Photo by CC user Manecke on Wikimedia Commons
While most people think of factories as dirty, grimy places, the manufacturing facilities of the 21st century are quite different from what most people imagine in their heads.
Consisting of futuristic designs that are beautiful, highly efficient, and environmentally responsible, these are buildings that even the non-industrial minded person can appreciate.
Below, we will give several examples of what we think are the most futuristic factories in the world…
Volkswagen’s transparent factory, Dresden, Germany
Of all the futuristic factories on this list, one of the most spectacular is the transparent factory that Volkswagen has built in Dresden, Germany.
Made entirely of glass that gives the passerby a view into their manufacturing operations, the design of this facility is meant to symbolize the open and honest nature of Volkswagen.
FANUC’s “lights out” factory, Japan
One of the business trends in manufacturing that has gotten a lot of attention over the past few years has been automation.
With improvements in robotics in the past decade, it has become increasingly possible to replace much of the assembly line labor in the manufacturing world with their mechanized equivalents.
For example, Automatic robot palletizing / automatisk palletering has become a huge part of automation, as the number of movements to complete this task is simple enough for robots to take over this important job.
In a short time to come, the vast majority of manufacturing jobs will be done by machines.
A glimpse into this future can be had in Japan, where FANUC Corporation has created a factory where robots construct other robots in such an efficient manner, that the factory could turn all their lights off, and production would not be negatively affected.
Aerzen’s energy efficient factory, Pennsylvania, USA
Another hot-button issue in futuristic factory design is the environment. Aerzen, a manufacturer of blowers and air compressors has taken on the matter of energy efficiency and environmental responsibility by constructing their new factory in Pennsylvania to the LEED gold standard.
By running entirely on solar power, collecting rainwater on the roof, and surrounding their entire operation with a restored meadow, Aerzen has attained the highest standard of environmental design that can be attained by any builder in the world.
Olisur’s biodegradable factory, Santiago, Chile
It isn’t just American factories that are taking the lead in environmental design, as an olive oil company by the name of Olisur in Chile has constructed their facility mostly from biodegradable materials.
While the bones of this factory are constructed of resilient concrete, the rest of the structure will be able to return to the Earth when there is no need for this building to exist in the future.