New ships are designed and constructed at the ship factory, making it a critical part of a base's operations.
— In-game description
The ship factory is responsible for building ships in the game. Building ships are one of the main sources of experience points. Generally, players don't protect their factory and fit no armor plating or shield slots on the factory to keep the repair time on them minimal.
Some players choose to place the factory near the center of their base in an attempt to protect it; however, this is not recommended because of the ship factory's huge collateral damage. Factories that sustain damage will pause whatever ship construction, refits or upgrades they are currently performing until fully repaired.
You can rotate the factory by using the arrow keys.