How It's Made (2001–…): Season 11, Episode 5 - Technical Glass/Washing Machines/Playing Cards/Crossbows - full transcript


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

Narrator:
A TRAFFIC INTERSECTION,

A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE SET,
THE OUTSIDE OF AN AIRPLANE --

IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE
ANY COMMON GROUND AMONG THEM

UNTIL YOU FLIP A SWITCH,
A LIGHT SWITCH.

TRAFFIC LIGHTS, MOVIE LIGHTS,
AND AIRCRAFT LIGHTS

ARE ALL MADE OF THE SAME TYPE
OF SPECIAL GLASS.

IT'S CALLED TECHNICAL GLASS.

BOROSILICATE GLASS
HAS A LOW THERMAL EXPANSION

AND IS VERY DURABLE.

IT'S USED
IN HIGH-TEMPERATURE
APPLICATIONS

AND WHEN ABRASION RESISTANCE
IS IMPORTANT.

IT BEGINS WITH A MIX OF SILICA
SAND AND CHEMICALS CALLED
BATCH.

WORKERS SHOVEL THE BATCH

AND RECYCLED GLASS,
CALLED CULLET,

INTO A POT FURNACE,
WHERE THEY MELT FOR TWO DAYS.

A VARIETY OF COLORANTS ARE
ADDED

TO MAKE HUNDREDS
OF DIFFERENT COLORS.

NEXT, IT'S ON
TO THE MOLDING PROCESS.

WORKERS HEAT A RING

AND TRANSFER IT
TO THE TOP OF A MOLD.

THEN THEY TWIST AND TURN
A STICK CALLED A PUNTY

TO GATHER SOME MELTED GLASS

AND CAREFULLY STRING IT
IN THE MOLD.

A PLUNGER SQUEEZES
THE MOLTEN GOB INTO SHAPE.

THE GLASS SOLIDIFIES IN
SECONDS.

THIS GLASS LENS IS USED

AS A LANDING-LIGHT COVER
ON AN AIRCRAFT.

THEY EXTRACT IT FROM THE MOLD
FOR A QUICK INSPECTION.

ANY IMPERFECTIONS,
AND IT GETS RECYCLED.

IF THE LENS IS ACCEPTABLE,

IT'S HELD IN A FORMING DEVICE
TO FINALIZE THE SHAPE.

THE BURNER MAINTAINS THE
PROPER
TEMPERATURE OF THE RING.

ONCE FORMED, THE LENSES
ARE COOLED IN AN ANNEALING
OVEN,

WHICH RELIEVES UNWANTED STRESS
IN THE GLASS.

THIS CIRCULAR MOLD

MAKES THEATRICAL
AND LANDSCAPE LIGHTING.

AGAIN, A GOB OF MOLTEN GLASS
IS DROPPED IN THE MOLD,

AND THE PLUNGER IS DEPRESSED,
FORMING THE LENS.

HEAT-RESISTANT TONGS

ENABLE WORKERS
TO HANDLE THE HOT LENSES.

RED AND YELLOW LENSES NEED
A HIGH-TEMPERATURE ANNEAL

FOR THE COLOR TO APPEAR.

THIS IS CALLED STRIKING.

BACK ON THE MOLDING LINE,

SPECIAL TOOLS ARE USED

TO ENSURE THIS AIRCRAFT LENS
MAINTAINS ITS SHAPE.

A QUICK SPIN ON THE LIGHT
WHEEL
ILLUMINATES ANY DEFECTS.

AFTER A TRIP
THROUGH THE ANNEALING LAIR,

THE LENSES ARE READY
FOR FURTHER PROCESSING.

THE MOLDING PROCESS FOR LARGER
LENSES CAN BE MORE
COMPLICATED.

THIS LARGE CONVEX LENS
REQUIRES
SEVERAL GOBS OF MOLTEN GLASS

PLACED CAREFULLY
ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER.

THE PLUNGER ENTERS
INTO THE MOLTEN GLASS,

FORMING THE LENS.

DEEP RIDGES LOCATED
IN THE PLUNGER OF THE MOLD

CREATE THE CIRCULAR PRISMS
ON THE GLASS LENS.

WITHIN SECONDS,

THE LENS IS READY FOR
EXTRACTION
AND INSPECTION.

USING HEAT-RESISTANT MITTS,

WORKERS SCRUTINIZE THE GLASS
FROM EVERY ANGLE,

CHECKING FOR SMALL FRACTURES
OR IMPERFECTIONS IN THE GLASS.

NEXT, THEY INSPECT FOR
FLATNESS

USING A PAPER-THIN
PLASTIC FEELER.

IF IT SLIDES UNDERNEATH,

THE LENS IS WARPED
AND UNACCEPTABLE.

THEY CHECK THE GLASS THICKNESS
IN MANY LOCATIONS,

USING A CALIBRATED
THICKNESS GAUGE.

ANY MAJOR DEFECTS,
AND THEY DISCARD THE LENS.

IN THE FACTORY'S FINISHING
SHOP,

THEY USE A DIAMOND SAW
TO SLICE AWAY EXCESS GLASS

AROUND THE PERIPHERY.

A SPECIAL SANDING BELT IS USED

TO SMOOTH THE SURFACE
TO PERFECTION.

THEN,
WITH A CLOTH BUFFING WHEEL,

THEY POLISH THE GLASS
TO A SHINE.

AT LAST, THE FINAL INSPECTION.

USING CALIPERS, THEY MEASURE
THE LENS'S RIDGED EDGES,

CALLED THE FLANGE,

TO MAKE SURE THE DIMENSIONS
ARE CORRECT.

PRODUCING SUCH A COLORFUL
ASSORTMENT OF TECHNICAL GLASS

TAKES A LOT OF WORK,

BUT AT LEAST THERE'S LIGHT
AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.

Narrator:
IN THE DAYS BEFORE
ELECTRICITY,

DOING LAUNDRY
WAS JUST PLAIN HARD WORK.

THE FIRST ELECTRIC
WASHING MACHINES

WERE LITTLE MORE THAN A BUCKET
WITH A MOTOR ATTACHED.

FULLY AUTOMATIC MACHINES
CAME ABOUT IN THE 1960s.

BUT WITH RISING CONCERN
FOR THE ENVIRONMENT,

THERE ARE NEW DESIGNS THAT
NEED
LESS WATER AND ELECTRICITY

TO GET THE DIRTY JOB DONE.

MOST WASHING MACHINES
CONTAIN A CIRCULAR TUB

TO HOLD THE LAUNDRY.

BUT THIS MODEL
HAS A UNIQUE FEATURE --

A HEXAGON-SHAPED TUB
MADE FROM PANELS

OF LASER-CUT,
PERFORATED STAINLESS STEEL.

THE OPERATOR
SEPARATES THE CUT PANELS

AND PLACES ONE ON A BENDING
MACHINE CALLED A PRESS BRAKE.

IT FORCES THE PANEL
AGAINST A DIE,

BENDING THE EDGE.

THE OPERATOR REPOSITIONS
THE PANEL FOR THE NEXT BEND,

REPEATING THIS UNTIL
THE SIX-SIDED SHAPE IS
COMPLETE.

THEN AN ASSEMBLER ATTACHES
A HINGED DOOR

TO THE TUB'S OPENING.

THAT'S WHERE THE LAUNDRY
GOES IN.

THIS INNER TUB IS CONTAINED
BY ANOTHER OUTER TUB.

TO ASSEMBLE IT,

A WELDER SETS
A STAINLESS STEEL PLATE

ONTO A WELDING FIXTURE.

THEN HE PLACES
THE TUB'S MAIN FRAME

AND SLIDES IN ANOTHER
STEEL PLATE TO CLOSE IT UP.

HE CLAMPS THE TUB
FIRMLY IN PLACE

THEN SPOT-WELDS IT ON EACH
SIDE
SO THE PIECES HOLD TOGETHER.

NEXT, HE TAKES THE TUB OVER TO
A MACHINE CALLED A SEAM
WELDER.

THERE,
AN ELECTRODE WHEEL TRAVELS

ALL ALONG THE TUB'S EDGE,

WELDING TOGETHER
THE FRONT AND BACK PANELS

TO THE MAIN FRAME.

THERE'S STILL MORE WELDING TO
DO

WITH THE USE
OF A ROBOTIC WELDING ARM

TO BUILD THE MACHINE'S
24x27-INCH STEEL BASE.

A CONCRETE COUNTERWEIGHT
MOUNTED ON THE OUTER TUB'S
SIDE

PREVENTS THE MACHINE
FROM SHAKING TOO MUCH

WHEN IT'S IN OPERATION.

NEXT, AN ASSEMBLER ATTACHES
A PRESSURE TUBE AND A SUMP
HOSE

TO DRAW THE USED WATER
OUT OF THE MACHINE.

HE SEALS BOTH TUBES
WITH A WATERTIGHT ADHESIVE.

NOW HE CAN INSTALL
THE SUSPENSION STRUTS

THAT SUPPORT THE OUTER TUB,
ONE AT EACH CORNER OF THE
BASE.

A SINGLE ELECTRIC MOTOR
POWERS THE WHOLE MACHINE.

IT'S SET
ON THE MACHINE'S UNDERSIDE

ON AN ADJUSTABLE PIVOT SHAFT.

WITH THE MOTOR IN PLACE,

ASSEMBLERS NOW TURN OVER
THE COMPLETED OUTER TUB

AND LOWER IT INTO POSITION
ON ITS BASE.

THEY CONNECT THE SUPPORT
STRUTS
ON ALL FOUR SIDES

AND THEN PUSH THE TUB

TO MAKE SURE THE STRUTS
ALIGN PROPERLY

AND KEEP THE MACHINE BALANCED.

NEXT, THE INNER TUB
IS SET INTO THE OUTER TUB.

WORKERS INSERT
A STAINLESS STEEL SHAFT

RIGHT THROUGH BOTH TUBS.

A STRIP OF WATERTIGHT FOAM
IS SET

ALONG THE OUTER TUB'S
PERIMETER
TO SEAL IT

BEFORE WORKERS
INSTALL A PLASTIC BEZEL

THAT KEEPS WATER FROM
SPLASHING
OUT OF THE MACHINE.

NEXT, ASSEMBLERS
INSTALL THE DRIVE PULLEY

ONTO THE SHAFT THAT SUPPORTS
THE INNER TUB.

A DRIVE BELT CONNECTS THE
MOTOR
TO THE PULLEY,

WHICH ROTATES THE SHAFT

AND THE INNER TUB
THAT IT SUPPORTS.

NOW THEY SLIDE
A STAINLESS STEEL OUTER
CABINET

ONTO THE BASE
THAT COVERS THE TUBS.

IT CONTAINS A CONTROL BOARD,

THE BRAIN
OF THE WASHING MACHINE.

THE ASSEMBLER
SETS THE LID INTO PLACE,

AND THE MACHINE IS COMPLETE.

THE CONTROL-BOARD WIRING

IS LOCATED ON THE UNDERSIDE
OF THE LID.

THAT'S ALSO WHERE THE VALVES

THAT DISPENSE DETERGENT,
BLEACH,
AND SOFTENER ARE.

BEFORE IT LEAVES THE PLANT,

A MEMBER OF THE
QUALITY-CONTROL
TEAM TESTS IT OUT

WITH A LOAD OF SOILED LAUNDRY.

ACCORDING TO THE
MANUFACTURERS,

THE UNIQUE SHAPE
OF THE INNER TUB IS THE KEY

TO MAKING THIS A LEAN, GREEN
WASHING MACHINE

THAT REQUIRES LESS WATER,
LESS DETERGENT,

AND LESS ENERGY
TO GET THE JOB DONE.

THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF WATER
UNDER THE BRIDGE

SINCE THE DAYS
OF THOSE FIRST MACHINES.

THEY'VE SURE COME A LONG WAY.

Narrator: THE PLAYING CARD
TRACES ITS ROOTS

BACK MORE THAN 1,100 YEARS
TO 9th CENTURY CHINA.

SINCE THEN,
GENERATIONS YOUNG AND OLD

LAY DOWN THEIR TRUE COLORS
IN A VARIETY OF GAMES,

EACH AS UNIQUE
AS THE TRADITIONAL 52-CARD
DECK

AND AS TIMELESS
AS THE FOUR FAMOUS SUITS.

WHATEVER THE HAND,

A WINNING COMBINATION
OF TECHNICAL FEATURES

MAKES THESE PLAYING CARDS
DURABLE AND CHEATER-PROOF.

INDUSTRIAL HUMIDIFIERS
CONTROL THE MOISTURE LEVEL

OF THE CARD STOCK.

THIS PREVENTS THE CARDBOARD
FROM DRYING OUT AND WARPING.

TECHNICIANS REGULARLY MONITOR

THE CARDBOARD'S TEMPERATURE
AND HUMIDITY

BY INSERTING A FLAT PROBE

4 INCHES FROM THE TOP
OF THE 3,000-SHEET STACK.

CARD STOCK ARRIVES FROM
THE PAPER MILL READY-MADE --

TWO LAYERS OF CARDBOARD
BONDED WITH COLORED GLUE.

THIS CONSTRUCTION
MAKES THE PLAYING CARDS

IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE THROUGH.

BEFORE MAKING PRINTING PLATES,

A TECHNICIAN CHECKS THE
ARTWORK
FOR THE DECK,

THEN PRINTS OUT
A LOW-RESOLUTION SAMPLE

TO CONFIRM THE SEQUENCE
AND LAYOUT ARE CORRECT.

THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM
FOR ERROR,

SO SHE CAREFULLY DOUBLE-CHECKS
EVERY CARD

FOR SUIT, SEQUENCE, COLOR,
AND LAYOUT.

A SIGNATURE ON THIS STICKER

CONFIRMS THESE CARDS
ARE GOOD FOR PRINT.

THE NEXT STEP IS TO MAKE
A DIGITAL PROOF.

THIS PRINTER'S INTERNAL LASER

HEAT-TRANSFERS DOTS OF COLORED
FOILS ONTO A CLEAR FILM.

THESE DOTS PERFECTLY REPRODUCE
THE CONTENT AND COLOR

OF EACH CARD.

NEXT, A LAMINATING MACHINE
BONDS THE EXPOSED FILMS

ONTO A SHEET
OF THE SAME CARDBOARD

USED TO MAKE THE CARDS.

THIS PRODUCES A PRINTED PROOF

SHOWING EXACTLY WHAT
THE FINISHED PLAYING CARDS

WILL LOOK LIKE.

HERE, GRAPHIC ARTISTS ADAPT
HAND DRAWINGS OF THE FACE
CARDS,

ADDING COLOR AND A TOUCH
OF REGAL CLASS WHEREVER
NEEDED.

THE NEXT STEP IS
TO MAKE THE PRINTING PLATES.

A COMPUTER-GUIDED LASER

ETCHES THE DESIGN
INTO THE POLYMER SURFACE

OF THE PRINTING PLATE.

ENTIRELY AUTOMATED,

THIS MACHINE PRODUCES
30 PLATES AN HOUR.

TO SET UP FOR A PRINT RUN,

WORKERS POUR SEVERAL CANS
OF THICK CYAN INK

INTO THE INK DUCT.

THE THREE OTHER COLORS --
SAME SETUP.

WHEN THE PRINTING PRESS
GETS ROLLING,

EACH FOUNTAIN
WILL DISPERSE INK EVENLY

VIA 16 ROLLERS.

FEEDERS TRANSPORT
THE CARDBOARD SHEETS ONE BY
ONE

INTO THE PRESS.

EACH PRINTING PLATE
IS MOUNTED ON A ROTATING DRUM.

ROLLERS TRANSFER THE INK
ONTO THE PLATE,

WHICH THEN TRANSFER
ONTO A RUBBER BLANKET,

WHICH PRESSES
AGAINST THE PASSING CARDBOARD

AS IT MOVES THROUGH THE PRESS.

AT THE END OF THE MACHINE,

THE PRINTED SHEET
IS FLATTENED AND STACKED.

THEY FEED THE SAME SHEETS
BACK THROUGH THE PRESS,

THIS TIME UPSIDE-DOWN.

THE SHEETS NOW MOVE

THROUGH A CUTTING MACHINE
CALLED THE COMBI,

WHERE ROTATING BLADES DIVIDE
THE SHEET INTO COLUMNS,

THEN INTO INDIVIDUAL CARDS.

THE CARDS GET GROUPED
INTO DECKS.

THEN THE DECK HEADS INTO WHAT
THEY CALL THE CORNERING
STATION.

A DIE DESCENDS
AND, IN ONE FELL SWOOP,

CUTS OFF ALL FOUR CORNERS.

NEXT, A ROBOTIC ARM
NUDGES EACH DECK

ONTO A CONVEYOR DESTINED
FOR THE CELLO WRAPPER.

GRIPPERS PULL
A CELLOPHANE REEL DOWNWARDS

WHILE A KNIFE
THEN CUTS THE FILM.

A HEATED BAR DESCENDS
AND SEALS THE FILM,

WHICH FORMS AN ENVELOPE.

WITH A SIMPLE PULL,

THE RED TEAR STRIP
REMOVES THE WRAPPER.

THE TRADITIONAL ENGLISH DECK

IS THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD
FOR GAMES SUCH AS POKER.

BUT THERE ARE MANY MORE TYPES
OF PLAYING CARDS.

THIS SET OF SPANISH CARDS,
FOR EXAMPLE,

HAS NO NUMBERS, JUST SYMBOLS.

WHETHER AT THE CASINO
BLACKJACK TABLE

OR THE KITCHEN TABLE,
PLAYING CARDS ARE THE REAL
DEAL.

Narrator: A CROSSBOW
IS A MODERN BOW AND ARROW

THAT YOU SHOOT LIKE A RIFLE.

IT'S POPULAR FOR BOTH
TARGET SHOOTING AND HUNTING.

WITH A RIFLE, YOU CAN SHOOT
FROM 200 YARDS AWAY.

BUT USING A CROSSBOW
IS MORE OF A CHALLENGE.

YOU HAVE TO BE AT LEAST FOUR
TIMES CLOSER TO YOUR TARGET.

A CROSSBOW CONSISTS
OF THE BOW AND THE STOCK.

THE BOW SHOOTS THE ARROW,
WHILE THE STOCK

HOUSES THE TRIGGER
AND THE AIMING SCOPE.

A PLATE OF FIBERGLASS
IS THE STARTING POINT

FOR THE BOW'S LIMBS,

THE TWO CURVED ARMS
THAT PULL BACK

AND RELEASE TO SHOOT THE
ARROW.

A VACUUM HOLDS THE PLATE
STEADY

AS A COMPUTER-GUIDED GRINDER
DOES SOME INITIAL SHAPING.

WORKERS MEASURE THE PLATE
WITH MICROMETERS

TO ENSURE IT MEETS
STRICT SPECIFICATIONS.

THIS IS A SPECIAL TYPE
OF FIBERGLASS.

THE FIBERS ALL RUN
IN THE SAME DIRECTION,

MEANING THEY CAN BEND
REPEATEDLY
WITHOUT WEAKENING OVER TIME.

WORKERS MOUNT THE PLATE
ON A COMPUTER-GUIDED CUTTER.

IT CARVES OUT THE LIMBS WITH
A HIGH-PRESSURE WATER JET --

THE MOST PRECISE WAY
TO SLICE FIBERGLASS.

EACH PLATE YIELDS FOUR LIMBS
--
TWO BOWS' WORTH.

THE SEVERED FIBERS
MAKE THEIR SURFACE ROUGH,

SO A LITTLE POLISHING
IS IN ORDER.

THE LIMBS GO
INTO A VIBRATING TUB

FILLED WITH CERAMIC STONES
THAT RUB AGAINST THE LIMBS,

WEARING DOWN THE COARSE
FIBERS.

NOW THE LIMBS ARE READY
FOR DECORATION.

THE DESIGN IS PRINTED
ON PLASTIC FILM.

THIS MACHINE USES HEAT
AND PRESSURE

TO TRANSFER THE DESIGN.

THE NEXT BOW COMPONENT
IS CALLED THE RISER.

THEY MACHINE IT OUT OF
ALUMINUM,

THEN JAZZ IT UP
WITH AN INK TRANSFER.

TO ASSEMBLE THE BOW,

THEY BOLT A LIMB
TO EACH SIDE OF THE RISER.

IT ACTS AS A SPACER,

SEPARATING THE LIMBS SO THAT
THE ARROW CAN PASS BETWEEN
THEM

WHEN YOU SHOOT.

THE RISER AND LIMBS
GO INTO A PRESS,

WHICH APPLIES MORE THAN
660 POUNDS OF PRESSURE,

BENDING THE LIMBS INTO AN ARC.

NEXT, WORKERS MOUNT A SET
OF ALUMINUM PULLEYS

ON EACH LIMB TIP.

THESE ARE CALLED COMPOUND
CAMS.

NEXT, THE YOKE.

A YOKE IS A STRING
WITH A LOOP ON EACH END.

THEY ANCHOR ONE LOOP
TO ONE SIDE OF THE LIMB TIP,

PASS THE OTHER END
THROUGH A LOOP ON A STEEL
CABLE,

THEN ANCHOR IT
TO THE OTHER SIDE.

THIS FORMS "Y" SHAPE

THAT DISTRIBUTES PRESSURE
ON THE LIMB EVENLY.

THEY REPEAT THE SAME PROCESS

WITH A SECOND YOKE
ON THE OTHER LIMB.

NOW FOR THE BOWSTRING.

ON EACH LIMB,

THEY ATTACH THE BOWSTRING END
TO ONE SIDE OF THE CAM.

THEN THEY ANCHOR THE CABLE
COMING FROM THE YOKE

TO THE OTHER SIDE.

NEXT, TWO RUBBER SILENCERS
GO ONTO THE BOWSTRING.

WHEN YOU SHOOT,

THESE SILENCERS ABSORB
THE STRING'S VIBRATION,

REDUCING THE SOUND.

THESE COMPONENTS MAKE UP
WHAT'S KNOWN AS A COMPOUND
BOW.

THIS DESIGN ENABLES
THE BOWSTRING

TO PROPEL THE ARROW FARTHER.

NOW THE BOW IS FINISHED
AND READY FOR TESTING.

THIS SCALE MEASURES
HOW MUCH STRENGTH IT TAKES

TO DRAW THE BOW.

ELSEWHERE,
THE STOCK IS COMING TOGETHER.

FIRST, THE TRIGGER MECHANISM.

IT UNDERGOES EXTENSIVE TESTING
IN A SPECIALLY DESIGNED DEVICE

THAT APPLIES AIR PRESSURE TO
SIMULATE THE BOWSTRING
TENSION.

THEY PULL THE TRIGGER SIX
TIMES
TO ENSURE IT FIRES PROPERLY.

THEN THEY APPLY
THE SAFETY CATCH.

AND WITH A STRAP
TO GET MAXIMUM STRENGTH,

THEY PULL SOME MORE.

THIS MAKES ABSOLUTELY SURE

THE TRIGGER
WON'T FIRE ACCIDENTALLY

IN THE SAFETY POSITION.

AFTER ATTACHING A CONNECTING
ROD
THAT FITS IN THE BOW'S RISER,

THEY INSTALL THE TRIGGER
IN THE BARREL.

THEN THEY BOLT THESE
COMPONENTS
INTO THE STOCK HOUSING.

THEY ATTACH A BRIDGE AND RAIL
ON WHICH THE SCOPE WILL MOUNT.

NOW THEY TEST THE TRIGGER
AGAIN
TO CHECK THE INSTALLATION.

CONNECTING THE CROSSBOW'S
TWO SECTIONS IS SIMPLE.

YOU INSERT THE STOCK'S ROD
INTO A SLOT IN THE RISER

AND TIGHTEN THE MOUNTING BOLT.

THEN YOU ATTACH A FOOT
STIRRUP.

TO COCK THE BOW, YOU STAND
THE CROSSBOW ON THE GROUND,

PUT YOUR FOOT IN THE STIRRUP,

AND PULL THE BOWSTRING UPWARD

UNTIL IT LOCKS
INTO THE TRIGGER MECHANISM.

THEN YOU PICK UP THE CROSSBOW,
AIM, AND FIRE.

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