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 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.
Max Weber considered production during ancient times as always strictly not warranting classification as factories, with methods of production and the contemporary economic situation incomparable to modern or even pre-modern developments of industry. In ancient times, the earliest production limited to the household, developed into a separate endeavour independent to the place of inhabitation with production at that time only beginning to be characteristic of industry, termed as "unfree shop industry", a situation caused especially under the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh, with slave employment and no differentiation of skills within the slave group comparable to modern definitions as division of labour.
According to translations of Demosthenes and Herodotus, Nancratis was a, or the only, factory in the entirety of ancient Egypt. A source of 1983 (Hopkins), states the largest factory production in ancient times was of 120 slaves within 4th century BC Athens. An article within the New York Times article dated October 13, 2011 states:
"In African Cave, Signs of an Ancient Paint Factory" - (John Noble Wilford )
Although The Cambridge Online Dictionary definition of factory states:
a building or set of buildings where large amounts of goods are made using machines 
... the utilization of machines presupposes social cooperation and the division of labour— von Mises 
The first machine is stated by one source to have been traps used to assist with the capturing of animals, corresponding to the machine as a mechanism operating independently or with very little force by interaction from a human, with a capacity for use repeatedly with operation exactly the same on every occasion of functioning. The wheel was invented circa 3000 BC, the spoked wheel c.2000 BC. The Iron Age began approximately 1200-1000 BC.
Archaeology provides a date for the earliest city as 5000 BC as Tell Brak (Ur et al. 2006), therefore a date for cooperation and factors of demand, by an increased community size and population to make something like factory level production a conceivable necessity.
According to one text the water-mill was first made in 555 by Belisarius, according to another they were known to Pliny the Elder and Vitruvius. By the time of th 4th century A.D. mills with a capacity to grind 3 tonnes of cereal an hour, a rate sufficient to meet the needs of 80,000 persons, were in use by the Roman Empire.
The Venice Arsenal provides one of the first examples of a factory in the modern sense of the word. Founded in 1104 in Venice, Republic of Venice, several hundred years before the Industrial Revolution, it mass-produced ships on assembly lines using manufactured parts. The Venice Arsenal apparently produced nearly one ship every day and, at its height, employed 16,000 people.[verification needed]
Industrial Revolution 
Many historians regard Matthew Boulton's Soho Manufactory (established in 1761 in Birmingham) as the first modern factory. (Other claims might be made for John Lombe's silk mill in Derby (1721), or Richard Arkwright's Cromford Mill (1772)—purpose built to fit the equipment it held and taking the material through the various manufacturing processes.) One historian, Jack Weatherford, contends that the first factory was in Potosí, for processing silver ingot slugs into coins, because there was so much silver being mined close by. Something like factory production began to occur in the United States of America during the 1780s, in New England and the Middle States' cotton industry.
Between 1820 and 1850, the non-mechanized factories supplanted the traditional artisan shops as the predominant form of manufacturing institution. Even though the theory on why and how the non-mechanized factories gradually replaced the small artisan shops is still ambiguous, what is apparent is that the larger-scale factories enjoyed technological gains and advance in efficiency over the small artisan shops.[verification needed] In fact, the larger scale forms of factory establishments were more favorable and advantageous over the small artisan shops in terms of competition for survival.[verification needed]
19th century 
The earliest factories (using the factory system were in the cotton textile industry. Later generations of factories included mechanized shoe production and manufacturing of machinery, including machine tools. Factories that supplied the railroad industry included rolling mills, foundries and locomotive works. Agricultural equipment factories produced cast steel plows and reapers. Bicycles were mass produced beginning in the 1880s.
In New England in the early to mid-19th century, many cotton and textile factories employed large numbers of female adolescent laborers from the New England area. The girls came from families of middling farmers. Factory employment offered an alternative to rural lifestyle, and many women labored, not only to send money back home, but to gain greater social & economic independence. They were able to earn enough at the factory to cover their living expenses and still have spending money and savings for dowries.
In 1834 New England textile factory owners decided to cut the wages of these young women in order to save money. In response, the young factory laborers organized turnouts (strikes) in an attempt to force their employers to raise wages again. These young women viewed themselves as equals to their managers. They saw their wage reductions as attempts to take away their economic independence and force them to become completely dependent upon factory employment for survival—to make them "slaves" to their employers. Because of bad timing and poor organization their 1834 factory turnout was unsuccessful, but it did lay the foundation for successful strikes that helped shape factory life in the future.
20th century 
Large scale electrification of factories began in the first decade of the 20th century after the development of the AC motor which was able to run at constant speed depending on the number of poles and the current electrical frequency. At first larger motors were added to line shafts, but as soon as small horsepower motors became widely available, factories switched to unit drive. Eliminating line shafts freed factories of layout constraints and allowed factory layout to more efficient.
Henry Ford further revolutionized the factory concept in the early 20th century, with the innovation of the mass production. Highly specialized laborers situated alongside a series of rolling ramps would build up a product such as (in Ford's case) an automobile. This concept dramatically decreased production costs for virtually all manufactured goods and brought about the age of consumerism.[verification needed]
In the mid- to late 20th century, industrialized countries introduced next-generation factories with two improvements:
- Advanced statistical methods of quality control, pioneered by the American mathematician William Edwards Deming, whom his home country initially ignored. Quality control turned Japanese factories into world leaders in cost-effectiveness and production quality.
- Industrial robots on the factory floor, introduced in the late 1970s. These computer-controlled welding arms and grippers could perform simple tasks such as attaching a car door quickly and flawlessly 24 hours a day. This too cut costs and improved speed.
Historically significant factories 
- Venetian Arsenal
- Cromford Mill
- Lombe's Mill
- Soho Manufactory
- Portsmouth Block Mills
- Slater Mill Historic Site
- Lowell Mills
- Springfield Armory
- Harpers Ferry Armory
- Nasmyth, Gaskell and Company also called the Bridgewater Foundry
- Baldwin Locomotive Works
- Highland Park Ford Plant
- Ford River Rouge Complex
- Hawthorne Works
Siting the factory 
Before the advent of mass transportation, factories' needs for ever-greater concentrations of laborers meant that they typically grew up in an urban setting or fostered their own urbanization. Industrial slums developed, and reinforced their own development through the interactions between factories, as when one factory's output or waste-product became the raw materials of another factory (preferably nearby). Canals and railways grew as factories spread, each clustering around sources of cheap energy, available materials and/or mass markets. The exception proved the rule: even greenfield factory sites such as Bournville, founded in a rural setting, developed its own housing and profited from convenient communications systems.[verification needed]
Regulation curbed some of the worst excesses of industrialization's factory-based society, a series of Factory Acts leading the way in Britain. Trams, automobiles and town planning encouraged the separate development of industrial suburbs and residential suburbs, with laborers commuting between them.
Though factories dominated the Industrial Era, the growth in the service sector eventually began to dethrone them:[verification needed] the focus of labor in general shifted to central-city office towers or to semi-rural campus-style establishments, and many factories stood deserted in local rust belts.
The next blow to the traditional factories came from globalization. Manufacturing processes (or their logical successors, assembly plants) in the late 20th century re-focussed in many instances on Special Economic Zones in developing countries or on maquiladoras just across the national boundaries of industrialized states. Further re-location to the least industrialized nations appears possible as the benefits of out-sourcing and the lessons of flexible location apply in the future.[verification needed]
Governing the factory 
Much of management theory developed in response to the need to control factory processes.[verification needed] Assumptions on the hierarchies of unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled laborers and their supervisors and managers still linger on; however an example of a more contemporary approach to handle design applicable to manufacturing facilities can be found in Socio-Technical Systems (STS).
Shadow factories 
A shadow factory is a term given to dispersed manufacturing sites in times of war to reduce the risk of disruption due to enemy air-raids and often with the dual purpose of increasing manufacturing capacity. Before World War II Britain had built many shadow factories.
British shadow factories 
Production of the Supermarine Spitfire at its parent company's base at Woolston, Southampton was vulnerable to enemy attack as a high profile target and was well within range of Luftwaffe bombers. Indeed on 26 September 1940 this facility was completely destroyed by an enemy bombing raid. Supermarine had already established a plant at Castle Bromwich; this action prompted them to further disperse Spitfire production around the country with many premises being requisitioned by the British Government.
Connected to the Spitfire was production of its equally important Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, Rolls-Royce's main aero engine facility was located at Derby, the need for 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 Manchester.
See also 
- Landes, David. S. (1969). The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present. Cambridge, New York: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-09418-6
- JR Love - Antiquity and Capitalism: Max Weber and the Sociological Foundations of Roman Civilization Routledge, 25 Apr 1991 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0415047501
- (secondary) JG Douglas, N Douglas - Ancient Households of the Americas: Conceptualizing What Households Do O'Reilly Media, Inc., 15 Apr 2012 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 1457117444
- M Weber - General Economic History Transaction Publishers, 1981 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0878556907
- Demosthenes, Robert Whiston - Demosthenes, Volume 2 Whittaker and Company, 1868 Retrieved 2012-07-12
- Herodotus (George Rawlinson- History of Herodotus John Murray 1862 Retrieved 2012-07-12
- (secondary) (E.Hughes ed) Oxford Companion to Philosophy - techne
- (P Garnsey, K Hopkins, C. R. Whittaker) - Trade in the Ancient Economy University of California Press, 1983 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0520048032
- John Noble Wilford (13 October 2011). "In African Cave, Signs of an Ancient Paint Factory". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
-  Retrieved 2012-07-12
- L von Mises - Theory and History Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 1933550198
- E Bautista Paz, M Ceccarelli, J Echávarri Otero, JL Muñoz Sanz - A Brief Illustrated History of Machines and Mechanisms Springer, 12 May 2010 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 9048125111
- JW Humphrey - Ancient Technology Greenwood Publishing Group, 30 Sep 2006 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0313327637
- WJ Hamblin - Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC: Holy Warriors at the Dawn of History Taylor & Francis, 12 Apr 2006 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0415255880
- Ur, J et al 2007 - Early Mesopotamian Urbanism : A new view from the North Harvard University Retrieved 2012-07-12
- (secondary) -  + 
- LAA Hope - The Tablet of Memory: Showing every memorable event in History, from the earliest period to the year 1817 G. Wilkie, 1818 Retrieved 2012-07-12
- TK Derry, (TI Williams ed) - A Short History of Technology: From the Earliest Times to A.D. 1900 Courier Dover Publications, 24 Mar 1993 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0486274721
- A Pacey - Technology in World Civilization: A Thousand-Year History MIT Press, 1 Jul 1991 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0262660725
- WM Sumner - Cultural development in the Kur River Basin, Iran: an archaeological analysis of settlement patterns University of Pennsylvania., 1972 →  Retrieved 2012-07-12
- Weatherford, Jack (1988). Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World. The Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 0-449-90496-2.
- S Armstrong - 5 Steps To A 5 AP U.S. History McGraw-Hill Professional, 13 Dec 2006 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0071476318
- JJ Spielvogel
- JJ Spielvogel - Western Civilization: A Brief History, Volume 2 Cengage Learning, 1 Jan 2010 Retrieved 2012-07-12 ISBN 0495571490
- Great Britain. Court of Exchequer, R Meeson, W Newland Welsby, E Wise, Great Britain. Court of Exchequer Chamber - Reports of cases argued and determined in the courts of Exchequer & Exchequer Chamber: from Hilary term, 6 Will. IV. to (Easter term, 10 Vict.) both inclusive. With tables of the cases and principal matters. (1836-1847) Retrieved 2012-07-12
- Thomas Dublin, Transforming Women’s Work: New England Lives in the Industrial Revolution (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1995), 77, 118.
- Thomas, Dublin(1995). "Transforming Women’s Work page: New England Lives in the Industrial Revolution 77, 118" Cornell University Press.
- Thomas Dublin, Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826–1860 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), 86–107.
- Thomas, Dublin(1981) "Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826–1860: Page 86–107" New York: Columbia University Press.
- Hunter, Louis C.; Bryant, Lynwood; Bryant, Lynwood (1991). A History of Industrial Power in the United States, 1730-1930, Vol. 3: The Transmission of Power. Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-08198-9.
- Price 1986, p. 115.
- Pugh 2000, pp. 192-198.
- Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 5, Part 1. Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.
- Thomas, Dublin(1995). "Transforming Women’s Work page: New England Lives in the Industrial Revolution 77, 118" Cornell University Press.
- Price, Alfred. The Spitfire Story: Second edition. London: Arms and Armour Press Ltd., 1986. ISBN 0-85368-861-3.
- Pugh, Peter. The Magic of a Name — The Rolls-Royce Story — The First 40 Years. Cambridge, England. Icon Books Ltd, 2000. ISBN 1-84046-151-9
- Thomas, Dublin(1981). "Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826–1860: Page 86–107" New York: Columbia University Press.
- Biggs, Lindy (1996). The rational factory: architecture, technology, and work in America's age of mass production. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-5261-9.
Further reading 
- Christian, Gallope, D (1987) 'Are the classical management functions useful in describing managerial processes?' Academy of Management Review. v 12 n 1, p38–51.
- Peterson, T (2004) 'Ongoing legacy of R.L. Katz: an updated typology of management skills', Management Decision. v 42 n10, p1297–1308.
- Mintzberg, H (1975) 'The manager's job: Folklore and fact', Harvard Business Review, v 53 n 4, July – August, p49–61.
- Hales, C (1999) 'Why do managers do what they do? Reconciling evidence and theory in accounts of managerial processes', British Journal of Management, v 10 n4, p335–350.
- Mintzberg, H (1994) 'Rounding out the Managers job', Sloan Management Review, v 36 n 1 p 11–26.
- Rodrigues, C (2001) 'Fayol’s 14 principles then and now: A plan for managing today’s organizations effectively', Management Decision, v 39 n10, p 880–889
- Twomey, D. F. (2006) 'Designed emergence as a path to enterprise', Emergence, Complexity & Organization, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p12–23.
- McDonald, G (2000) Business ethics: practical proposals for organisations Journal of Business Ethics. v 25(2) p 169–185
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