How It's Made (2001–…): Season 11, Episode 3 - Pencils/Metal Recycling/Coffee - full transcript


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

Narrator: THE LEAD INSIDE
A PENCIL ISN'T ACTUALLY LEAD.

IT'S MOSTLY GRAPHITE,

WHICH WAS DISCOVERED IN ENGLAND
IN THE MID-1500s,

GIVING BIRTH
TO THE PENCIL INDUSTRY.

IN 1795, A FRENCH CHEMIST

INVENTED A NEW TYPE
OF PENCIL LEAD,

MADE OF GRAPHITE POWDER AND CLAY
FIRED IN AN OVEN,

MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO PRODUCE
LEADS WITH DIFFERENT HARDNESS.

FOR THE PENCIL'S BODY,

YOU NEED A TYPE OF WOOD
THAT'S SOFT ENOUGH TO SHARPEN,

YET STRONG ENOUGH NOT TO BEND

UNDER THE WRITER'S
HAND PRESSURE.

THIS GERMAN PENCIL FACTORY
USES CEDAR FROM CALIFORNIA.

THE WOOD IS .2 INCHES THICK

AND ARRIVES PRECUT IN SLATS
OF 7 x 2 1/2 INCHES.

ONE BY ONE, THE SLATS PASS
UNDER A GIANT CUTTING WHEEL.

IT CARVES GROOVES

THAT WILL BECOME THE CHANNEL
DOWN THE MIDDLE

THAT HOLDS THE LEAD.

THE NEXT MACHINE
FILLS THE GROOVES WITH GLUE,

A SPECIAL FORMULATION
THAT'S SLIGHTLY ELASTIC.

THIS CUSHIONS THE LEAD

SO THAT IT'S LESS LIKELY
TO BREAK INSIDE THE CHANNEL.

EVERY SECOND SLAT MOVES
ONTO ANOTHER CONVEYOR BELT.

THE ONES THAT STAY ON THIS LINE

HEAD TOWARD THE MACHINE
THAT LAYS IN THE LEAD.

THE LEAD IS MADE
OF A GRAPHITE-AND-CLAY MIXTURE,

BAKED IN AN OVEN AT ALMOST
1,500 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

THE LEAD-LAYING MACHINE'S WHEEL
LOADS ITSELF WITH LEADS,

THEIR SPACING MATCHING
THE GROOVES IN THE SLATS.

IT'S THE SAME PROCESS
FOR COLORED PENCILS,

ONLY THE LEADS ARE MADE OF WAX,
CLAY, AND PIGMENTS

WITH NO BAKING REQUIRED.

NOW FOR THE SLATS THAT MOVE
TO THAT OTHER CONVEYOR BELT.

AN AUTOMATED ARM
FLIPS EACH ONE OVER,

SLIDES IT
ACROSS A GLUE APPLICATOR,

THEN DROPS IT ONTO A LEADED SLAT
ON THE OTHER CONVEYOR BELT.

ALL THE STEPS TO THIS POINT

HAVE CULMINATED IN WHAT IS
EFFECTIVELY A LEAD SANDWICH.

NOW A PLUNGER SQUEEZES
THOSE SANDWICHES TOGETHER

WITH A FULL TON OF PRESSURE.

IT COMPRESSES THEM FOR AN HOUR
WHILE THE GLUE DRIES.

AFTER THAT,

IT'S JUST A MATTER OF SLICING
THE SANDWICHES INTO PENCILS.

THE SHAPING MACHINE MAKES THE
HEXAGONAL PROFILE IN TWO STEPS.

FIRST, ITS UPPER CUTTER
FORMS THREE SIDES ON TOP,

THEN ITS LOWER CUTTER SHAPES
THREE SIDES ON THE BOTTOM.

AS SOON AS THE BOTTOM SIDE
IS CUT, THE PENCILS SEPARATE.

A WORKER PULLS A SAMPLE PENCIL

FROM EACH BATCH
COMING OFF THE LINE

AND MANUALLY SHARPENS IT
TO SPOT-CHECK LEAD QUALITY.

THEN HE APPLIES FORCE TO THE TIP
UNTIL IT BREAKS.

FOR A PENCIL
TO PASS THIS STRENGTH TEST,

IT HAS TO WITHSTAND AT LEAST
4 1/2 POUNDS OF FORCE.

NOW IT'S TIME TO DRESS
THAT BARE WOOD.

ONE AT A TIME,

THE PENCILS SHOOT THROUGH A
DEVICE CALLED A LACQUERING HEAD.

IT COATS THE WOOD IN PAINT,
YELLOW IN THIS CASE.

IT TAKES FOUR COATS OF PAINT TO
COMPLETELY HIDE THE WOOD GRAIN.

A FIFTH LACQUERING HEAD
PAINTS A BLACK STRIPE,

THIS COMPANY'S TRADEMARK.

THEN A SIXTH HEAD
SEALS THE PAINT JOB

WITH A TRANSPARENT LACQUER.

FROM THE PAINT LINE,

THE PENCILS MAKE THEIR WAY
TO A STAMPING MACHINE

AT AN ASTOUNDING RATE
OF 500 PENCILS A MINUTE.

THE MACHINE HEAT-TRANSFERS
FOIL LETTERING

FROM A PLASTIC FILM
TO THE PAINTED WOOD.

LAST STOP -- THE RUBBER-TIP
ASSEMBLY MACHINE.

FIRST, IT SQUEEZES
THE TOP OF THE PENCIL

TO SLIDE ON AN ALUMINUM FERRULE.

THEN IT INSERTS A RUBBER ERASER
INTO THE FERRULE'S OTHER END

AND SQUEEZES THAT TIGHT.

EUROPEAN-STYLE PENCILS
HAVE A PAINTED CAP INSTEAD,

THE COLOR INDICATING
HOW HARD THE LEAD IS.

AFTER A COAT
OF TRANSPARENT SEALER,

THE PENCILS TAKE A SERIES
OF DIPS IN THE FIRST COLOR,

THEN, ONCE THAT DRIES,
IN THE SECOND COLOR.

THE FINAL COAT
IS A HIGH-GLOSS LACQUER.

THE PENCILS ARE FINALLY READY
TO ROLL...

ACROSS A GRINDING DRUM
FOR SHARPENING.

BY THE TIME THEY ROLL OFF,
THEY'RE POINTED PERFECTION.

LOOKING AS GOOD AS THEY PERFORM,

TODAY'S PENCILS
SURE HAVE THE RIGHT STUFF.

Narrator: THERE ARE TWO TYPES
OF SCRAP METAL --

FERROUS AND NONFERROUS.

FERROUS SCRAP
IS SCRAP IRON AND STEEL

THAT COMES MAINLY FROM OLD CARS.

NONFERROUS SCRAP METAL

INCLUDES ALUMINUM, COPPER,
LEAD, AND NICKEL.

AND THE BEST PART IS METALS
CAN BE RECYCLED INDEFINITELY

WITHOUT LOSING
ANY OF THEIR PROPERTIES.

EACH YEAR, NORTH AMERICAN AUTO
PLANTS BUILD MILLIONS OF CARS.

EVENTUALLY, THEY END UP HERE,

AT A SCRAP-METAL-RECYCLING
FACILITY.

IT TAKES ABOUT TWO DAYS
TO PROCESS THE RAW MATERIAL,

MOSTLY OLD CARS AND APPLIANCES.

CRANE AND BULLDOZER OPERATORS
SCAN THE RAW MATERIAL

AS THEY GATHER AND STACK IT.

THEY'RE LOOKING FOR ANYTHING
THEY CAN'T PROCESS --

PROPANE TANKS, GLASS, OR HEAVY
IRON THAT WILL NOT SHRED

AND THAT COULD CAUSE DAMAGE
TO THE MACHINERY.

AN INSPECTOR
GOES INTO THE STOCKPILE

TO CHECK THE MATERIAL
MORE CLOSELY,

THEN SIGNALS THE CRANE OPERATOR

THAT HE CAN PROCEED
WITH THE NEXT LOAD.

THE CRANE'S GRAPPLE
DELIVERS LOAD AFTER LOAD

ONTO A CONVEYOR BELT
THAT LEADS INTO A SHREDDER.

THE BELT SPEEDS UP OR SLOWS DOWN

ACCORDING TO THE WEIGHT
OF THE MATERIAL

TO FEED JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT
INTO THE SHREDDER.

HERE'S THE FEED BOX THAT
CONTAINS THE SHREDDER LAID OPEN.

AN INSPECTOR
CHECKS IT DAILY FOR DAMAGE.

THERE'S A LOT OF WEAR AND TEAR
ON THIS MACHINERY.

A 4,000-POUND DRUM
GRABS THE MATERIAL

AS IT COMES OFF THE CONVEYOR

AND FORCES IT INTO THE SHREDDER.

ITS GIANT HAMMERS POUND AWAY
AT THE CARS, MATTRESSES,

AND OTHER RECYCLABLE ITEMS,

SHREDDING THEM
INTO FIST-SIZED CHUNKS.

AN INDUSTRIAL VACUUM

SUCKS OUT BITS OF RUBBER
OR GLASS

MIXED IN
WITH THE SHREDDED STEEL.

THE STEEL PIECES
STICK TO THESE MAGNETIC DRUMS.

ANYTHING ELSE FALLS THROUGH
TO A CONVEYOR BELT BELOW.

HERE, PICKERS REMOVE
ANY UNWANTED MATERIAL

CAUGHT ON THE STEEL PIECES,

AND THE CLEAN SHREDDED STEEL
IS READY FOR SHIPPING

TO CUSTOMERS LIKE STEEL MILLS
AND FOUNDRIES.

THE MATERIAL THE MAGNETIC DRUMS
DON'T COLLECT

GOES ON FOR MORE PROCESSING.

THERE'S PRECIOUS NONFERROUS
METALS SUCH AS COPPER OR BRASS

MIXED IN WITH SHREDDED DEBRIS.

IT ALL GOES INTO A MACHINE
CALLED A TROMMEL,

WHERE A ROTATING DRUM SEPARATES
THE MATERIAL BY SIZE.

ANY LEFTOVER RESIDUE
IS JUST TRASH.

BUT BEFORE IT GOES
TO A LANDFILL,

AN INSPECTOR CHECKS IT

TO MAKE SURE NO VALUABLE
MATERIAL HAS SLIPPED THROUGH.

THE MATERIAL FROM THE TROMMEL

IS EVENLY DISPERSED
ONTO A CONVEYOR

THAT TAKES IT TO A MACHINE

CALLED
AN EDDY CURRENT SEPARATOR.

INSIDE, A ROTATING MAGNETIC DRUM
CREATES A STRONG MAGNETIC FIELD

THAT REPELS NONFERROUS METALS
RIGHT UP AND OVER A BARRIER

INTO A STORAGE BIN.

ANY MATERIAL THAT DOESN'T
MAKE IT OVER THE BARRIER

GOES THROUGH THE SEPARATOR
ONE MORE TIME, JUST IN CASE

THERE'S STILL SOME VALUABLE
NONFERROUS METALS MIXED IN.

A CONVEYOR BELT CARRIES OUT
THE WORTHLESS RESIDUE

TO A TRASH HEAP.

A DIFFERENT CONVEYOR BELT

CARRIES THE NONFERROUS METAL
OUT OF THE SEPARATOR

AND LOADS IT INTO A BIN
FOR SALE.

IT WILL GO TO ANOTHER PLANT
WHERE THEY'LL SEPARATE IT

BY TYPE OF METAL -- MAINLY
COPPER, BRASS, AND ALUMINUM.

AFTER ALL THAT SHREDDING,
SIFTING, AND SEPARATING,

HERE'S WHAT'S LEFT
OF THE AVERAGE USED CAR.

TAKE AWAY THE RUBBER, PLASTIC,
AND UPHOLSTERY,

AND YOU HAVE
SOME SHREDDED STEEL...

AND SOME VALUABLE
NONFERROUS METALS.

THAT'S A LOT OF USEFUL MATERIAL

THANKS TO SOME EFFICIENT
RECYCLING.

Narrator:
ACCORDING TO LEGEND,

A GOAT HERDER IN ETHIOPIA

DISCOVERED COFFEE
AROUND 850 A.D.

EVENTUALLY, THE BEVERAGE
REACHED ITALY,

WHERE THE FIRST EUROPEAN
COFFEEHOUSE OPENED IN 1645.

TODAY, ABOUT 2 BILLION CUPS
OF COFFEE ARE DRUNK EACH DAY

AROUND THE WORLD,

MAKING COFFEE THE SECOND-MOST
VALUABLE TRADING COMMODITY

AFTER OIL.

COFFEE'S FLAVOR DEPENDS
ON THE REGION WHERE IT GROWS

AND THE WAY COFFEE MAKERS
ROAST AND BLEND THE BEANS.

HERE IN COSTA RICA,

THEY GROW COFFEE PLANTS
FROM SPROUTED SEEDS

KEPT IN CONTAINERS
FOR A FULL YEAR

BEFORE THEY TRANSPLANT THEM
INTO THE FIELD.

FROM SEED TO FIRST HARVEST
TAKES ABOUT TWO YEARS.

COFFEE PLANTS FLOWER
OVER THE COURSE OF THREE DAYS,

COVERING THE FIELDS WITH
FRAGRANT JASMINE-LIKE BLOOMS.

OVER SIX MONTHS' TIME,

THE BUDS GROW AND RIPEN
INTO RED CHERRIES

THAT CONTAIN THE COFFEE BEAN.

PICKERS HARVEST
THE RED CHERRIES,

LEAVING THE GREEN ONES TO RIPEN.

THEY'LL RETURN TO PICK
THE CHERRIES FROM THE SAME PLANT

FIVE TIMES IN THREE MONTHS
AS THEY RIPEN.

PICKERS DO THEIR BEST
TO HAVE NO MORE THAN 2 GREEN

FOR EVERY 100 RED CHERRIES
THEY HARVEST.

THEY EMPTY THEIR BINS INTO BAGS
AND LOAD THEM INTO TRUCKS.

EACH BIN PRODUCES ABOUT
4 1/2 POUNDS OF COFFEE BEANS,

ENOUGH TO MAKE
ABOUT 200 CUPS OF COFFEE.

THE FRESHER THE BERRY,
THE BETTER THE FLAVOR.

CHERRIES PICKED IN THE MORNING
ARE AT THE WET MILL,

READY FOR PROCESSING
THAT AFTERNOON.

AT THE WET MILL,
WATER CHANNELS WASH THE CHERRIES

AND DROP THEM OFF
AT A WORM SCREW.

IT LOADS THEM
INTO A PULPING MACHINE

TO REMOVE THE OUTER SKIN
AND FRUIT.

A ROTATING DRUM
PRESSES THE CHERRIES

AGAINST THE WALL OF THE PULPER
AND SQUEEZES OUT THE BEAN.

FROM THE PULPING MACHINE,

THE BEANS FLOW IN WATER TO
TWO LARGE ROTATING CYLINDERS.

THEY SIFT THE BEANS
TO SEPARATE THEM

FROM ANY OF THE HARD
GREEN CHERRIES

THAT PASS THROUGH
THE PULPING MACHINE.

NEXT, THE BEANS BATHE
IN MORE WATER,

WHICH DRAWS OUT A THICK SUGARY
SUBSTANCE KNOWN AS MIEL,

"HONEY" IN SPANISH.

THE COFFEE MAKER
THEN FEEDS THE WASHED BEANS

TO MAKE SURE
THEY'RE NO LONGER STICKY.

THE BEANS THEN DROP
INTO THE DRYING BIN BELOW.

WORKERS NOW LAY OUT THE BEANS
TO DRY IN THE TRADITIONAL WAY --

OUTDOORS ON A CEMENT PATIO.

FOR FOUR DAYS,
THEY RAKE OVER THE BEANS

AS THEY DRY IN THE HOT SUN.

AT NIGHT, THEY LET THE BEANS
REST TO EXTRACT THE MOST FLAVOR.

ONCE THE BEANS ARE DRY,
THEY GO INTO A MILLING MACHINE.

INSIDE, LARGE STONES GRIND AWAY
THE PARCHMENT-LIKE HULL

FROM THE BEAN.

DRYING METHODS
VARY AMONG COFFEE MAKERS.

THEY'RE A CLOSELY GUARDED
SECRET.

THE BEANS
CAN ALSO DRY MECHANICALLY

IN ROTATING DRUMS
THAT PUMP IN HEATED AIR.

WORKERS CLOSELY MONITOR
THE PROCESS

AND EMPTY THE DRUMS
WHEN THE BEANS ARE DRY.

A SUPERVISOR SMELLS THEM TO
CHECK FOR A VINEGAR-LIKE ODOR.

THAT WOULD MEAN THE BEANS
ARE FERMENTING,

A RESULT OF IMPROPER DRYING.

THE DRY BEANS
HAVE THEIR HUSKS REMOVED,

THEN GO ON
TO AN OSCILLATING TABLE

THAT SEPARATES THEM BY WEIGHT
INTO THREE GRADES,

THE HEAVIEST BEING
THE FIRST-GRADE BEANS.

WORKERS POUR OUT EACH GRADE
INTO BURLAP BAGS.

THEIR CONTENTS MUST WEIGH IN
AT 152 POUNDS PER BAG.

FINALLY, THEY STITCH THEM UP
AND STACK THEM FOR SHIPPING.

NEXT, WE'LL SEE
THE WHOLE PROCESS

THAT TURNS
THESE GREEN COFFEE BEANS

INTO A STEAMING CUP
OF GOURMET COFFEE.

Narrator: COFFEE BOASTS MORE
THAN 800 FLAVOR CHARACTERISTICS,

AT LEAST DOUBLE THOSE OF WINE.

ROASTING REDUCES THE AMOUNT
OF CAFFEINE IN THE BEAN.

TO ACHIEVE
A DARK-ESPRESSO ROAST,

THE BEANS REMAIN
IN THE ROASTER THE LONGEST,

SO THEY HAVE THE LEAST CAFFEINE.

IT'S THE CONCENTRATED BREW
THAT PACKS ESPRESSO'S PUNCH.

THESE GREEN COFFEE BEANS HAVE
JUST ARRIVED FROM THE WET MILL.

WORKERS POUR THEM OUT
INTO A BLENDING BIN

THAT FEEDS A ROASTING MACHINE

HEATED TO 356 DEGREES
FAHRENHEIT.

AT THAT TEMPERATURE,

THE OILS IN THE BEANS COMBUST,

AND THE BEANS ROAST
IN LESS THAN 20 MINUTES.

THE MASTER ROASTER MUST
REGULARLY CHECK THEIR PROGRESS.

WHEN HE DETERMINES
THEY'RE READY,

HE SETS OFF A LIGHT SPRAY
OF WATER IN THE ROASTER

TO EXTINGUISH THE BEANS.

THEN THEY POUR INTO A BIN WHERE
THEY'RE COOLED BY FORCED AIR.

AS THEY ROAST,
THE BEANS GO FROM GREEN

TO GOLDEN BROWN, THEN BLACK.

BEFORE ROASTING
AN ENTIRE SHIPMENT OF BEANS,

COFFEE MAKERS
FIRST TEST A SMALL BATCH.

THEY FOLLOW
A STANDARDIZED PROCEDURE

AT THE PLANT'S
TESTING LABORATORY.

FIRST, THEY ROAST
A HALF-POUND OF BEANS

IN A SMALL GAS OVEN
FOR A FEW MINUTES.

THEN A PROFESSIONAL TASTER
MEASURES OUT THE BEANS

AND FEEDS THEM
INTO AN ELECTRIC GRINDER.

SHE PREPARES FOUR SEPARATE CUPS
OF COFFEE

WITH THE SAME COARSE GRIND.

IT TAKES 4 TASTES
TO MAKE SURE ALL IS WELL,

20 TO DETECT THE SOURCE
OF A PROBLEM ROAST.

SHE BEGINS BY PUSHING ASIDE
THE FOAM AT THE SURFACE

TO RELEASE THE INTENSE AROMAS,

A TECHNIQUE
KNOWN AS BREAKING THE CUP.

SHE SMELLS EACH CUP IN TURN,

A SURE WAY TO KNOW IF SOMETHING
IS WRONG WITH THE ROAST.

NEXT, SHE SKIMS THE SURFACE
TO REMOVE THE GROUNDS.

SHE TAKES A SIP, SLIPPING
THE COFFEE OVER HER TONGUE

TO GET THE FULL FLAVOR
BEFORE SPITTING IT OUT.

NOW SHE CAN DETERMINE HOW SHE
WILL BALANCE THE BLEND OF BEANS

TO CREATE A RECIPE
FOR THE PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE.

BACK ON THE FACTORY FLOOR,

THE VARIOUS BEANS FOR THE BLEND
GO INTO A GRINDER.

IT WILL PRODUCE
THE DESIRED GRIND --

COARSE, MEDIUM,
OR A FINE ESPRESSO LIKE THIS.

NOW THE COFFEE
IS READY FOR PACKAGING.

IT'S A FULLY-AUTOMATED PROCESS
THANKS TO THIS MACHINE

THAT FORMS, FILLS,
AND SEALS THE BAGS.

GOURMET COFFEE MUST GO
PIPING HOT FROM THE GRINDER

TO THE BAG TO ENSURE FRESHNESS.

AS THE MACHINE SEALS EACH BAG,

IT PUMPS IN NITROGEN

TO REPLACE THE OXYGEN
THAT MAKES COFFEE STALE.

THE MACHINE SEPARATES THE BAGS,

AND THEY FALL ONTO A
CUSTOM-DESIGNED CONVEYOR BELT

THAT WEIGHS EACH ONE
AS IT PASSES THROUGH.

OVER AT THE ESPRESSO MACHINE,

THE BARISTA DEMONSTRATES
THE TECHNIQUE REQUIRED

FOR A PERFECT ESPRESSO.

SHE PUTS A QUARTER-OUNCE OF
GROUND COFFEE INTO THE HOLDER,

TAMPS IT DOWN FIRMLY,
THEN WEDGES IT IN PLACE.

THE MACHINE
APPLIES WATER PRESSURE

TO EXTRACT THE ESPRESSO.

THE DISTINCTIVE FOAM IS A SIGN
THIS COFFEE'S FIRST-RATE.

THE BARISTA ALSO DEMONSTRATES

HOW TO USE A FRENCH PRESS
OR CAFETIèRE.

SHE ADDS BOILING WATER
TO THE COFFEE GROUNDS,

THEN PUSHES THEM DOWN
TO THE BASE.

AGAIN, SHE APPLIES PRESSURE,
MANUALLY THIS TIME,

TO EXTRACT THE COFFEE'S AROMA.

FINALLY, SHE DEMONSTRATES

HOW COSTA RICANS MAKE
A TRADITIONAL CUP OF COFFEE.

SHE PLACES A CHORREADOR, A FINE
COTTON SIEVE, OVER THE CUP,

PRESSING ON THE GROUND COFFEE
WITH A SPOON

AS SHE POURS IN BOILING WATER.

NO MATTER WHICH ONE YOU CHOOSE,
WITH THE RIGHT GOURMET ROAST,

ALL THREE METHODS WILL PRODUCE
AN OUTSTANDING CUP

OF RICH, FLAVORFUL COFFEE.

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