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Modern flying factories

Modern flying factories is a concept for offsite manufacturing and industrialisation of construction projects using temporary and flexible factories, while applying lean principles to the manufacturing process.

Modern flying factories can be applied to any construction and engineering project that has component/assemblies which are:

  • Repeatable (defined design) 
  • Transportable (using conventional means) 
  • Mass manufactured

Construction 2025 focus

Modern flying factories can help the sector to meet the Government 2025 construction targets:

By applying a modern flying factories approach there is also a reduction in costs when compared to a fixed factory. Manufacturing components offsite close to the delivery site helps to deliver many efficiencies:

 

  • Faster onsite installation 
  • Minimal quality defects and associated waste 
  • Optimised transport solutions to reduce costs 
  • Overall reduction in operational and embodied carbon 
  • Safer working environments for personnel 
  • More likely to meet programme deliverables and reduce commercial risk

 

Modern flying factories - practical application

Cost and time savings of 44%

For the phase one of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment project 550 utility cupboards have been created to house all of the vital support mechanisms needed in each apartment, such as the boiler, the fuse box and the heat exchanger. The production rate on this project doubled compared to traditional construction methods.

Project completion in six weeks

The modern flying factories approach has been applied to assemble wall panels for Glenfrome School in Bristol. A school extension was built and finished in just six weeks, using panels constructed in a modern flying factory to ensure it was ready for the new school term.