How It's Made (2001–…): Season 3, Episode 4 - Temporary Metal Fences/Asphalt Shingles/Expanded Polystyrene Products/Hard Candies - full transcript

The manufacturing secrets behind temporary metal fences, asphalt shingles, expanded polystyrene products, and hard candies are revealed.


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

...TEMPORARY METAL FENCES...

...ASPHALT SHINGLES...

...EXPANDED
POLYSTYRENE PRODUCTS...

...AND HARD CANDIES.

TEMPORARY METAL FENCES
SECURELY CORDON OFF

DANGEROUS AREAS
ON CONSTRUCTION SITES.

AT OPEN-AIR EVENTS
SUCH AS CONCERTS AND FESTIVALS,

THEY MARK THE PERIMETER
AND HELP DIRECT TRAFFIC FLOW.

SEASONAL BUSINESSES
SUCH AS GARDEN CENTERS

USE THEM TO PROTECT
THEIR MERCHANDISE

FROM THIEVES AND VANDALS.

IT ALL STARTS
WITH A GIANT SPOOL,

ROUGHLY 4 1/2 MILES
OF GALVANIZED STEEL WIRE.

A MACHINE CALLED
THE "STRAIGHTENER"

UNCOILS THE SPOOL
AND STRAIGHTENS OUT THE WIRE.

THE NEXT MACHINE CUTS
THE LENGTHS THEY'LL NEED

TO CONSTRUCT THE FENCE PANELS.

A WORKER FEEDS THOSE WIRE
LENGTHS INTO ANOTHER MACHINE,

ARRANGING THEM
IN THE PROPER CONFIGURATION.

THE LIGHTS SHOW WHERE THEY GO

FOR THIS PARTICULAR MODEL
OF FENCING.

THESE LENGTHS WILL FORM
THE PANELS' VERTICAL PIECES.

THE MACHINE CARRIES THEM OVER TO
THE AUTOMATED WELDING STATION.

AT THE WELDING STATION,

A MAGNETIC ARM GRABS
THE PANELS' HORIZONTAL PIECES

AND FEEDS THEM, ONE BY ONE,

INTO POSITION
OVER THE VERTICAL PIECES.

THEN THE WELDING BEGINS.

THIS IS ELECTRICAL WELDING.

A STRONG ELECTRIC CURRENT
ZAPS THE JOINTS,

MELTING THE METAL
AND FUSING THE PIECES TOGETHER.

IT'S FASTER AND NEATER
THAN TRADITIONAL WELDING.

THE MACHINERY THEN STACKS
THE WELDED PANELS

AND MOVES THEM DOWN
THE PRODUCTION LINE.

SOME PANELS ARE WELDED

ON ANOTHER KIND
OF ELECTRICAL WELDING MACHINE.

IT FEEDS THE HORIZONTAL PIECES
ONTO THE VERTICAL ONES

USING A DIFFERENT TECHNIQUE.

BUT THE RESULT IS THE SAME.

WORKERS POSITION
EACH WELDED PANEL

IN A MANUALLY OPERATED
PNEUMATIC PRESS.

THEN THEY BEND THE PANEL
AT CERTAIN KEY POINTS.

THIS MAKES IT MORE RIGID
AND, THEREFORE, STRONGER.

NEXT, WORKERS TRIM OFF
THE SURPLUS WIRE

STICKING OUT
ALONG THE EDGE OF THE PANEL.

AND THEN THE FINAL STEP --

THEY POSITION A ROUND
GALVANIZED STEEL POST

ON EACH SIDE OF THE PANEL.

A ROBOTIC WELDER THEN WELDS
THESE SIDE POSTS IN PLACE.

WHEN IT COMES TIME TO ERECT
THIS TEMPORARY FENCE,

ALL THEY'LL HAVE TO DO
IS PLACE EACH PANEL

IN FOOTINGS
THAT SIT ON THE GROUND,

THEN LINE UP THE PANELS
SIDE BY SIDE

AND ATTACH THEM BY CLAMPING
TOGETHER THE SIDE POSTS.

ALL THE FENCE COMPONENTS

ARE MADE OF HEAVY-DUTY
GALVANIZED STEEL.

THAT MAKES THIS TEMPORARY
METAL FENCE HIGHLY DURABLE,

MAINTENANCE-FREE, AND RUSTPROOF.

Narrator:
ASPHALT ROOF SHINGLES COME

IN MANY DIFFERENT COLORS,
TEXTURES, AND PATTERNS.

THEY'RE ONE OF THE LEAST
EXPENSIVE ROOFING MATERIALS.

THEY'RE ALSO VERY DURABLE.

SOME EVEN CARRY
A LIFETIME WARRANTY.

BUT THEY CAN ONLY GO ON A ROOF
WITH A STEEP-ENOUGH SLOPE.

AT THE HEART OF EVERY
ASPHALT SHINGLE IS A MEMBRANE.

IT CAN BE MADE FROM FIBERGLASS

OR, LIKE THIS ONE,
FROM ORGANIC FIBERS

LIKE WOOD CHIPS,
RECYCLED CARDBOARD, AND PAPER.

THE GIANT ROLLS OF MEMBRANE FEED
WHAT'S KNOWN AS A "FELT LOOPER."

IT BUILDS UP ENOUGH RESERVES

SO THAT WORKERS
CAN CHANGE ROLLS AS NEEDED,

WITHOUT STOPPING PRODUCTION.

FROM THERE,

THE MEMBRANE ENTERS A MACHINE
CALLED THE "SATURATOR,"

WHERE IT'S DRENCHED
IN HOT LIQUID ASPHALT,

A PETROLEUM DERIVATIVE.

WHEN THIS SATURANT DRIES,

THE MEMBRANE
WILL BE IMPERMEABLE.

NEXT COMES
A THICKER ASPHALT COATING,

MIXED WITH POWDERED LIMESTONE.

THEY APPLY IT
TO BOTH THE TOP AND BOTTOM.

THIS COATING WILL MAKE
THE MEMBRANE FLEXIBLE.

IT WILL ALSO FORM A PROTECTIVE
BARRIER AGAINST HARSH WEATHER.

WITH THAT COATING STILL WET,

THEY SPREAD COLOR CERAMIC
GRANULES OVER THE TOP SURFACE.

THIS GIVES THE SHINGLES
THEIR COLOR

AND MAKES THEM RESISTANT
TO THE SUN'S ULTRAVIOLET RAYS.

GRANULES THAT DON'T STICK
TO THE WET ASPHALT

GET RECYCLED BACK
INTO THE SYSTEM.

NEXT THEY APPLY A CELLOPHANE
STRIP TO THE BACK SURFACE

SO THE SHINGLES WON'T
STICK TOGETHER IN THE PACKAGE.

THEN THEY SHOWER THE BACK
SURFACE WITH POWDERED STONE,

ALSO TO PREVENT STICKING.

EVEN BY THIS POINT,

THE ASPHALT COATING
IS STILL PIPING HOT,

TOO HOT FOR THE SHINGLE MATERIAL
TO BE CUT TO SIZE.

SO IT'S OFF
TO THE COOLING SECTION,

WHERE COLD ROLLERS
AND WATER JETS

BRING DOWN THE TEMPERATURE.

THE NEXT MACHINE APPLIES STRIPS
OF ADHESIVE ASPHALT.

THE SUN'S HEAT
WILL ACTIVATE THEM,

KEEPING THE SHINGLES STUCK
TO EACH OTHER.

THE PROCESS TO THIS POINT IS
THE SAME, REGARDLESS OF COLOR.

THE ONLY THING THAT WILL DIFFER
FROM THIS POINT ON

IS HOW THE SHINGLE'S BOTTOM EDGE
IS CUT.

THAT DETERMINES
THE SHINGLE'S PROFILE.

ON THE WAY
TO THE CUTTING STATION,

THE SHINGLE MATERIAL PASSES
THROUGH THE FINISH LOOPER.

LIKE THE FELT LOOPER WE SAW
AT THE BEGINNING,

THE FINISH LOOPER ACCUMULATES
ENOUGH RESERVES

SO THAT PRODUCTION WON'T COME
TO A STANDSTILL

IF THERE'S A PROBLEM.

THE CUTTING MACHINE
CUTS TO SIZE AND PROFILE.

STANDARD SHINGLES MEASURE
39" X 13.3".

THIS MODEL HAS A STRAIGHT EDGE,

BUT SOME STYLES HAVE
A CURVED BOTTOM.

AN AUTOMATIC COUNTER
KEEPS TRACK OF PRODUCTION.

THE MACHINE AUTOMATICALLY STACKS
THE SHINGLES FOR PACKAGING,

USUALLY 21 SHEETS TO A BUNDLE,

WHICH IS ENOUGH TO COVER
ROUGHLY 32 SQUARE FEET OF ROOF.

ASPHALT SHINGLES COME
IN ABOUT 50 DIFFERENT COLORS

AND IN ABOUT A DOZEN DIFFERENT
SHAPES AND PROFILES.

THEY WRAP EACH BUNDLE
OF SHINGLES

IN PAPER THAT'S BEEN TREATED
WITH POLYETHYLENE

TO PREVENT WATER PENETRATION.

THE BUNDLES THEN GO
ONTO PALLETS,

WHICH THE FACTORY WRAPS
IN A PLASTIC BAG

THAT'S WATER-
AND U.V.-RESISTANT.

THE WARRANTIES
ON ASPHALT SHINGLES

RANGE FROM 20 YEARS TO LIFETIME.

GENERALLY,
THE THICKER THE ASPHALT

AND GRANULE PROTECTIVE BARRIER,

THE MORE DURABLE THE SHINGLE,
AND THE LONGER THE GUARANTEE.

Narrator: WE CALL IT
"PACKING FOAM,"

BUT ITS REAL NAME IS "EXPANDED
POLYSTYRENE PACKAGING,"

THOSE FEATHER-LIGHT
WHITE FOAM INSERTS

THAT COME WITH MANY BOXED ITEMS.

THEY NOT ONLY SECURE THE
MERCHANDISE WITHIN THE BOX --

THEY ALSO ACT
AS A SHOCK ABSORBER

DURING TRANSPORT.

POLYSTYRENE PLASTIC COMES
IN TINY PELLETS

ABOUT 4/100 OF AN INCH
IN DIAMETER.

THE FIRST STEP IS TO EXPAND THEM
INSIDE A STEAM CHAMBER.

THE 392-DEGREE-FAHRENHEIT HEAT

CAUSES THE PENTANE GAS
IN THE PELLETS TO ESCAPE,

ALLOWING AIR
TO ENTER THE PELLETS

AND INFLATE THEM UP TO 40 TIMES
THEIR ORIGINAL SIZE.

HERE ARE THE POLYSTYRENE PELLETS
BEFORE...

AND AFTER EXPANSION.

THE FACTORY THEN BAGS
THE PELLETS IN HUGE SACKS.

TO MAKE EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE
PRODUCTS,

THEY START BY DUMPING SACKS
OF EXPANDED PELLETS

INTO WHAT'S CALLED
THE "BLOCK MOLD" MACHINE.

THE MORE PELLETS THEY PUT
PER CUBIC YARD,

THE DENSER THE PRODUCT WILL BE.

THEY STEAM-FUSE
THE PELLETS TOGETHER,

MOLDING THEM INTO A BLOCK

THAT'S ROUGHLY 16 FEET LONG
BY 3 FEET WIDE BY 2 FEET HIGH.

THIS MOLDING PROCESS TAKES
FROM 5 TO 20 MINUTES,

DEPENDING ON THE DENSITY.

A SCALE BUILT INTO THE
CONVEYOR BELT WEIGHS THE BLOCK

TO MAKE SURE
IT MEETS SPECIFICATIONS.

DEPENDING ON ITS DENSITY,

A BLOCK THIS SIZE CAN WEIGH
ANYWHERE FROM 99 TO 440 POUNDS.

NOW THE BLOCK IS READY TO BE CUT

INTO WHATEVER PRODUCT
THE CLIENT HAS ORDERED.

EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE IS BEST
KNOWN AS PACKAGING MATERIAL,

BUT IT ALSO HAS MANY OTHER USES.

HERE THEY ARE SLICING A BLOCK
INTO INSULATION PANELS.

BUILDERS USE
EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE INSULATION

FOR BASEMENTS, ROOFS,
FOUNDATIONS,

AND INSIDE AND OUTSIDE WALLS.

REGARDLESS OF THE PRODUCT,

THEY CUT POLYSTYRENE BLOCKS
USING A COPPER-AND-NICKEL WIRE

THAT'S ELECTRICALLY HEATED.

IT MELTS THE POLYSTYRENE
ON CONTACT,

ENABLING FINE, PRECISION CUTS,

ALMOST TO THE HUNDREDTH
OF AN INCH.

TO MAKE EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE
PACKAGING,

THEY CUSTOM-CUT
THE SPECIFIC SHAPES REQUIRED.

THESE SQUARES
THEY'RE GLUING TOGETHER

HAVE BEEN ORDERED UP
BY A FURNITURE MANUFACTURER.

THEY'RE DESIGNED TO FIT
ONTO THE BOTTOM OF CHAIR LEGS

TO PROTECT THEM FROM DAMAGE
DURING SHIPPING.

THIS MACHINE HANDLES MORE
DETAILED AND COMPLEX JOBS.

ITS CUTTING WIRE IS GUIDED
BY COMPUTER SOFTWARE,

SO IT CAN CUT
VIRTUALLY ANY DESIGN.

EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE IS
A LOW-COST ALTERNATIVE

FOR MAKING COMMERCIAL SIGNS
THAT CAN BE HUNG INDOORS OR OUT.

A SIGN MADE OF HIGH-DENSITY
EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE

AND COATED
WITH A QUALITY EXTERIOR PAINT

HAS AN OUTDOOR LIFE-SPAN
OF A FEW YEARS.

THIS MOLDABLE PRODUCT

HAS ENDLESS CREATIVE
AND COMMERCIAL USES.

Narrator: THEY COME
IN DIFFERENT COLORS,

DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES,

IN FLAVORS RANGING
FROM FRUITY TO MINTY,

FROM TART TO TANGY.

PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE ENJOYS
SUCKING ON A HARD CANDY

FROM TIME TO TIME.

FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS ALIKE,

THESE SWEET TREATS
ARE JUST IRRESISTIBLE.

OUR LOVE OF SWEETS GOES BACK
TO THE CAVEMAN,

WHO DELIGHTED IN EATING HONEY
FROM BEEHIVES.

IN ANCIENT TIMES,

PEOPLE INDULGED IN TREATS MADE
OF HONEY-COVERED FRUIT AND NUTS.

IN THE MIDDLE AGES, EUROPEANS
MADE CANDY FROM BOILED SUGAR.

BUT THE HIGH COST
OF IMPORTED CANE SUGAR

RESTRICTED THIS DELICACY
TO THE WEALTHY.

CANDY FINALLY BECAME AFFORDABLE
FOR THE MASSES IN THE 1800s,

WITH THE DISCOVERY OF A NEW
AND DOMESTIC SOURCE OF SUGAR,

THE SUGAR BEET.

THESE HARD CANDIES AREN'T
MASS-PRODUCED CONFECTIONS.

THEY'RE GOURMET CANDIES,
CUSTOM-MADE AND CRAFTED BY HAND.

THE CANDYMAKER STARTS

BY BRINGING A POT OF SUGAR
AND WATER TO A BOIL.

THEN HE ADDS GLUCOSE,
A THICK SYRUP MADE FROM STARCH.

HE HEATS THE MIXTURE
TO A SPECIFIC TEMPERATURE,

DEPENDING ON WHAT TYPE
OF CANDY HE'S MAKING,

AND LETS IT COOK
FOR ABOUT A HALF-HOUR.

THEN HE STIRS IN
LIQUID FLAVORING.

ONCE THE MIXTURE
IS EVENLY BLENDED,

HE POURS IT
ONTO A COOLING TABLE.

THE CANDYMAKER HAS SEVERAL
FLAVORINGS AT HIS DISPOSAL,

FROM EUCALYPTUS OIL
TO FRUIT FLAVORS.

HE ALSO CHOOSES FROM
A WIDE RANGE OF FOOD COLORINGS.

THIS CANDY WILL HAVE A
STRAWBERRY DESIGN IN THE MIDDLE,

SO HE AND HIS ASSISTANTS ARE
WORKING WITH THREE COLORS --

GREEN FOR THE LEAVES,

RED FOR THE BERRY,
AND YELLOW FOR THE BACKGROUND.

TO ENHANCE THE FLAVOR,
THEY ADD CITRIC ACID.

THEN THEY KEEP BLENDING
UNTIL THE CANDY HAS COOLED DOWN

AND HARDENED ENOUGH
TO BE MALLEABLE.

THEY SEPARATE THE PIECES
BY COLOR

AND PUT EACH PIECE
ON A HEATED TABLE

TO SLOW THE HARDENING PROCESS

SO THAT THE CANDY
WILL REMAIN PLIABLE.

NOW THEY CREATE THE DESIGN.

THEY FORM VARIOUS SHAPES
AND SIZES

AND, LIKE A PUZZLE,
PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER

TO MAKE A JUMBO VERSION
OF THE CANDY DESIGN.

ONCE THEY HAVE ASSEMBLED
THE RED BERRY AND GREEN LEAVES

AND YELLOW BACKGROUND,

THEY ROLL ON
MORE YELLOW BACKGROUND...

THEN A LAYER OF RED
FOR THE OUTSIDE TRIM.

ALL THAT'S LEFT IS TO REDUCE
THIS GIANT WAD OF CANDY

INTO A BITE-SIZED VERSION.

TO DO THAT,
THE CANDYMAKER PINCHES ONE END

AND STRETCHES IT OUT

TO FORM A LONG, UNIFORM STRAND
CALLED A "ROD."

HE CUTS THE ROD INTO PIECES
ALMOST 2 FEET LONG,

BUT HE HAS TO KEEP ROLLING THEM
UNTIL THEY COOL AND HARDEN,

OR ELSE THEY'LL GO FLAT.

WHEN THE ROD IS
JUST THE RIGHT DIAMETER,

THE DESIGN IS IN
PERFECT PROPORTION.

ALL THEY HAVE TO DO NOW
IS CUT CANDY-SIZE PIECES.

THEY USE THE SAME TECHNIQUE
TO MAKE KIWI CANDY,

PINK GRAPEFRUIT CANDY,

AND BANANA CANDY,
TO NAME JUST A FEW VARIETIES.

WANT TO ORDER UP SOME CANDY
WITH A PERSONALIZED MESSAGE?

HERE'S AN "L"...

AN "O," A "V"...

AN "E"...

...A "Y"...

"O"...

...AND "U."

AGAIN, THEY CREATE A
YELLOW BACKGROUND AND RED TRIM.

THEN IT'S MORE PINCHING,
PULLING, ROLLING, AND CUTTING...

...UNTIL THE RODS ARE DOWN
TO JUST THE RIGHT SIZE.

IF YOU LOOK AT THE BACK END
OF EACH ROD,

YOU'LL SEE THE LETTERING
IS IN REVERSE.

THAT WILL BE THE UNDERSIDE
OF THE CANDY.

WHEN THE RAW CANDY COMES OFF
THE COOLING TABLE,

IT'S TRANSPARENT.

TO MAKE IT OPAQUE
OR LIGHTEN THE COLOR,

THEY'LL PULL IT ON A HOOK.

HERE, THEY INTERTWINE TWO COLORS

AND FEED THE ROD
THROUGH A SPECIAL MACHINE

THAT FORMS BANDS
OF PILLOW-SHAPED CANDIES.

AFTER COOLING,

THEY SIMPLY BREAK THEM APART
BY HAND.

IF YOU'RE NO SUCKER
FOR HARD CANDIES, NO PROBLEM.

THEY CAN ALSO TWIST RODS
INTO LOLLIPOPS.

CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.