Factories are imperative to the success of the manufacturing, processing, and assembly industries. Companies access large markets by identifying viable products and constructing factories for mass production. Large factories allow companies to produce in mass and at the same time reduce costs. Large organizations such as NASA, Toyota, Volkswagen, Walmart, FedEx, Amazon, and Boeing have large factories and assembly plants to cater for large volumes. The following are the largest factories in the world by area.
The Largest Factories in the World
The Boeing Everett Factory
The Boeing Everett Factory in Washington State is the largest factory in the world with a surface area of 398,000 m² (98.3 acres). It is the production site of the Boeing 767, 747, 777, and the 787 Dreamliner. The construction of the facility began in 1966 to satisfy the demand for the 747s. About 30,000 people work in the factory that also includes a museum, restaurants and coffee shops, a fire station, theatre, and a general store. A 2.33-mile long pedestrian tunnel runs underneath the factory.
The Jean-Luc Lagardere factory in Toulouse-Blagnac, France is the final assembly point of the Airbus A330. The factory pieces together parts of the aircraft manufactured across Europe and tests the plane before delivery. The plant covers 122,500 m² (494 acres). A 49-acre test runway is located outside the plant. Apart from the assembly line, the factory also houses restaurants and a fluid and energy production plant.
Boeing Composite Wing Center
The Boeing Composite Wing Center in Everett, Washington covers an area of 111,500 square meters (1.2 million square feet). It was completed in 2016 at a cost of $1 billion. The plant manufactures and assembles the composite wings for the Boeing 777X. It took 1,700 employees 4.2 million hours to complete the construction. The factory sits in the vicinity of another Boeing factory that produces the Boeing 777 series. It features three of the largest autoclaves in the world each big enough to fit two fuselages. Although the plant is operational, the first delivery of the Boeing 777X will be done in 2020.
Austal USA in Blakeley Island, Alabama, is the American branch of the Australian shipbuilding company Austal. The company sits on 467,000m² of land, but the assembly yard is 53,000m². The factory, including the assembly yard, administrative offices, and support facilities, covers about 68,250 m2 (734,600 square feet). The plant assembles commercial ships and boats as well as combat vessels for the United States navy.
NASA Vehicle Assembly Building
The Vehicle Assembly Building is the largest building at the Kennedy Space Center. It covers an area of 32,374 m 2 (348,470 square feet). The building was design to assemble space vehicles such as the space shuttle and Saturn V. The construction was completed in 1966 and is the largest single-story building in the world.
The Largest Non-Factory Facility in the World
The Great Mosque of Mecca is the largest non-factory single facility in the world. The mosque is located in the Islam holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It covers an area of 356,000 m2 (3,830,000 square feet). The Great Mosque is currently undergoing an expansion project that is set to increase its capacity to about two million worshippers.