Sooner or later, most entrepreneurs will find themselves needing to expand their production capabilities. The standard approach would be to acquire more stations, but Station Upgrades provide an alternative. Following an initial period, during which information is gathered about the production process, the Station Upgrade service can be used to optimise and expand production capabilities well beyond their base values. Ultimately, this can lead to a single station's output being equivalent to that of up to twenty standard production units.
Upgrades can be purchased at most shipyards, and come in M, L, XL and XXL versions (so an S station can be upgraded to M using an M upgrade; an M station -> L etc: hence no S-rated upgrade item). Stations can only be upgraded sequentially, one tier at a time. The time taken to gather production optimisation information increases with each tier, meaning that it will take longer to unlock the ability to upgrade further. Upgrades can be applied to stations even if they are part of a complex, allowing compact, high-production complexes to be created.