Pretty much every display you can buy today is either LCD or OLED. But for decades, the cathode ray tube was the only way to watch video. This older clip from How Its Made show the process, including filling the tube with phosphors, adding conductive elements, and installing an electron gun to create images on the tube.
THE BEST Factories
We’ve seen two different ways how NOT to make candy corn, now watch how the pros do it. This 2014 clip from The Washington Post takes us inside of the Jelly Belly factory in Illinois for an explanation of the “kernel” making process starting from individual ingredients until they’re bagged and show up on store shelves.
Traditional conveyor belts can move items along a single axis. But Cellumation’s unique system can shuffle items around in any direction. It uses a series of hexagonal modules, each of which has three sets of wheels. Its controller and software can then be programmed to grab and arrange a payload in any pattern.
Rather than just show you how one thing is produced, this extensive playlist from Science Channel includes factory footage from 200 different items. From industrial fans to orange juice, from ketchup to luxury sports cars, there’s something here for just about every interest. So click play, and head down the rabbit hole.
It’s both a useful packing material and a wonderful plaything for fidgeters like us. Now go inside Sealed Air’s factory and see how they make their official BubbleWrap brand bubble wrap. It’s interesting that the first bubble wrap machine was designed to make wallpaper.
This fascinating factory machine sits along a conveyor belt as it waits for individual items to arrive on the scene. It then lowers a series of suction-powered grippers to grab each one, then shuffles them along to the next stage in the packing process. The video is also perfectly looped, so you can just sit and watch it all day.
Sino Sales & Support presents a brief and wonderfully satisfying look at a factory in China where rows of machines crank out millions of glass marbles each year. The soothing sound of thousands of rolling marbles should be an option on every white noise machine. Skip to 0:38.
Ever wondered how drone maker DJI builds its little flying machines? The company released footage from inside of its assembly facility. The clip shows off some of the final stages of building Mavic 2 Zoom drones, including a bit where a computer flies each one for quality testing. You can find the original video on Weibo.
Charged with moving the pistons in and out, a crankshaft is like the beating heart of an engine. While crankshafts need to be finished by machining, they start by forging and stamping steel, then twisting the molten metal to form the journals and counterweights that comprise this critical car part.
Ever wonder how they make coils of sheet metal? This fascinating footage captured by Sweden’s Dalarna University at the SSAB hot rolling mill shows how a giant slab of steel is heated, then cleaned, roughed, and rolled through a series of machines into gradually thinner and thinner layers.
Prima Power shows off the power and speed of one of its impressive fiber lasers. Their 6kW Laser Genius slices through sheet metal of varying thickness like a hot, razor-sharp knife through butter. We can’t believe how easily it got through that metal at 1:20. More laser porn here.
Go inside of Italy’s Beta Utensili factory, where they take pieces of raw steel, heat them, hot roll, and machine hammer them into their rough shapes, before cutting them out, sand blasting, grinding, tumbling, and refining their openings before hardening and plating each piece into a finished combination wrench.
It doesn’t seem like something that would be particularly complicated to make, but as How It’s Made shows us, creating party balloons requires lots of industrial equipment, including electrically-charged vats of liquid latex, balloon-shaped molds, and spinning brushes to create the openings we blow into.
From the “Satisfying Robots” file comes this video footage of the LiSEC TPA-A, a fully-automated system that applies thermoplastic spacers that provide insulation between panes of architectural glass. The robot securely holds the glass in place using suction, then rolls it along its conveyor as it works its magic.
Take a surprisingly quiet and soothing journey inside of FCA’s Toledo Assembly Complex, where Jeep manufactures its Gladiator pickup trucks. Watch as an army of Kuka robots do the welding and body construction, complemented by a team of skilled humans who do much of the detail work to assemble the finished vehicle.
After building a LEGO Technic-powered machine that cranks out yummy tapas, The Brick Wall an even more whimsical assembly line. This machine not only produces toy cars, but makes them out of carrots and cucumbers so you can eat them after you play with your food.
A mesmerizing look at a machine designed for the high-speed production of paper cups. It starts out with flat sheets of paper, rolls them onto a form, glues the seam, then adds the bottom, and eventually rolls the top edge, cranking out as many as 130 cups per minute.
South African bathroom fixture company Ceramic Industries takes us inside of their Betta Baths factory for a look at the production process for its bathtubs. Each one starts out as a flat sheet of acrylic, which is then heated and formed using vacuum molds, covered with a fiberglass and resin spray, then baked.
Everyday car tires are made mostly by machine, but the high-end tires used for racing are made by hand. In this clip from Street FX Motorsport TV, they take us inside Michelin Motorsport’s HQ in France for a look at the tire-making process, building up layer by layer of rubber, textiles, steel, and adhesive on spinning drums.
Easter just isn’t Easter without some Peeps. Take a 360º video tour of the Just Born candy factory with Food Network to see how these colorful marshmallow treats are born, including a part of the assembly line called the “Sugar Shower.” Did she really use the word “peepsinality” or were we just hearing things?
While there’s something to be said for pricey limited-edition watches, Timex has a reputation for producing high quality time pieces that are still affordable. Go inside the Timex factory in Cebu, Philippines for a look at how they crank out so many watches, while still producing them with quality.
We’ve seen what the insides of a bowling ball look like. Now see those balls get that way in this clip from How It’s Made, starting out with a soupy goo for its core, wrapped in polymer and polyurethane layers, and then sanded. We were most surprised by the odd shape of the core.
How It’s Made takes us inside of the Baby-Foot Sulpie factory, where they make premium foosball tables. Watch as the players are cast from molten metal, then painted before being assembled onto stainless steel rods and placed into their permanent places on a handcrafted wooden foosball field.
New York City sees many of its stop signs and other street signs vandalized or stolen each year. Between replacements and other projects, the Department of Transportation’s Queens sign shop makes over 100,000 new signs each year. Insider takes us inside the facility for a look at the work that goes into this laborious process.
This footage from Chinese company Jiake Machine shows the process of taking coiled wire and transforming it into a sturdy mesh for fences or construction. The automated system pulls wires from dozens of spools, and feeds them through a massive welding rig that spot welds each intersection, with the mesh emerging from the other side.
As we’ve moved away from print and towards digital reading, highlighters aren’t as popular as they once were. But these fluorescent pens are still pretty cool for making art. Science Channel’s How It’s Made shows the process of molding the plastic bodies, filling their nibs with ink, and testing them for smooth flow.
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