not occur if all A, E, I, and O relationships has to be met through adjacency if there are more than ten departments concerned.

As a result, if the adjacency is the only way to satisfy closeness criteria for huge issues. It is possible that either A or A and E, relationships will suffice.

If only A relationships must be supplied by adjacency. The distribution of proximity ratings is 5% A, 10% E, 15% I, and 20% O, then 118 departments can be accommodated.

Only 38 departments can be accommodated if A and E relationships are satisfied through adjacency.

In the same way, only 18 departments can be fit to incorporate A, E, and I relationships.

The REL diagram can be developed in an organised manner using the graph-based technique. In activity-based block layouts, a graph-based method is extensively employed. It underlines the need of creating a planar graph of the REL chart to generate a block diagram that satisfies the linkages.

Graph-based process Limitations

Closeness can be interpreted as adjacency. This can lead to unusual department shapes to meet adjacency criteria. A planar graph cannot be drawn using a well-defined procedure.

The requirement for planarity is a constraint, just because a set of requirements cannot be met using a planar graph does not rule out the possibility of creating a block layout. It simply indicates that not all adjacency connections can be satisfied.

Designing a layout

Following the completion of the block layout, a space estimate is made.

This comprises room for machines, equipment, and products, among other things. The number of machines in operation and the production rate are used to estimate the number of human resources required. After that, diagrams of space relationships are drawn.

If you want your design to be more readable, use this one. It’s vibrant and appealing. You may quickly create your own relationship activity chart for your office or department using the following template, which will help you visualise relationships more easily.

Why use REL charts?

The following are some of the most compelling reasons to use REL charts.

  • Gives a visual representation of how all of your tables should relate, as well as the fields that will be present on each table.
  • With the help of REL charts, you acquire a better grasp of the information that will be present in the database.
  • It will assist you in defining terminology associated with entity relationships.
  • It aids in the description of entities, properties, and relationships.
  • One can use it as a model for integrating data into specific software applications.
  • Enables users to interact with the data’s logical structure.

REL Chart Templates

We’ve listed several sorts of REL chart templates below to assist you with various scenarios:

Example Template #4

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Example Template #5

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Example Template #6

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Example Template #7

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Example Template #8

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Example Template #9

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Example Template #10

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Example Template #11

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Example Template #12

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Example Template #13

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Example Template #14

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Example Template #15

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Example Template #16

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Example Template #17

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Example Template #18

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REL charts will assist you in generating a stunning visual, whether it’s for a business or a service. You can choose any of the above to suit your needs and put it to the best possible use. REL chart templates are available in a variety of formats, including JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI.

Conclusion

A REL chart template is a visual representation of data. Statistical data as well as other vital information, such as how a specific system works, may frequently be explained rapidly and with minimal resource usage. Using a visual instead of a narrative-based technique is more effective.

The REL chart template’s main goal is to guarantee that the facility you’re developing has the shortest possible distance between two crucial facilities. If the prior activity has not been completed, the next activity cannot be completed. For example, instead of welding first and then painting, how about sending a chunk of metal to be painted first and then welded? As a result, the primary goal is to bring facilities closer together and shorten cycle times.