how it's made

i have to admit, this is the most fasinating, riviting, mesmerizing, show ever.

some of the things they bundle in to shows together are a bit odd. kayaks, gold chains, and crayons. blinds, milk, and compost.

i find myself saying, “wow, that’s neat.” or “nifty!” and sometimes, “that’s a bit oogy.” “ugh! gross!”

such a fantastic show.

I agree that it is sometimes fascinating. I think it is often aimed at Grade 4 kids, though. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, but it can be annoying.

It’s like a half hour version of those “crayon making” segments from Mr. Rodgers.

Plus, working at a gigantorous company that makes 3/4ths of the automation equipment used in those factories makes it that much more interesting.

Me: “Oh! A **** Logic processor and DeviceNet scanner controlling those 4 ****** drives! And the limit switch must be working in tandem with the ***** prox sensor! Thinks out the ladder logic code in his head

GF: “What the hell are you talking about? And lord God, that music is annoying! Turn it off!”

the narrator can be a bit odd.

“the worker places the bolt on the spring.”

things like how musical instruments are made are just nifty. the harp was amazing.

I agree with this.

I was especially disappointed in the ‘How Helicopters Are Made’ segment.

The one that intrigued me the most was the one on bowling balls. I had always assumed that they were just solid spheres of some material, possibly with a coating or outer layer of some sort. But apparently they have a core of denser material shaped in such a way as to make the ball roll with a slight curve, and that not all bowling balls have the same core.

I love this show. My wife, who is usually a knowledge freak, hates it. She says the presentation makes it as boring as watching paint dry. I think the show doesn’t need any flashy stuff…the information makes it exciting. I do think loving this show is one of the true signs that you may be a nerd.

I’m Ok with that.

I like it too, but the narration is bland. I guess I can supply my own sense of wonder, but still, I’d like to see Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs do a couple of segments.

I ran across this show (or some other show like it) and they showed how they make curved fluorescent light bulbs. I had never seen curved ones before, I’ve seen round ones, but not curved. For some reason I watched it for a while. I was kind of amazed that machines could handle all those glass tubes without breaking them. Well, a week or so later the handyman at work tells me that we need new light bulbs for the hallway and they were the curved ones. We remodeled about a year ago and for some reason they saw fit to put in new light fixtures that use 3 different types of fluorescent bulbs. Anyway, it just seemed like an odd coincidence.

I love love this show. I’ve seen so many of them. Lemme see what I can recall from memory: plate glass, fireman’s boots, hockey skates, accordions, violins, flutes, screw drivers, fire trucks, ambulances, hearses, light bulbs… If it exists there’s a strong possibility I want to see how it’s made.

I’d tell you why this show annoys me, but it’s a closely guarded company secret.

I really enjoy the show; however, it leaves me wanting more at times. They only spend a few minutes on each topic which sometimes just isn’t detailed enough. It’s interesting for me to see that many things are still made by hand. The robotics involved in the manufacturing processes is nothing short of amazing to me.

Yeah, I annoy my wife by watching this habitually…like whenever I flip by it, I stop to watch. Luckily the kids like it. The puns are a bit grating after a while.

While I am fascinated by the process that thing go through during production, I am amazed by the machinery that is built to do it.

hekk, what type of education do you need to analyze and design the machinery required? More so, what kind of time does it take to design and build these setups?

The day after I saw the one on making Hollow Chocolate Bunnies, I was in a class to learn a new 3D computer modeling software for work. One of the functions they taught was Creating Drafts, which are added to parts to allow for removal from molds or tooling. A light went off over my head - this was the same thing! The instructor had once worked for an automotive company designing rear lights for an Audi using this software, and we spend his thirty-minute break just talking about designing molds. It was a fascinating conversation, and it would’ve never happened without How It’s Made. I still daydream about modeling little chocolate bunnies on my computer at work instead of ECS duct brackets for airplanes…

There’s another similar show on Discovery called “Some Assembly Required” which may be the show you are thinking of. I like these shows, too. It’s interesting to see what goes into the making of everyday products that we tend to take for granted.

I suspect Hekk works for the company with the big clock tower in Milwaukee, which indeed is one of the largest manufacturers in the world for the types of controls systems used on the automation equipment frequently portrayed on the show. Most people have no clue how much equipment, much of automated and as expensive as hell, it takes to make the consumer goods shown in the show. I design this equipment for a living, so this show is interesting and idea forming for me, even with the horrific narration. The show is a frequent topic of conversation among my fellow engineers. “Did you see how they were forming that floogie-doogie last night?” I could sit and watch a machine run for hours (and have), to learn how it performs the task at hand, so this show gives me a glimpse of how things are done in industries I may never get to experience first-hand.

Usually a mechanical engineering background is a good idea to get into the automation field. 3/4ths of the design work is done by consultants, who will analyze which products will suit the application best.

My grandfather started and owned just such a consultancy firm. Looking through his records after his death, 16-18 weeks was common for a small-to-moderate sized project, at a cost of 20-100 thousand dollars (and this was 15-20 years ago). He had no formal education beyond high school and electronics classes in the Navy, but worked his way up through the field using his smarts and hard work (back when such a thing was possible).

I, however, just do the technical aspect and design of product demonstrations, which requires lotsa knowledge of how to design, well, pretty simple configurations. The big stuff of the like in factories is beyond my grasp. Small stuff in the lab is my job.

Bad Samaritian, mums the word :wink:

Yeah, after you work in engineering for a while, most standard machinery and stuff becomes less amazing, as you can see how they were developed, and the thought process for design becomes sort of innate.

Now anything truly revolutionary or unique is still amazing, because I have no clue how the inventors of things like that go through that process.