Factory - Term Overview


A factory is a physical or virtual place where some type of good or service is systematically produced. The main purpose of a factory is to produce or generate, depending on how you look at it.

In other words, we can say that it can be treated from an industrial plant with an established production chain. Or, on the other hand, it can also be a digital room that houses ideas or projects that lead to a final product.

Types of factories

Depending on the activity a factory is engaged in, one or more of these types will belong:

  • Factories depending on the system. Factories necessarily have a systematic form of organization, which can be, in turn, of the following types:
    • Continuous character. That is, uninterrupted production 24 hours a day.
    • Discontinuous character. If production is interrupted by rest intervals.
    • By order. When it depends on the demand for the good by the customer, a number of orders are made.
  • Heavy factories: Try to convert raw or raw materials into semi-finished or semi-processed products.
  • Light factories: In this case, the semi-finished products of the heavy factories become final or finished products.
As we can see, a factory can have a continuous, discontinuous or on-demand system and in turn be light or heavy.

The factory in the economy

The term factory began to have a special boom at the time of the industrial revolution. A time in which European powers such as the United Kingdom, France or Germany entered fully into a time in which work in the countryside was losing importance favoring the emergence of large cities.

Industrial factories in this case were the predominant ones, since they were dedicated to producing components and even transforming raw materials into products. These are the case of the textile, steel or assembly factories, which enabled high economic growth with the consequent change of life at the social level that this entailed.

Factory examples

To better understand the concept, several examples will be presented below:

- Continuous heavy factory: natural gas or oil extraction plant.
- Discontinuous heavy factory: cement production plant.
- Heavy factory on request: furniture manufacturing plant.
- Continuous light factory: biological pharmaceutical plant.
- Light discontinuous factory: sausage production plant.
- Light factory on request: car assembly plant.

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