Every facility has a quality level (I, II or III), which is shown after the facility's name, either in its window or its icon tooltip on the main menu. That marker defines the development level of the facility: level I has a relatively bad time ratio and high cost of operation, level III quite a good time ratio and low cost of operation. Search for the most economical solution by traveling between terminals!
At present, all facilities can only handle raw materials and commodities that are located in your private storage, so you need to store required materials there for any job you want to run.
The Prototype facility can be used to create an item without the need of calibrating factory lines with a calibration template. Prototypes are also superior to regular items - they have slightly better statistics in one or more areas. The drawback to this method, however, is a dramatically higher cost than standard mass production. The Prototype facility is generally the only option for items that are either too rare from NPCs, or too expensive on the market. Note, however, that you can only create a prototype of something you’ve already researched to 100% in your knowledge base.
Although better than normal mods, most prototypes never see the field of battle because of the expense involved in their creation. The primary purpose of a prototype is to be used up in the creation of Calibration templates in Reverse engineering.
Creating a prototype is simple. If you have the required amount of commodities and - in some cases - fragments (alien parts) in your private storage, you can start prototype creation. Note that you can only run 1 prototype per job, so increase the number of parallel manufacturing processes by installing additional levels of the appropriate extensions if you wish to create multiple prototypes at the same time.
Additional parameters that affect your total efficiency.
Relation ratio - Improve this factor by reaching a good relationship with the owner of the facility.
Material ratio - The material efficiency of prototyping is improved with the Basic/Advanced/Expert Efficient Prototype Production extensions..
Time ratio – The speed of prototyping is improved with the Basic/Advanced/Expert Intensive Prototype Production extensions.
Parallel Runs – The number of prototyping jobs to be run simultaneously can be improved with the Basic/Advanced/Expert Extensive Prototype production extensions.