A factory (previously manufactory) or manufacturing plant is an industrial site, usually consisting of buildings and machinery, or more commonly a complex having several buildings, where workers manufacture goods or operate machines processing one product into another.
Factories arose with the introduction of machinery during the Industrial Revolution when the capital and space requirements became too great for cottage industry or workshops. Early factories that contained small amounts of machinery, such as one or two spinning mules, and fewer than a dozen workers have been called "glorified workshops.
Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production. Large factories tend to be located with access to multiple modes of transportation, with some having rail, highway and water loading and unloading facilities.
Factories may either make discrete products or some type of material continuously produced such as chemicals, pulp and paper or refined oil products. Factories manufacturing chemicals are often called plants and may have most of their equipment, consisting of tanks, pressure vessels, chemical reactors and pumps and piping located outdoors and are operated by personnel in control rooms. Oil refineries are similar to chemical plants in that most equipment is outdoors.
Discrete products may range from parts to components and assemblies which are made into final products elsewhere or they may make final products. Factories may start from parts supplied from elsewhere or may make parts from raw materials. Industries making continuous materials, sometimes called process industries, typically use energy, usually heat, electricity or both, to transform raw materials into finished product.
The term mill properly refers to milling of grain, which which was usually done by water power from ancient times until displaced by steam power in the 19th century. Because many processes like spinning and weaving, iron rolling, and paper manufacturing were originally powered by water, the term survives such as steel mill, paper mill, etc.
Other articles related to "factory":
... on July 8, 2007, at Boeing's Everett assembly factory, by which time it had reached 677 orders this is more orders from launch to roll-out than any previous wide-body airliner ... Final assembly is at the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington ... Assembly is also taking place at a new factory in North Charleston, South Carolina ...
... increased output was met by building new factories in Crewe and Glasgow and using a purpose-built factory of Ford of Britain in Trafford Park ...
... The town grew after World War II together with a lime factory which later produced bricks ... At its peak the factory employed about 1,000 people. 1990 declaration of independence, the factory faced severe financial difficulties while shifting from planned economy to free market ...
... Halda was founded in 1887 by the factory owner Henning Hammarlund (1857-1922) in order to primarily produce pocket watches ... Sweden determined to start a Swedish pocketwatch factory ...
... creamery in the village, often called the cheese factory, was founded by the Duke of Devonshire in the 1870s it was one of the three sources of Stilton, and also produced its own unique ... The factory was closed in 2009 after being sold by Dairy Crest to the Long Clawson Dairy Company ... The cheese shop associated with the factory has re-opened under private ownership ...
Famous quotes containing the word factory:
“I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I dont know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerks factory who experiment and learn how.... In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four-and-twenty hours.”
—Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (18351910)
“I cannot believe that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing. The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that the corporations may be enriched.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“... you can have a couple of seconds to rest in. I mean seconds. You have about two seconds to wait while the blanker is on the felt drawing the moisture out. You can stand and relax those two secondsthree seconds at most. You wish you didnt have to work in a factory. When its all you know what to do, thats what you do.”
—Grace Clements, U.S. factory worker. As quoted in Working, book 5, by Studs Terkel (1973)