(CNN)When you think of a factory, you might imagine a giant facility with huge chimneys belching steam. But consumer goods giant Unilever has developed a fully functioning production line inside a shipping container.
This 'nano factory' fits inside a shipping container
The company has over 300 factories in 69 countries, but this is its first experiment with what it calls a "nano" or "travel" factory.
Mass production lines allow manufacturers to make large quantities of products but using the same facilities to produce smaller batches of goods -- to test new ideas or to meet seasonal demand -- can be wasteful and inefficient.
Because of its size, the 40-foot container can be transported by cargo ship or truck to any location, says Unilever. It just needs a source of water and access to electricity to begin production.
The nano factory is currently in the Netherlands, in the middle of its first trial producing liquid bouillon, a cooked stock packed in a bottle. Unilever says the factory is making around 300 tons of bouillon per eight-hour shift.