How It's Made (2001–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - Aluminium Foil/Snowboards/Contact Lenses/Bread - full transcript

How It's Made looks at the machines and construction methods behind aluminum foil, snow boards, soft contact lenses, and bread.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

Narrator:
TODAY ON "HOW IT'S MADE"...

ALUMINUM FOIL...

...SNOWBOARDS...

...CONTACT LENSES...

...AND BREAD.

ALUMINUM FOIL
HAS A MULTITUDE OF USES,

FROM HEATING SOMETHING UP
IN THE OVEN

TO KEEPING SOMETHING COLD
IN THE FRIDGE.

BUT HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW
A HUGE BLOCK OF SOLID ALUMINUM

GETS TRANSFORMED INTO
A PAPER-THIN SHEET OF FOIL?

THE MANUFACTURE OF ALUMINUM FOIL

REQUIRES
THE REPEATED THINNING OUT

OF A LARGE BLOCK OF ALUMINUM.

WE BEGIN BY MELTING INGOTS
OF 100%-PURE ALUMINUM

IN A NATURAL-GAS FURNACE.

THESE INGOTS, CALLED "PIGS,"

ARE ESSENTIAL IN ALLOYS
WITH ZINC, TITANIUM, AND SILICA.

IT TAKES 3 TO 8 HOURS TO MELT
30 TONS OF ALUMINUM

IN THIS REMELTING FURNACE,

WHICH OPERATES
AT 1,380 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

THE FUSION TEMPERATURE
OF ALUMINUM

IS 1,220 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

A PORTION OF ALUMINUM
IS POURED INTO THIS SMALL MOLD

TO MAKE A SAMPLE.

SOLIDIFYING IN JUST SECONDS,

THE SAMPLE ALLOWS FOR TESTING
TO VERIFY THE CONTENTS

OF THE PREPARED ALLOY.

MOLTEN ALUMINUM
RUNS IN A MOVABLE TROUGH

LOCATED ABOVE THE TAPPING WELL.

AT THIS STAGE,
IMPURITIES ARE FILTERED OUT

IN SPECIAL RECEPTACLES.

THE MOLDS ARE COOLED WITH WATER

TO ACCELERATE THE SOLIDIFICATION
OF THE MOLTEN ALUMINUM.

INGOTS ARE UNMOLDED
AND ARE READY FOR MILLING.

EACH INGOT IS MASSIVE,
MEASURING 14 FEET IN LENGTH,

5 FEET IN WIDTH,
AND 18 INCHES THICK.

IT WEIGHS A WHOPPING 8 TONS,

SO IT HAS TO BE HANDLED
BY OVERHEAD CRANES

AND PLACED ON SPECIAL PLATES.

THIS CRUST-REMOVING MACHINE

REMOVES 1/10 OF AN INCH
OF THE INGOT'S THICKNESS.

IMPURITIES ARE ELIMINATED

TO ACHIEVE A PERFECTLY
SMOOTH FINISH.

ALL TRACES OF THE LIQUID USED
TO COOL THE DECRUSTING KNIVES

HAVE TO BE ELIMINATED.

THE MANY STEPS IN THE THINNING
OF THE INGOT BEGIN.

FIRST,
THE ALUMINUM BLOCK IS CRUSHED

BY THE HOT MILL ROLLERS.

TEMPERATURES IN THE ROLLERS

ARE BETWEEN 850
AND 1,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

PRESSURE ON THE INGOT
IS CONTINUALLY VERIFIED

BY A TECHNICIAN.

IF THE PRESSURE IS TOO GREAT,
THE TECHNICIAN WILL LOWER IT.

THE HEAT IS SO HIGH

THAT THE INGOT RISKS STICKING
TO THE MILL'S ROLLER.

TO PREVENT THIS, EVERYTHING
IS COOLED WITH A LIQUID

THAT'S 95% WATER AND 5% OIL.

STARTING FROM A THICKNESS
OF 18 INCHES,

THE INGOT BECOMES INCREASINGLY
THINNER WITH EACH PASS-THROUGH.

DEPENDING ON REQUIREMENTS,

THE INGOT WILL GO THROUGH THE
MACHINE BETWEEN 12 AND 16 TIMES.

THE INGOT NOW MEASURES
ABOUT 3 INCHES IN THICKNESS.

IT HAS TO GET DOWN
TO JUST 2/10 OF AN INCH.

AT THIS STAGE, THE INGOT
IS ABOUT 2 INCHES THICK

AND MEASURES
ALMOST 30 FEET IN LENGTH.

THIS CONVEYOR TRANSPORTS THE
PLATE DURING ITS MILLING STAGES.

THE INGOT HAS BECOME A SHEET
2/10 OF AN INCH THICK.

IT IS SUFFICIENTLY THIN
TO PROCEED TO SPOOLING,

WHERE IT SPOOLS ONTO ITSELF

BEFORE BEING SENT
TO THE COLD ROLLING MILL.

THERE, ITS THICKNESS WILL BE
REDUCED STILL FURTHER.

THE ALUMINUM SHEET
HAS BECOME VERY THIN NOW

AND RISKS BEING BROKEN

BY THE TENSION NEEDED
FOR COLD ROLLING.

SO THE SHEET IS DOUBLED
TO AVOID THIS BREAKAGE.

ONE FINAL REDUCTION IN THE MILL,

AND THE SHEET
WILL HAVE THE THICKNESS

REQUIRED BY THE CUSTOMER.

A LIQUID COOLANT IS USED
TO PREVENT THE FOIL

FROM STICKING TO THE ROLLERS.

SINCE THE EDGES
OF THE FOIL SHEET

ARE LIGHTLY DAMAGED
AND CRINKLED,

A KNIFE REMOVES A STRIP
4/10 OF AN INCH WIDE.

FINALLY, THE ROLL
IS CUT TO THE DESIRED WIDTH,

AND ONE HUGE INGOT HAS PRODUCED
NEARLY 8 MILES OF FOIL.

Narrator: IF YOU'VE EVER
TRIED SNOWBOARDING,

YOU'VE PROBABLY DISCOVERED
THAT THOSE COOL MOVES

AREN'T QUITE AS EASY
AS THE PROS MAKE IT LOOK.

LEARNING TO MANEUVER A SNOWBOARD
IS A LONG AND INVOLVED PROCESS,

AND IT'S MUCH THE SAME

WHEN IT COMES TO MANUFACTURING
THESE SURFBOARDS FOR SNOW.

THE SNOWBOARD IS THE DELIGHT
OF WINTER-SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS.

ITS CORE IS MADE
OF A THIN SHEET OF WOOD.

VARIOUS KINDS OF WOODS ARE USED,

DEPENDING ON THE TYPE
OF BOARD BEING MADE.

BINDINGS HAVE TO BE FIRMLY
ATTACHED TO THE BOARD.

HOLES ARE DRILLED FOR INSERTS,

TO WHICH BINDINGS
WILL BE SECURED.

A TEMPLATE ALLOWS THE HOLES
TO BE PRECISELY DRILLED.

PLANING REDUCES THE BOARD
TO THE REQUIRED THICKNESS.

A THICK BOARD IS OBVIOUSLY
MORE RIGID THAN A THIN ONE.

A SHAPING PROCEDURE
REFINES THE BOARD'S CONTOURS.

AT THIS POINT, THE BOARD
IS STILL PERFECTLY FLAT

WITH NO CURVATURE.

THE BOARDS ARE THEN STORED
UPRIGHT TO AWAIT THE NEXT STEP.

NOW THEY MUST SECURE
THE ALUMINUM INSERTS,

WHICH WILL BE EMBEDDED
IN THE WOOD.

THIS THIN SHEET OF FIBERGLASS

WILL CREATE BETTER SUPPORT
FOR THE INSERTS.

THEREFORE,
THEY WILL BE MORE SOLID.

TO MAKE WORKING ON IT EASIER,

THE BOARD IS SECURELY
HELD IN PLACE BY CLAMPS.

EPOXY,
AN EXTREMELY STRONG ADHESIVE

OFTEN USED
WITH COMPOSITE MATERIALS,

IS APPLIED TO THE FIBERGLASS
AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

IT IS ESSENTIAL
TO REMOVE ANY EXCESS EPOXY,

AS WELL AS ELIMINATE
ALL AIR BUBBLES

SO THERE WILL BE
A GOOD ADHERENCE.

AS FOR THE TOP PART
OF THE BOARD,

IT'S MADE OF A RESISTANT PLASTIC
APPLIED BY SILK-SCREENING.

IN SILK-SCREENING, INK IS SPREAD
BY THIS LITTLE SQUEEGEE.

THIS APPLICATION
IS CALLED A PASS.

COLORS HAVE TO BE APPLIED
ONE AT A TIME.

THE INKS MUST DRY FOR SEVERAL
HOURS BETWEEN EACH COAT.

NOW THE BOARD MUST BE CURVED.

A COVER IS PLACED ON THE MOLD.

WHEN THE MOLD IS CLOSED,

THE BOARD IS GIVEN
THE DESIRED CURVE.

HEAT TRAPPED IN THE MOLD
MAKES THE EPOXY SET AND HARDEN.

THE BOARD COMES OUT OF THE MOLD,

AND ANY EXCESS EPOXY AND WOOD
ARE REMOVED BY A BAND SAW.

TO ACHIEVE A PERFECT CUT,

THE SAW BLADE IS CHANGED
EVERY 50 BOARDS.

IT'S HIGHLY PRECISE WORK
AND TOTALLY MANUAL.

THEY APPLY, AGAIN BY
SILK-SCREENING, ANOTHER COAT,

THEN ANOTHER COLOR.

THIS TIME, RED.

THE SNOWBOARD MUST NOW
BE PROTECTED.

A PROTECTING VARNISH FLOWS
AS A THIN CURTAIN.

THE BOARD PASSES
BENEATH THIS CURTAIN

AND THEN MOVES INTO A DRYER
FOR A SIX-HOUR STAY.

SANDING REMOVES SURPLUS VARNISH
FROM THE EDGES OF THE BOARD.

NEW HOLES ARE PIERCED
INTO THE BOARD

TO LOCATE THE INSERTS INSTALLED
AT THE BEGINNING OF PRODUCTION.

THIS SANDER REMOVES
IMPERFECTIONS

IN THE HARDENED VARNISH

AND PREPARES THE BOARD
FOR ITS SECOND VARNISH COATING.

THEN THE PLASTIC BASE IS SANDED
TO OBTAIN THE DESIRED FINISH.

THE BOARD IS CHECKED TO SEE
THAT IT'S PERFECTLY FLAT.

A RAZOR BLADE VERIFIES
THAT THE DIFFERENT COATS

ARE WELL-ADHERED TO ONE ANOTHER.

CERTAIN BOARDS GET AN ENGRAVED
ALUMINUM INSERT --

A LUXURY TOUCH.

THE BOARD IS NOW READY
FOR ACTION.

THIS FACILITY TURNS OUT OVER
500 SNOWBOARDS PER DAY

IN 30 DIFFERENT MODELS.

Narrator: PEOPLE WHO HAVE
DEFECTIVE VISION

CAN ALWAYS WEAR GLASSES,

BUT IN MANY CASES, THERE'S
A LESS-NOTICEABLE ALTERNATIVE.

CONTACT LENSES
CORRECT FAULTY VISION

WITHOUT ANYONE KNOWING
THE WEARER EVEN HAS THEM ON.

WHAT GOES INTO MAKING
THESE TINY OPTICAL AIDS

IS REALLY EYE-CATCHING.

CONTACT LENSES HAVE BEEN
IN EXISTENCE FOR OVER A CENTURY.

AT FIRST COMPLETELY RIGID,

THEY HAVE BECOME GAS-PERMEABLE
AND AS FLEXIBLE AS GELATIN.

THESE SMALL polyHEMA DISKS
ARE USED

TO MAKE SOFT POLYMER CONTACT
LENSES IN A VARIETY OF COLORS.

WE SEE HERE
A PATIENT'S PRESCRIPTION,

ESSENTIAL TO THE FABRICATION
OF LENSES.

THE PROCESS BEGINS

WITH DATA PROCESSING CONTROL
OF THE SHAPING.

DATA IS SUPPLIED BY COMPUTER,
WHICH CONTROLS A DIGITAL LATHE.

THEY BEGIN BY SHAPING
THE INNER CURVATURE OF THE LENS.

THIS DIGITAL LATHE, ROTATING
AT 6,000 REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE,

IS EQUIPPED WITH
AN INDUSTRIAL DIAMOND.

IT SHAPES THE INNER SURFACE --

THE PART
THAT TOUCHES THE CORNEA.

IT MUST BE FREE FROM ANY
ABRASIONS AND IMPERFECTIONS

AND IS POLISHED WITH
A SUPER-FINE ABRASIVE PASTE.

POLISHING IS A CRUCIAL STEP

BECAUSE IT ASSURES EXCELLENT
COMFORT AND PERFECT VISION.

A TECHNICIAN MEASURES
LENS THICKNESS

WITH AN EXTREMELY PRECISE GAUGE.

THEY NOW SHAPE
THE OUTER SURFACE,

THE PART THAT TOUCHES
THE EYELID.

THE LENS IS GLUED
WITH A SPECIAL WARM WAX,

WHEN THE LENS IS COMPLETED,

AN ULTRASOUND DEVICE
WILL REMOVE THE WAX.

THE WAX TAKES ON THE DESIRED
SHAPE IN JUST SECONDS.

THE COMFORT OF A LENS IS ALSO
DETERMINED BY ITS THICKNESS.

IT MUST BE AS THIN AS POSSIBLE

WHILE RETAINING
SUFFICIENT SOLIDITY.

THEY BEGIN BY SHAPING
THE OUTER DIAMETER OF THE LENS,

WHICH TAKES ONLY A FEW SECONDS.

THEY NOW POLISH THE OUTER
SURFACE OF THE LENS.

THIS POLISHING,
DONE AT HIGH SPEED,

CALLS FOR AN ABRASIVE PASTE,
SOME OIL,

AND A SMALL POLYESTER
COTTON BALL.

THIS APPARATUS POLISHES SEVERAL
LENSES AT THE SAME TIME --

A STEP THAT TAKES
ONLY 60 SECONDS.

WITH EVERYTHING COMPUTERIZED,
QUALITY IS INCOMPARABLE.

A TECHNICIAN THEN POLISHES
THE RIMS OF THE LENS.

THE POLYMER IS HYDRATED
TO MAKE IT FLEXIBLE.

LENSES REMAIN IMMERSED

IN A BALANCED pH SALINE SOLUTION
FOR 24 HOURS.

THE LENS BECOMES ENGORGED
WITH LIQUID AND EXPANDS,

REACHING THE DESIRED
PROPORTIONS.

THIS OPTICAL TOPOGRAPHER
IS USED TO VERIFY,

THROUGH COLOR DISTRIBUTION,

WHETHER THE SPREAD
OF OPTICAL POWER IN THE LENS

IS PRECISE ENOUGH
TO ASSURE PERFECT VISION.

AND NOW WE PROCEED WITH ANOTHER
IMPORTANT TESTING PROCEDURE.

THE SOFT, FRAGILE LENSES
ARE ALWAYS HANDLED

WITH THE GREATEST OF CARE.

THIS UNIT,
CALLED A FRONTOFOCOMETER,

IS A METERING DEVICE

WHICH VERIFIES THE OPTICAL
PRECISION OF THE LENS.

THE LENSES ARE NOW COMPLETED
AND ARE CLEANED.

THEY'RE STORED IN CONTAINERS
FILLED WITH A SALT SOLUTION.

THIS LITTLE VIAL THAT
WE MIGHT FIND AT OPTOMETRISTS'

IS SEALED WITH A SILICONE CAP
AND ANOTHER OF ALUMINUM.

THESE VIALS ARE PLACED
IN A STERILIZER

AT TEMPERATURES
OF 250 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT

FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF.

THE CONTENTS WILL REMAIN STERILE

FOR UP TO SEVEN YEARS
IF NOT OPENED.

THE PRODUCTION OF A LENS
INVOLVES 14 STEPS.

IF WE EXCLUDE THE RATHER LENGTHY
HYDRATION PROCESS,

ACTUAL LENS PRODUCTION
REQUIRES ONLY 15 MINUTES.

THEY CAN PRODUCE ALMOST
1,000 CONTACT LENSES PER DAY --

ALL MADE FROM THESE TINY
COLORED DISKS.

Narrator: IT'S A STAPLE
FOR PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD.

SMOTHERED IN BUTTER AND JELLY
OR DIPPED IN GRAVY,

IT'S A DELICIOUS TREAT
THAT'S HARD TO RESIST.

AND WE'RE WILLING TO BET
YOU CAN'T RESIST THE OPPORTUNITY

TO FIND OUT WHAT GOES INTO
THE MAKING OF YOUR DAILY BREAD.

OVER 3,000 YEARS AGO,
IN THE TIME OF KING TUT,

EGYPTIANS WERE ALREADY BAKING
40 VARIETIES OF LEAVEN BREAD.

THE GREEKS' CONTRIBUTION
TO THIS HISTORY WAS THE OVEN

AND 70 VARIETIES
OF FLAVORED BREADS --

BREADS SO GOOD THAT THE ROMANS
TOOK THE GREEK BAKERS TO ROME

AND THEIR OVENS TO GAUL.

BY THE MIDDLE AGES,

BREAD HAD BECOME THE PRIMARY
FOOD OF WESTERN EUROPE.

MULTIGRAIN BREAD IS MADE
FROM SEVERAL INGREDIENTS

SUCH AS FLAXSEED, BUCKWHEAT,
SOY, AND MILLET.

THIS PROTECTIVE GRILL
PREVENTS FOREIGN MATTER

FROM ACCIDENTALLY FALLING
INTO THE RECIPE MIX --

A RECIPE THAT CALLS
FOR A HALF A TON OF FLOUR.

THE INGREDIENTS,
GROUND IN A MILL,

ARE KEPT IN THESE
36 ENORMOUS CONTAINERS.

WE BEGIN BY MIXING
THE INGREDIENTS TOGETHER.

THESE KNEADING TROUGHS
ARE USED TO FERMENT THE YEAST,

A STEP WHICH TAKES THREE HOURS.

THE FERMENTING YEAST MAKES
THE DOUGH RISE CONSIDERABLY.

THIS HUGE MIXER KNEADS THE DOUGH
FOR ABOUT EIGHT MINUTES.

WHEN THOROUGHLY HOMOGENOUS,

THE CONTENTS ARE EMPTIED
INTO A LARGE TUB.

THE DOUGH WEIGHS
A LITTLE OVER A TON.

THE DOUGH IS LOADED ONTO A SLIDE

SITUATED
ABOVE THE DOUGH DIVIDER.

AT THE BOTTOM OF THE MACHINE,

A SMALL HOLE
ALLOWS THE DOUGH TO ESCAPE.

TWO MECHANICALLY OPERATED ARMS

CUT THE DOUGH PIECES
INTO EQUAL LENGTHS.

IT FORMS 192 OF THESE A MINUTE.

THE DOUGH THEN FALLS
ONTO A CONVEYOR.

HERE DOUGH PIECES
ARE ROLLED INTO BALLS,

WHICH CAN BE MORE EASILY WORKED.

THE DOUGHBALLS ARE FLOURED

TO PREVENT THEM FROM STICKING
DURING THEIR TRANSPORT

AND WHEN THEY'RE MOLDED.

HERE THE BALLS OF DOUGH
LEAVE THE DIVIDER

AND GO TO THE MOLDER.

DURING TRANSPORT,
THE DOUGH CAN REST,

ALLOWING THE YEAST TO ACT.

THE DOUGH IS THEN FOLDED
AND ROLLED.

THE MACHINE CAN HANDLE
THREE PER SECOND

FOR A TOTAL OF 11,500 AN HOUR.

THE DOUGH IS ROLLED OUT
TO THE EXACT SIZE

AND FALLS INTO BAKING MOLDS.

HERE WE SEE THE MAKING
OF HOT DOG ROLLS.

THESE LITTLE DOUGHBALLS
HAVE TO BE SHAPED LENGTHWISE

AND FERMENTED BEFORE MOLDING.

HERE THE HOG DOG ROLLS
ARE BEING MACHINE-MOLDED.

DOUGH PIECES
MUST NOT TOUCH ONE ANOTHER,

SO THEY'RE SPACED APART
BY A SMALL MECHANICAL ARM.

NOW WE GO BACK
TO MULTIGRAIN BREAD PRODUCTION.

SQUATTED DOWN AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE MOLDS,

THE DOUGH PIECES
GO INTO THE PROOFER,

WHERE THEY RISE FOR AN HOUR
AT 110 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT

AND AT 70% HUMIDITY.

THEN THEY BAKE FOR 20 MINUTES
AT 490 DEGREES.

WHEN FINALLY BAKED, THE LOAVES
END UP WITH A NICE GOLDEN COLOR.

A VACUUM SYSTEM DRAWS
THE LOAVES FROM THEIR MOLDS.

THEY'RE THEN PLACED
ON A CONVEYOR TO COOL.

A GUIDANCE SYSTEM TAKES CARE
OF CARRYING THE BREADS

TO VARIOUS SECTIONS
OF THE BAKERY.

WHEN WELL-COOLED,
BREADS GO TO THE SLICER,

WHICH CUTS 65 LOAVES A MINUTE.

THEY ARE SLICED BY 7-FOOT-WIDE

AND 16-INCH-LONG
STEEL SAW BLADES.

THESE BLADES ARE CHANGED
EVERY TWO WEEKS.

SLICED LOAVES ARE AUTOMATICALLY
PACKED AT 65 PER MINUTE.

THEY'RE NOW READY FOR SHIPPING.

SOME 5 1/2 HOURS HAVE PASSED

BETWEEN PREPARATION
OF THE DRY FLOUR

AND PACKAGING
OF THE BAKED BREAD.

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