Saturday, December 7, 2013
Whether it’s a screw or an automobile, they are all manufactured in factories. These factories house massive machines that manufacture products we use on a daily basis. If you were to take a trip inside one of these places, you’d be flabbergasted by the scale of production. ‘Mega Factories’ is a show on Nat Geo that provides you access to some of the largest factories in the world. When companies need to manufacture products for a global consumer base, they require factories of Titanic proportions. Here we take a look at the 4 largest factories in the world. So take a step back if you want to view the bigger picture.
NASA Vehicle Assembly Building
When you’re assembling a rocket ship bound for the moon, you require some extra space. The Vehicle Assembly Building is the largest single story building in the world. It was built for the vertical assembly of the Saturn V rocket used in the Apollo program. This was one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. At 348,000 square feet, it has its own weather, with rain clouds forming below the ceiling on humid days. You’ve got to hand it to NASA, when they build something, they build it big.
Meyer Werft Dockhalle 2
Ever been on a luxury cruise ship? Seen how big they are? Imagine the magnitude of the place these wonders are built. The Meyer Werft Dockhalle 2 is the largest dry dock used for the construction of luxury cruise ships. It occupies 678,000 square feet of space. Picture the mammoth ships that sail out of here. About 700 cruise ships have been constructed in this dock, including two for the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. So, big ships aren’t the only thing built here, big dreams and big fantasies are built here too.
Jean-Luc Lagardere Plant
Where is the largest airliner in the world built? The Jean-Luc Lagardere Plant, that’s where. Airbus wanted to compete with Boeing for the large aircraft market, so they designed the Airbus A380. When they needed 1.32 million square feet to build the aircraft, they came to this plant situated in Toulouse, France. The pride of the skies couldn’t have been built any other place. Airbus has received 262 orders for the A380. Looks like the Jean-Luc Lagardere Plant is going to have its hands full completing this order. With all the space they have, they could probably build two of these giant aircrafts side by side. Imagine the laser alignment systems that’ll have to be used for that.
Boeing Everett Factory
Airbus may own the biggest aircraft, but Boeing owns the biggest factory. After the success of the 747, Boeing acquired a $525 million contract from Pan American Airlines. With that money Boeing went shopping and bought 780 acres of land for their new factory, which was previously operated by the U.S. Army during the Second World War. This factory is responsible for churning out 747s, 767s, 777s and 787s, that fly passengers from across the world. After all, it is the largest building in the world.
These factories aren’t just big, they’re ginormous. Considering the fact that these factories manufacture vehicles that navigate oceans, skies and space is just the icing on the cake.
Ben Parker, the writer of this article, works at AquipSystems, providers of laser shaft alignment services and local engineering support. Ben is a huge MMA fan and hits the local dojo on the weekends.