Manufacturing Facilities Of The Future

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How do we make the things where we make the things?

Richard O Hegarty, Sean Hogan, Rebecca O Connor, Vishaka Reddy, Katie Barry, Rosemarie MacSweeney, Matthew Reddy

Try typing any combination of the words “innovation” and “manufacturing plant” into a search engine. 99% of results returned will be related to manufacturing plants that use innovative techniques to manufacture anything ranging from beer to prefabricated homes.

But what about the manufacturing-buildings themselves? What methods, materials and modern approaches are used to construct these, and what innovations will pave the way for future factories?

RKD’s Sustainability + Research team has developed a matrix of 5 innovative solutions that could be used to construct the fabrication facilities of the future – ranging from simple design changes by way of material specification, to building integrated renewable technology solutions. The list is non-exhaustive, and focuses on the building itself rather than the operation of the facilities themselves, for which hundreds of innovative solutions exist.

Moving from left to right of the matrix below, the proposed items increase in both the level of innovation required, but also the technical and practical challenges in implementing them.

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