How It's Made (2001–…): Season 1, Episode 4 - Hearing Aids/3D Puzzles/Rubber Mats/Toilets - full transcript

Follow the production process of hearing aids, 3-D puzzles, Rubber mats, and toilets.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

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

HEARING AIDS.

Narrator: WE'RE TURNING UP
THE VOLUME FOR THIS ONE.

3-D PUZZLES --

A TRADITIONAL PASTIME
ENTERS A NEW DIMENSION.

RUBBER MATS --

WE BRING YOU
A STEP-BY-STEP EXPLANATION.

AND TOILETS --

THIS FASCINATING REPORT
LEAVES US FLUSHED WITH PRIDE.

WHEN YOU STOP AND LISTEN
TO ALL THE SOUNDS AROUND YOU,

YOU SUDDENLY REALIZE
HOW EASY IT IS

TO TAKE YOUR HEARING
FOR GRANTED.

IF YOU EVER DEVELOP
A HEARING DISORDER,

YOU'LL UNDOUBTEDLY
FEEL THE LOSS.

THANKFULLY, THOUGH,
HEARING AIDS ARE TINIER

AND MORE EFFECTIVE
THAN EVER BEFORE.

LOSS OF HEARING
CAUSES A SERIOUS HANDICAP,

BUT, HAPPILY, IT CAN BE REMEDIED
THANKS TO HEARING AIDS.

BUT BEFORE FABRICATING THE AID,

THE DEGREE OF HEARING LOSS
MUST BE PRECISELY MEASURED

WITH THIS APPARATUS
CALLED AN AUDIOMETER.

SO THEY MAKE A MOLD
OF THE EAR CANAL.

TO PROTECT THE EARDRUM,
AN AUTOBLOCK IS INSERTED.

THE NEXT STEP IS TO POUR IN

A SILICON
IMPRESSION-MAKING MATERIAL.

IT SOLIDIFIES AND IS THEN
REMOVED FROM THE EAR.

THIS CONGEALED MASS
REPRESENTING THE EAR CANAL

IS THEN SOAKED IN WARM WAX
TO OBTAIN A POSITIVE IMPRINT.

THEN THE SILICON CONTAINER
IS FILLED.

THE SILICON HARDENS
IN ONLY 10 MINUTES.

THE HARDENED SILICON BLOCK
IS REMOVED,

AND THE EXCESS OF THE IMPRINT
IS TRIMMED AWAY

SO THAT ONLY THE ESSENTIAL PART
IS RETAINED.

THE IMPRINT MUST SLIP EASILY
INTO THE EAR.

IT'S NOW THE MOLDING STAGE
FOR THE HEARING AID.

ACRYLIC IS POURED INTO THE MOLD

BEFORE PLACING IT
INTO THIS ULTRAVIOLET OVEN.

WITHOUT EMITTING ANY HEAT,
THIS OVEN HARDENS THE ACRYLIC.

HERE IS THE RAW PROSTHESIS

WITHOUT ITS ELECTRONIC
COMPONENTS.

THIS PLAN DETAILS THE ELECTRIC
CIRCUIT OF THE AMPLIFIER.

HOLES ARE PIERCED
FOR THE VOLUME CONTROL.

THESE COMPONENTS ARE TINY.

HERE IS THE VOLUME CONTROL...

...THE MINIATURE MICROPHONE
THAT CAPTURES SOUNDS...

AND THE EARPHONE,
WHICH FUNCTIONS AS A SPEAKER.

THIS TINY BRAIDED WIRE
OF SEVEN CONDUCTORS

IS SOLDERED TO THE AMPLIFIER

AND OTHER PARTS
OF THE PROSTHESIS WITH PEWTER.

THE HYBRID CIRCUIT IS INSERTED
INTO A SILICON CASING,

WHICH ASSURES ITS PROTECTION.

THEN THE WIRES ARE SOLDERED
TO THE SPEAKER.

AND THEY VERIFY
THE PROPER FUNCTIONING

OF THE VOLUME CONTROL.

A HEARING AID
MUST BE VERY DISCREET.

THAT'S WHY THEY CUT THE EXCESS
WITH A DIAMOND DISK.

THEY ALSO REMOVE THE ROUGHNESS
WITH FINE SANDPAPER.

THE HOLES WE SEE HERE ARE USED
TO VENT AIR FROM THE EARPHONE.

THIS SILICONE TUBE
IS USED TO MAKE THE VENT.

ACRYLIC IS POURED ONTO THE TUBE
TO FORM A TUNNEL.

ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT IS USED
TO HARDEN THE ACRYLIC.

AFTERWARDS, THE TUBE IS REMOVED.

THIS HOLE IS USED
TO POSITION THE FASTENER,

A SMALL WIRE WHICH ALLOWS
FOR REMOVING THE HEARING AID

FROM THE EAR.

THEN THE BATTERY IS INSTALLED.

ONLY A FEW PARTS,
SUCH AS THE MICROPHONE,

REMAIN TO BE PUT IN PLACE.

THEN EVERYTHING
IS DELICATELY ASSEMBLED

INTO THE INTERIOR
OF THE PROSTHESIS.

THE TWO PARTS OF THE HEARING AID
ARE THEN GLUED TOGETHER.

ULTRAVIOLET HARDENS THE GLUE.

THE PLATE USED TO POSITION
THE PROSTHESIS COMPONENTS

IS CUT AWAY WITH THE DRILL.

THEN THE HEARING AID
IS MANUALLY POLISHED

TO MAKE IT PERFECTLY SMOOTH
AND COMFORTABLE.

THE PROSTHESIS IS NOW COMPLETED.

THERE REMAINS
ONE IMPORTANT STEP --

VERIFYING ITS ELECTROACOUSTIC
CHARACTERISTIC.

IT'S WITH THIS ANALYZER
THAT THEY VALIDATE

THAT THE HEARING AID CONFORMS
TO THE ORIGINAL PRESCRIPTION.

THESE MINUTE PROSTHESES

ALLOW US TO SOLVE
THE MAIN HEARING PROBLEMS.

MICROFABRICATION
OF A SINGLE UNIT

REQUIRES A LITTLE MORE
THAN TWO DAYS OF WORK.

Narrator: REMEMBER SPENDING
LAZY AFTERNOONS

PUTTING TOGETHER SIMPLE
60-PIECE JIGSAW PUZZLES?

WELL, PUT THAT IMAGE
OUT OF YOUR MIND,

BECAUSE TODAY'S
SOPHISTICATED PUZZLES

CAN HAVE 1,500 3-D PIECES

THAT GO UP, DOWN,
AND EVEN SIDEWAYS.

ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?

FLAT PUZZLES ARE WELL KNOWN
BY EVERYONE,

BUT 3-D PUZZLES PRESENT
A DIFFERENT CHALLENGE.

THESE 3-DIMENSIONAL PUZZLES

ARE FIRST CONCEIVED
WITH COMPUTER SOFTWARE.

GOOD BLADES ARE NEEDED
TO CUT PUZZLE PIECES.

HERE ARE THE BLADES
FOR THE MASTER DIE

WHICH WILL CUT OUT PRINTED
SHEETS OF DIFFERENT MODELS.

THIS RUBBER WILL BE USED
TO EJECT THE DIE.

THE MASTER CUTTING DIE
IS UNIQUE TO EACH PUZZLE.

IT IS THE SPECIFIC PATTERN
USED TO MAKE THE PUZZLE.

THEY MEASURE IT METICULOUSLY
TO OBTAIN A PERFECT REGISTER.

IT'S IMPERATIVE THAT THE DIE
NOT MOVE DURING THE CUTTING,

OTHERWISE THE PIECES WOULD BE
CUT AT THE WRONG POINTS,

SO THEY VERY FIRMLY
SECURE IT IN PLACE.

THE CARBON OF THE DIE
IS POSITIONED.

IT'S SOMEWHAT LIKE
PRINTING THE MASTER.

ALIGNMENT IS AGAIN VERIFIED,

A HIGHLY IMPORTANT STEP

WHICH ASSURES THE QUALITY
OF THE FINAL PRODUCT.

FINALLY, THEY INSTALL
THIS LARGE METALLIC PLATE,

WHICH IS THE CUTTING BASE.

IT WILL BE ON THIS SURFACE
THAT THE MASTER DIE WILL STRIKE.

ONCE MEASUREMENTS ARE FINISHED,

THE DRAWER OF THE DIE
IS SLID INTO PLACE.

THIS PRESS CUTS THE PATTERN
SEEN ON THE PUZZLE.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS.

THE SHEETS,
OR PRINTED CARDBOARDS,

GO INTO THE DRAWER ONE BY ONE,

WHERE THEY ARE CUT ACCORDING
TO THE MASTER MODEL.

WE CLEARLY SEE THE PRESS MAKING
THE CUT IN THE PUZZLE SHEET.

THE CUT SHEETS
PILE UP ON ONE ANOTHER.

AT THIS CHECKPOINT, THEY VERIFY
THE PRECISION OF THE CUT.

THEY MAKE SURE THAT EVERY PIECE
IS CORRECTLY SHAPED.

NOW THEY GO TO THE FOAM SUPPORT
OF THE PUZZLE.

THIS GUILLOTINE IS USED
TO CUT THE POLYETHYLENE SHEETS

ONTO WHICH THEY WILL GLUE
THE CUT IMAGES.

FOAM SHEETS ARE INSERTED
INTO THIS LAMINATOR

HEATED TO 450 DEGREES.

THE SHEET WITH THE DESIGN ON IT
IS GLUED ONTO THE FOAM

WITH A THERMOSETTING ADHESIVE.

NOW THEY GLUE THE PRINTED SHEET
ONTO THE FOAM SHEET.

ONCE THE ADHESION IS FINISHED,

THE PUZZLES ARE STACKED
ON ONE ANOTHER,

AND THEY PROCEED
TO THE UNBUCKLING OPERATION.

BY PULLING, THEY REMOVE
THE SURPLUS CUTTINGS.

THE SAME DESIGN IS PRINTED
SEVERAL TIMES ON A SHEET,

SO THEY MUST SEPARATE
EACH PUZZLE.

THIS STEP IS CALLED
THE REDUCTION OF THE MODELS.

NOW THE PIECES
HAVE TO BE SEPARATED.

THIS DECORTICATOR
HANDLES THIS TASK

AND SENDS THE PIECES
DOWN A CHUTE.

PACKING CARTONS ARRIVE
ALREADY MADE UP,

AND THE PUZZLE PIECES
ARE PLACED IN THEIR BOXES.

NO LESS THAN 15,000 PUZZLES
ARE PRODUCED HERE EACH DAY.

SINCE IT BEGAN OPERATIONS,

THE COMPANY HAS CREATED MORE
THAN 300 DIFFERENT PUZZLE MODELS

FROM QUITE SIMPLE ONES
TO MUCH MORE COMPLEX DESIGNS.

THE LARGEST OF THEM
CONTAIN A TOTAL

OF MORE THAN 3,000 PIECES.

AND YOU NEED REAL PATIENCE
FOR THIS ONE.

Narrator:
EVER WONDER WHAT HAPPENS

TO THE MILLIONS OF USED TIRES
WE THROW OUT EVERY YEAR?

WELL, YOU'LL BE RELIEVED TO KNOW

THAT BURNING TIRES
IS A THING OF THE PAST.

TODAY'S TIRES ARE OFTEN GIVEN
NEW LIFE AS RUBBER MATS.

SOME ARE EVEN BIG ENOUGH
TO COVER WHOLE ARENAS.

NOW, THAT'S RECYCLING.

USED TIRES ARE A REAL SOURCE
OF POLLUTION.

THIS PILE REPRESENTS
ABOUT 100,000 OF THEM.

AT ANY RATE, THESE TIRES
WILL HAVE A SECOND LIFE.

THEY'LL BE RECYCLED
TO MAKE RUBBER MATS.

EACH DAY IN THIS FACTORY,

THEY RECYCLE 15,000 TIRES
INTO MATS.

TIRES HAVE TO BE REDUCED
TO LITTLE GRANULES,

BUT FIRST THIS CONVEYOR FEEDS
THE TIRES INTO THE WASHER.

TIRES ARE WASHED

WITH A WATER-BASED
BIODEGRADABLE PREPARATION.

THEN THEY'RE SENT
TO THE SHREDDER.

THE SHREDDER HAS TWO ROWS
OF LARGE TEETH.

THESE GRIND UP THE TIRES
INTO PIECES.

THIS SHREDDER IS ABLE TO CUT UP
ALMOST 1,000 TIRES AN HOUR.

THEY COME OUT AS FAIRLY
GOOD-SIZED PIECES OF TIRES,

WHICH ARE THEN SHREDDED
A SECOND TIME.

METAL IS MAGNETICALLY SEPARATED
FROM THE RUBBER,

AND THE METAL PIECES
ARE RECYCLED AT ANOTHER FACTORY.

OTHER COMPONENTS OF THE TIRES,
SUCH AS FIBERGLASS AND NYLON,

ALSO HAVE TO BE SEPARATED.

THEY USE A SIFTER TO GET OUT
UNWANTED RUBBISH.

RECUPERATED RUBBER PARTICLES
PURGED OF FOREIGN MATERIALS

MEASURE ABOUT 1/10 OF AN INCH.

SOME 16 TONS OF TIRE PARTICLES

ARE PILED UP
IN THIS RECYCLING DEPOT.

BUT THE PARTICLES ARE STILL
TOO LARGE TO BE USED.

THEY'RE SENT TO A SECONDARY
SHREDDER SUPPLY TANK,

WHERE THEY'LL BE REDUCED
EVEN FURTHER.

THIS TRACTOR FEEDS
THE SECONDARY SHREDDER.

GRINDING ACTION PRODUCES
A KIND OF RUBBER POWDER.

THE POWDER IS SPREAD OUT
ON THESE ENORMOUS MOLDS.

THIS MOLD HAS A LENGTH
OF 23 FEET

AND A WIDTH OF 4 FEET.

THICKNESS VARIES ACCORDING
TO THE PRODUCT BEING MADE.

THE MOLDS FILLED
WITH RUBBER POWDER

ARE STORED IN THIS LOADING
MAGAZINE OF THE PRESS.

ONCE FULL, THE MOLDS ARE SENT
TO THE RUBBER-MAT PRESS.

HERE'S THE MAT PRESS.

THE POWDER HAS TO BE COOKED
AT A VERY HIGH TEMPERATURE

FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES.

COOKING TIME DEPENDS
ON THE PRODUCT BEING MADE.

THE COOKED MAT GOES
TO THE UNMOLDING UNIT

BEFORE BEING SENT OFF TO COOL.

THE RUBBER MATS
ARE STILL EXTREMELY HOT.

THEY'RE COOLED
WITH JETS OF WATER

FOR A PERIOD OF SEVERAL MINUTES.

THE COOLED MATS CAN NOW BE SENT
TO THE NEXT DEPARTMENT.

THIS CONVEYOR
IN THE CUTTING CENTER

POSITIONS THE MAT
BEFORE IT'S CUT.

THE MAT IS VIBRATED
TO ELIMINATE ANY SURPLUS WATER.

EACH RUBBER MAT IS NOW CUT UP
INTO THREE PIECES.

THE CUT MATS ARE THEN
STACKED INTO A PILE

AND STORED BEFORE BEING SHIPPED.

THE COMPANY
ALSO MAKES MUDGUARDS.

THESE ARE FABRICATED THE SAME
WAY AS THE PRECEDING MATS.

AFTER HAVING BEEN COOLED
IN WATER,

BUT WHILE THEY'RE STILL WARM,
THEY REMOVE THE SURPLUS RUBBER.

THIS OPERATION
IS CALLED "NOTCHING."

HARD RUBBER RINGS ARE ALSO
PRODUCED AT THIS FACILITY

WITH THE SAME
FABRICATION METHODS

AND, AS ALWAYS,
FROM OLD, USED TIRES.

OVER A 12-HOUR PERIOD,

THIS FACILITY MAKES NO LESS
THAN 12,000 RUBBER MATS

FROM OLD, RECYCLED TIRES.

THIS TRANSLATES INTO GOOD NEWS
FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT.

Narrator:
WE TEND NOT TO PUT MUCH THOUGHT

INTO THIS HUMBLEST
OF HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES

AS LONG AS IT KEEPS DOING
WHAT IT WAS BUILT TO DO.

BUT LIKE MOST OF THE MACHINES
WE'VE INVENTED

TO DO OUR DIRTY WORK,

WE MAY TAKE IT FOR GRANTED,

BUT IT'S NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE TO
IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT THE TOILET.

THE FIRST PUBLIC RESTROOMS
APPEARED IN ANCIENT ROME

WHEN THE EMPEROR VESPASIAN
BUILT LATRINES.

SUCH PUBLIC URINALS

BECAME WIDELY KNOWN
AS VESPASIENNES BY 1840.

IN 1775, THE INVENTION
OF A WATER-FLUSH SYSTEM

CREATED TOILETS SOMEWHAT
RESEMBLING TODAY'S CONVENIENCE.

THE VALVE AND SIPHON
WERE ADDED IN 1784

AND THE SEPTIC TANK IN 1896.

A TOILET IS AN EVERYDAY OBJECT

WHOSE FABRICATION REQUIRES
SEVERAL DAYS OF WORK.

IT INVOLVES ASSEMBLING
SEVERAL MOLDS CALLED "TOOLS."

EACH NEW PRODUCT REQUIRES THE
DESIGN OF A MASTER PLASTER MOLD

FROM WHICH THEY WILL PRODUCE
A PLASTIC TOOL.

THIS LATTER WILL BE USED
TO CREATE PLASTER DUPLICATES

USED AS PRODUCTION MOLDS.

THE PLASTER PRODUCTION MOLD
OF A TOILET

IS MADE FROM SIX DIFFERENT TOOLS
WHICH HAVE TO BE ASSEMBLED.

THEIR LIFE-SPAN
IS ONLY TWO MONTHS.

THE PROCESS BEGINS WITH
A MIXTURE OF WATER AND PLASTER

ACCORDING TO A PRECISE RECIPE.

THEN THE LIQUID IS POURED INTO
THIS FILLING HOLE OF THE TOOL.

ONCE THE PLASTER HARDENS,
THEY CAN PROCEED WITH UNMOLDING.

THEY STRIKE THE END

AT THE JUNCTION
OF THE PLASTER MOLD AND THE TOOL

WITH A RUBBER HAMMER
SO AS NOT TO DAMAGE THE PLASTER.

PIECES ARE GENTLY ASSEMBLED.

THE TOILET SOFTLY
TAKES ITS SHAPE.

IT IS IN THIS SAME MOLD THAT
THEY WILL LATER COLOR THE CLAY.

THEN THEY INSTALL
TENSIONING STRAPS.

LITTLE BLOCKS ARE INSERTED
BETWEEN THE MOLD AND THE STRAP

TO INCREASE THE TENSION.

THE MOLD WILL SOON BE
FILLED WITH LIQUID,

AND THEY THUS PREVENT
ANY DISTORTION.

HERE A NEW RECIPE
IS BEING PREPARED.

THIS TIME IT'S A SLURRY,
A COMPOSITE OF CLAY AND SILICA.

THIS PREPARATION
IS SPREAD OUT OVER 48 HOURS.

NOW THEY INSTALL THE CORE,
THE UPPER PART OF THE MOLD.

THEY CAN NOW PROCEED
WITH THE FILLING.

THIS COPPER DISTRIBUTION PIPE

CONNECTED TO THE TANK
CONTAINING THE SLURRY

PERMITS THE FILLING
OF SEVERAL MOLDS AT A TIME.

THEY NEED ABOUT 45 POUNDS
OF THE MIX PER BOWL MOLD.

AFTER AN HOUR,

THE SLURRY HAS ATTAINED
A THICKNESS OF 4/10 OF AN INCH.

THE PLUG IS PULLED TO ALLOW
THE EXCESS SLURRY TO RUN OUT.

THEY CAN NOW UNMOLD
THE STILL-FRAGILE PIECE.

THIS THICKER SLURRY IS USED

TO ADHERE
THESE TWO PIECES TOGETHER.

THEY CUT THE HOLES
AND UNMOLD THE ENSEMBLE.

THE TOILET IS NOW MOLDED.

THEN, TO OBTAIN
A PERFECT APPEARANCE,

THEY REMOVE THE LITTLE FILLET

FORMED BY THE SURPLUS
ADHESIVE SLURRY.

THE TOILETS AIR-DRY
FOR 36 HOURS,

THEN IN A WARM-AIR DRYER
FOR 12 HOURS.

FINISHING MUST BE IMPECCABLE.

THEY CAREFULLY SAND THE SURFACE
TO MAKE IT PERFECTLY SMOOTH.

A VACUUM DRAWS UP THE DUST.

THEN, WITH A JET
OF COMPRESSED AIR,

DUST AND DEBRIS ARE BLOWN AWAY.

BOWLS ARE HAND-PAINTED
IN A SPECIAL ROOM.

AS FOR THE WATER TANKS,

THEY ARE PAINTED
BY AN AUTOMATED ROBOT.

THIS TRUCK
CARRIES THE DIFFERENT PARTS

TO THE FINAL
FABRICATION STAGE -- BAKING.

THE TOILETS REMAIN IN THIS OVEN

AT THE VERY HIGH TEMPERATURE
OF 2,150 DEGREES

FOR 23 HOURS.

IT TAKES THIS LONG TO FUSE
THE CLAY AND SILICONE.

THE PAINT THEN BECOMES
HARD AND SHINY,

AND IT'S ALL DONE.

THE TOILETS
AND THE DIFFERENT BOWLS

NOW TAKE ON SHAPES MORE ELEGANT
THAN IN THE PAST,

BUT THE FABRICATION
OF EACH ONE OF THEM

WILL HAVE THE SAME BASIC
CONSTRUCTION STEPS

INVOLVING 45 POUNDS OF SLURRY

AND ALMOST 4 DAYS OF LABOR.

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