How It's Made (2001–…): Season 8, Episode 6 - Pistons/Paint Rollers/Parachutes/Chimneys - full transcript


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

PISTONS...

...PAINT ROLLERS...

...PARACHUTES...

...AND CHIMNEYS.

PISTONS ARE KEY TO
THE INTERNAL COMBUSTION PROCESS

THAT DRIVES ENGINES.

A PISTON IS A PLUG
THAT SLIDES UP AND DOWN

INSIDE EACH ENGINE CYLINDER,

COMPRESSING GAS AND AIR
IGNITED BY A SPARK PLUG.

THE RESULTING ENERGY
TURNS THE CRANKSHAFT

AND DRIVES THE ENGINE.

THIS COMPANY MAKES 9,000
DIFFERENT TYPES OF PISTONS

FOR EVERYTHING FROM DIRT BIKES
TO CAR ENGINES.

A PISTON STARTS OUT AS
A 10-FOOT-LONG ALUMINUM ROD.

ALUMINUM IS IDEAL
BECAUSE IT'S A LIGHTWEIGHT

AND RUST-RESISTANT METAL
THAT'S EASY TO CUT.

A ROTARY SAW
SLICES THE ROD INTO SLUGS,

THE LENGTH OF WHICH
CAN BE CHANGED

BY ADJUSTING THE FEEDER MACHINE

TO PUSH THE ROD
AT DIFFERENT INTERVALS.

THIS PISTON MODEL
REQUIRES 2.7-INCH SLUGS.

THE FACTORY RECYCLES
EXCESS ALUMINUM SHAVINGS.

THE PUNCH PRESS AND DIE

ARE PREHEATED
TO 800 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

THE TEMPERATURE REQUIRED
TO FORGE THE SLUGS.

THE SLUGS ARE BROUGHT TO THE
SAME TEMPERATURE IN AN OVEN.

THE PUNCH APPLIES 2,000 TONS
OF PRESSURE

TO FORM IT INTO
THE INITIAL SHAPE OF THE PISTON.

HE DUNKS ABOUT 1 IN 10 FORGINGS
IN WATER TO CHECK FOR DEFECTS.

TO MAKE FORGING EASIER,

THEY PRE-LUBE THE SLUGS
BEFORE HEATING THEM.

THAT'S WHY THE SLUG FLAMES UP
WHEN STRUCK BY THE PRESS.

IT ONLY TAKES TWO SECONDS
FOR THE PRESS TO DO ITS JOB,

BUT THE FORGINGS ARE SO HOT,

THEY NEED AT LEAST AN HOUR
TO COOL BEFORE THE NEXT STEP.

WORKERS HEAT THE FORGINGS
TWICE MORE,

THE FIRST TIME AT VERY HIGH HEAT
TO STRENGTHEN THE METAL,

THE SECOND TIME AT A LOWER HEAT
TO STABILIZE IT.

NOW THEY INSERT EACH SLUG
IN A LATHE

TO GIVE THE FORGING
THE CORRECT SHAPE

FOR MACHINES
THAT HANDLE IT LATER.

THESE SMALL HOLES ALLOW OIL
TO FLOW THROUGH

TO LUBRICATE THE PISTON
WHEN IT'S IN USE.

ANOTHER LATHE REDUCES THE
DIAMETER BY AN 1/8 OF AN INCH.

THE SAME MACHINE
THEN CUTS THREE GROOVES,

TWO FOR COMPRESSION RINGS AND
ANOTHER FOR AN OIL-CONTROL RING.

THESE RINGS
HELP THE PISTON GLIDE

AND ENABLE IT TO PROVIDE
AN AIRTIGHT SEAL.

THIS HOLE IS FOR THE WRIST PIN

THAT WILL ATTACH THE PISTON
TO A CONNECTING ROD.

A MILLING MACHINE
THEN SHAVES OFF

UP TO 3/4 OF AN INCH OF METAL
FROM TWO SIDES OF THE PISTON

TO REDUCE THE OVERALL WEIGHT.

THE WHITE LIQUID IS LUBRICANT
TO COOL THE AREA DURING CUTTING.

ANOTHER MILLING MACHINE

CUTS AWAY PART
OF WHAT THEY CALL THE DOME.

THIS WAY
IT WILL CLEAR OTHER PARTS

WHEN MOVING INSIDE THE CYLINDER.

THE PISTONS MUST BE JUST
THE RIGHT SHAPE AND SIZE.

SOME OF THEM MOVE UP AND DOWN AS
MUCH AS 6,000 TIMES PER MINUTE

WHEN THE ENGINE IS RUNNING.

NEXT, A LATHE SHAVES
A HAIR WIDTH MORE OF THE METAL

FROM THE OUTSIDE.

THIS CUT ENABLES THE PISTON
TO EXPAND SLIGHTLY

WHEN HEAT BUILDS UP
INSIDE THE CYLINDER.

AN AUTOMATED DRILL MAKES TWO
INTERSECTING OIL-DRAIN HOLES

TO ENHANCE LUBRICATION
OF THE WRIST PIN.

ANOTHER MACHINE NOW ENGRAVES
MODEL AND PRODUCTION DATA.

HERE, A WORKER
REMOVES SHARP EDGES

CREATED DURING
PREVIOUS OPERATIONS.

HE THEN USES A BELT SANDER TO
FURTHER SMOOTH OUT THE SURFACE.

SHARP EDGES
COULD DAMAGE CYLINDER WALLS.

THIS CUTTING MACHINE
SHAVES OFF A BIT OF METAL

INSIDE THE PINHOLE

SO THE WRIST PIN
WILL FIT SNUGLY INSIDE.

ONCE THE CUTTING IS COMPLETE,
HIGH-PRESSURE JETS

SPRAY THE PISTONS
WITH HOT, DEIONIZED WATER.

THIS CLEANING REMOVES ALL TRACES
OF LUBRICANT AND OIL.

AFTER A BLOW-DRY
WITH AN AIR GUN,

THE PISTONS ARE READY
TO BE INSTALLED.

Narrator:
NORMAN BREAKEY, A CANADIAN,

INVENTED THE PAINT ROLLER
IN 1940.

IT REVOLUTIONIZED PAINTING,
BUT BREAKEY NEVER GOT RICH

BECAUSE HE LACKED THE FINANCIAL
MEANS TO DEFEND HIS PATENT.

OVER THE NEXT 60-ODD YEARS,
THE PAINT ROLLER,

WITH ITS REPLACEABLE
CYLINDRICAL REFILL,

BECAME THE PRIMARY PAINTING
TOOL, ALONGSIDE THE PAINTBRUSH.

THE REFILL IS A TUBE
COVERED IN FABRIC

MADE FROM EITHER POLYESTER FIBER

OR LINT-FREE ACRYLIC
AND NYLON FIBER.

REGARDLESS OF FABRIC, ALL
REFILLS ARE MADE THE SAME WAY.

THE FABRIC IS PROCESSED
INTO A 2.8-INCH-WIDE STRIP.

IT GOES INTO A MACHINE CALLED
AN AUTOMATIC TUBE WINDER.

IT FIRST APPLIES EPOXY GLUE

TO THE SURFACE
OF PVC PLASTIC TUBES.

AS THE TENSION BAR PULLS
THE FABRIC STRIP TAUT,

THE MACHINE WINDS THE FABRIC
AROUND A TUBE.

AN AIR JET PUSHES ASIDE
THE WOUND FABRIC

TO AVOID BUMPS
AS MORE IS APPLIED.

ONCE THE TUBE IS COVERED
WITH FABRIC,

THE MACHINE
SIMULTANEOUSLY WRAPS THE END

AND THE START OF THE NEXT TUBE
IN MASKING TAPE.

ONCE THE GLUE HAS DRIED
FOR EIGHT HOURS,

THE TUBES ENTER A MACHINE THAT
CUTS THEM INTO SEVERAL REFILLS.

THE TUBE SPINS AS IT PASSES,

SO ONE SMALL CUT IS ENOUGH
TO SEVER IT.

ONE TUBE PRODUCES 9
7 1/2-INCH-LONG REFILLS

OR 7
9 1/2-INCH-LONG REFILLS,

THE TWO STANDARD SIZES
ON THE MARKET.

THE NEXT MACHINE FIRST RUNS A
WIRE BRUSH AGAINST THE FABRIC.

THIS LIFTS AND FLUFFS
THE PILE...

...THEN MAKES A BEVELED EDGE
ON EACH END.

TO FLUFF THE FABRIC FURTHER,
A HIGH-SPEED SPIN AT 3,500 RPM.

DURING ALL THESE OPERATIONS, A
VACUUM SUCKS AWAY LOOSE FIBERS.

MEANWHILE, THE PAINT-ROLLER
HANDLES TAKE SHAPE.

AN INJECTION MOLDING MACHINE

SHOOTS MOLTEN PLASTIC
INTO HANDLE-SHAPED CAVITIES.

A BUILT-IN COOLING SYSTEM

HARDENS THE PLASTIC
WITHIN SECONDS.

THE HANDLES ARE MADE
OF POLYPROPYLENE,

A SEMI-TOUGH THERMOPLASTIC,

AND SOME COLORED POLYETHYLENE,
A LIGHTWEIGHT THERMOPLASTIC.

NOW THAT THE HANDLES AND REFILLS
ARE MADE,

IT'S JUST A MATTER
OF ASSEMBLING THEM.

THESE PLASTIC BEARINGS
HOLD THE COMPONENTS TOGETHER.

THE ASSEMBLY
IS ENTIRELY AUTOMATED.

THE BOTTOM BEARING
GOES ON FIRST.

IT RESTS AGAINST THE PART
CALLED THE SHOULDER.

NEXT, THE REFILL.

THE BOTTOM BEARING SLOTS RIGHT
INTO THE OPEN END OF THE TUBE.

NOW THE TOP BEARING GOES ON.

A METAL CLIP LOCKS THE BEARINGS
AND ROLLER IN PLACE.

AND, VOILà, A THREE-INCH ROLLER
FOR PAINTING WINDOWS AND TRIMS.

THIS FACTORY ALSO MAKES
DISPOSABLE PLASTIC PAINT TRAYS

AND TRAY LINERS.

THEY'RE MADE OF POLYETHYLENE
TEREPHTHALATE, P.E.T. FOR SHORT,

A TYPE OF PLASTIC THAT'S STRONG
YET FLEXIBLE.

THIS THERMOFORM MACHINE
HEATS A P.E.T. SHEET,

THEN VACUUMS IT
INTO A TRAY-SHAPED MOLD.

FANS COOL AND HARDEN
THE PLASTIC.

THIS HEAT MOLD-AND-COOL CYCLE
TAKES JUST 30 TO 50 SECONDS,

DEPENDING ON THE TRAY THICKNESS.

THE MOLDED SHEETS
GO INTO A CUTTER.

IT EXCISES THE TRAY
IN ONE SLICE.

THE FACTORY GRINDS UP
THE LEFTOVER PLASTIC

AND SENDS IT BACK
TO THE SUPPLIER FOR RECYCLING.

THIS FACTORY ALSO MAKES ROLLER
REFILLS FOR APPLYING SOLVENTS.

INSTEAD OF PVC, THE TUBE INSIDE
IS MADE OF A TOUGHER MATERIAL,

EITHER A CHEMICALLY STRENGTHENED
CARDBOARD OR A POLYPROPYLENE.

Narrator: DAREDEVILS HAVE
PARACHUTED FROM CLIFFS OR TOWERS

FOR CENTURIES.

WHEN AIRPLANES FIRST TOOK OFF,

SO DID PARACHUTES
AS THE BEST ESCAPE.

TODAY'S AERODYNAMIC,
LIGHTWEIGHT CHUTES

ENABLE CARGO AND PEOPLE
TO DESCEND SAFELY

AND LAND RIGHT ON TARGET.

THIS COMPANY
MAKES MILITARY PARACHUTES.

EACH ONE HAS A 30-FOOT WINGSPAN
AND CARRIES UP TO 440 POUNDS.

MAKING THE CHUTE'S CANOPY

STARTS WITH A RUGGED WOVEN
NYLON FABRIC WITH NYLON RIBBING.

THIS LIGHT TABLE LETS A WORKER
DETECT ANY FLAWS IN THE FABRIC.

THE ALIGNMENT BETWEEN
THE RIBBING MUST BE CONSISTENT,

SPACED NO MORE
THAN 1.5 INCHES APART.

THEY TEST THE STRENGTH
OF THE FABRIC

BY PULLING THE MATERIAL
UNTIL IT RIPS.

TO PASS,
THE FABRIC MUST WITHSTAND

A MINIMUM OF 44 POUNDS
OF PULLING FORCE.

A LASER CUTS OUT
THE PARACHUTE PARTS,

30 TO 100 OF THEM,
DEPENDING ON THE MODEL.

A VACUUM SYSTEM
STABILIZES THE FABRIC

BY SUCKING IT TO THE TABLE
DURING CUTTING.

THE FABRIC
IS USUALLY SILVER-COLORED

TO BLEND IN AGAINST
THE DAYTIME SKY.

A SEAMSTRESS
NOW SEWS ON NYLON TAPE

TO ATTACH THE PARTS
AND REINFORCE THE SEAMS.

SOME PANELS HAVE HOLES ABOUT
THE SIZE OF A DINNER PLATE

TO FUNNEL AIR BETWEEN
THE TWO LAYERS OF THE CANOPY

AND KEEP IT RIGID DURING FLIGHT.

ONCE THEY FINISH SEWING,

WORKERS METICULOUSLY INSPECT
THE STITCHING.

EVERY INCH OF STITCHING MUST
HAVE BETWEEN 7 AND 10 STITCHES.

IF THE STITCHING IS TOO CLOSE
OR TOO FAR APART,

THE FABRIC COULD RIP, AND THAT'S
THE LAST THING YOU WANT

WHEN YOUR CHUTE IS DESCENDING

AT A RATE
OF UP TO 13 FEET PER SECOND.

SO THEY MARK ANY PROBLEM SPOTS
WITH A RED RIBBON

AND RESEW THEM.

HERE, A WORKER SEWS NYLON TAPE

TO REINFORCE
AN AREA CALLED A FLARE,

WHICH IS A TRIANGULAR PATCH
OF NYLON

REINFORCED
WITH SILICONE COATING.

SHE LOOPS THE TAPE
AT ONE OF THE FLARE'S POINTS

TO LATER INSERT
WHAT'S CALLED A SUSPENSION LINE.

THE 60 LINES LINK THE 60 FLARES
ON THE CANOPY

TO THE JUMPER'S HARNESS.

TO REINFORCE EACH FLARE,

SHE SEWS 42 ZIGZAG STITCHES
IN A 1-INCH AREA.

THE NYLON SUSPENSION LINE
ARRIVES ON SPOOLS,

SO WORKERS USE THIS MACHINE
TO STRETCH IT STRAIGHT.

A WORKER MARKS OFF
UP TO 14 1/2 FEET PER LINE

AND CUTS IT ON AN ANGLE
TO REDUCE FRAYING.

WORKERS LATER SEW THE ENDS
INTO LOOPS

SO THEY CAN ATTACH EACH ONE
TO THE LOOP ON THE FLARES.

A WORKER MAKES
A LARK'S HEAD KNOT IN EACH LINE

AND TIES IT TO A FLARE.

THIS TYPE OF KNOT IS EASY TO
UNDO IF A LINE NEEDS REPLACING.

CONNECTING THE 60 LINES
TO THE CANOPY'S 60 FLARES

TAKES ABOUT TWO HOURS.

ONLY AFTER ALL THESE KNOTS
ARE SECURE

CAN THEY PACK THE CHUTE
INTO THE BACKPACK

AND SHIP IT TO THE CUSTOMER.

THE NYLON BACKPACK
HAS TWO IDENTICAL PARACHUTES,

THE MAIN CHUTE AND A RESERVE.

THIS WORKER IS SEWING THE PANELS

THAT WILL ENCASE
THE RESERVE CHUTE.

EXTRA STITCHING REINFORCES

THE STRAP CONNECTING
THE STEEL BUCKLE,

WHICH FASTENS AN EXTRA PACK
FOR UP TO 100 POUNDS.

IT'S CRITICAL TO STRICTLY FOLLOW
THE COMPANY'S INSTRUCTIONS

WHEN PACKING THE CHUTE.

YOU ROLL THE ENDS,
THEN FOLD THE REST INTO LAYERS.

BEFORE EACH JUMP,
YOU HAVE TO UNTANGLE THE LINES

AND CHECK FOR ANY TEARS
FROM THE PREVIOUS JUMP.

THEN YOU INSERT THE LINES
AND CANOPY INTO THE PACK.

YOU PULL ON THIS RED NYLON
HANDLE TO DEPLOY THE MAIN CHUTE.

THE YELLOW HANDLE
IS FOR THE RESERVE CHUTE.

THERE ARE STRAPS
OVER THE SHOULDERS,

CHEST, BELLY, AND LEGS.

AND THREE BUCKLES ATTACH
THE HARNESS TO THE JUMPER.

Narrator: YOUR HOME'S CHIMNEY
VENTS HOT GASES OR SMOKE

FROM YOUR FIREPLACE
TO THE OUTSIDE.

SOME TYPES ALSO CHANNEL AIR
TO THE FIRE TO KEEP IT BURNING.

ALTHOUGH THE CONCEPT'S VERY OLD,

TODAY'S CHIMNEYS
HAVE COME A LONG WAY.

THEY'RE ENERGY-EFFICIENT
AND MODULAR,

SO YOU CAN EASILY ASSEMBLE THEM
YOURSELF.

THIS COMPANY MAKES CHIMNEYS

FOR GAS-FIRED
AND WOOD-BURNING FIREPLACES.

A CHIMNEY'S INNER CHAMBER
IS CALLED A FLUE.

FOR A WOOD-BURNING FIREPLACE,

THEY MAKE THE FLUE
FROM STAINLESS STEEL.

WORKERS UNWIND A SHEET,

THEN SLICE IT TO THE SIZE OF
THE FLUE SECTION THEY'RE MAKING.

THE SECTIONS ARE UP TO
10 INCHES WIDE AND 4 FEET LONG.

THEY ASSEMBLE AS MANY AS THEY
NEED TO MAKE A COMPLETE CHIMNEY.

HERE, A WORKER FOLDS THE EDGES
IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS,

WHICH WILL ENABLE THEM
TO INTERLOCK.

ROLLERS THEN CURL THE SHEET
INTO A CYLINDER.

THE METAL IS ONLY ABOUT AS THICK

AS FOUR PIECES OF PAPER
STACKED TOGETHER.

THIS KEEPS THE CHIMNEY
LIGHTWEIGHT.

THEY WELD TOGETHER THE TOP
AND BOTTOM ENDS,

AND A ROLLER
FLATTENS THE WELDED SEAM.

THEY INSERT THE BOTTOM
OF THE FLUE BETWEEN TWO ROLLERS.

THEY FORM A RIDGE TO WHICH
A COUPLER WILL LATER ATTACH.

THEY CRIMP THE METAL AT THE TOP
SO IT CAN ALSO HOLD A COUPLER.

TO MAKE TOP-END COUPLERS,
A DIE PUNCHES THE SHAPE

FROM LUBRICATED SHEETS
OF STAINLESS STEEL.

A ROBOTIC ARM
THEN SUCTIONS OUT THE COUPLER

AND PLACES IT
ONTO ANOTHER MACHINE

THAT CUTS THREADS
INTO THE SIDES OF IT.

THESE THREADS
ENABLE THE CHIMNEY SECTIONS

TO TWIST AND LOCK TOGETHER.

TO ATTACH THE COUPLER,

THE WORKER MOUNTS IT
ON TOP OF THE FLUE.

A ROLLER THEN PUSHES AGAINST
THE FLUE IN THE COUPLER.

THIS EXPANDS THE METAL
AND SECURES THE PIECES TOGETHER.

NOW TO JOIN THE FLUE
WITH THE OUTER CASING.

AN EIGHT-SIDED DIE PUSHES OUT
AGAINST A COUPLER

TO ATTACH IT TO THE FLUE
IN THE CASING.

THEY INSULATE THE CHIMNEY
WITH SHREDDED CERAMIC FIBER

THAT CAN WITHSTAND A TEMPERATURE

OF UP TO
2,100 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

WORKERS FEED THE FIBER
INTO A MACHINE

THAT PACKS IT INTO THE CAVITY
BETWEEN THE FLUE AND THE CASING.

THE MACHINE THEN MOVES
THE CHIMNEY TO ANOTHER STATION

WHERE IT TWISTS A COUPLER TO THE
BOTTOM END TO CLOSE THE CAVITY.

AFTER A QUICK BRUSHING
TO REMOVE ANY FIBER DUST,

A MECHANICAL ARM
LIFTS THE CHIMNEY

AND MOVES IT TO BE BOXED
AND SHIPPED.

A GAS-BURNING FIREPLACE
GENERATES LESS HEAT

AND FEWER CORROSIVE GASES,

SO THE CHIMNEY FLUE IS MADE
OF ALUMINUM-COATED STEEL

AND A CASING
OF A ZINC-ALUMINUM ALLOY --

MORE-AFFORDABLE MATERIALS,

YET STILL WELL ABOVE
SAFETY STANDARDS.

THE AIR SPACE BETWEEN THE FLUE
AND CASING

PROVIDES
THE REQUIRED INSULATION.

A WORKER PLACES THE FLUE
INSIDE AN AUTOMATED WELDER.

IT FUSES THE EDGES WITH A LASER
THAT'S AS THIN AS A HUMAN HAIR.

THIS IS CALLED A BUTT LASER WELD

BECAUSE THE MACHINE BUTTS THE
EDGES TOGETHER AND BONDS THEM.

NEXT, AN EIGHT-SIDED DIE INDENTS
THE SECTION WITH THREE RIDGES.

A COMPONENT WILL FIT
INTO THESE INDENTATIONS LATER.

HERE, A MACHINE CREATES
A STAR-SHAPED COMPONENT

CALLED A SPACER.

THEY USE TWO OF THEM TO CENTER
THE FLUE IN THE CASING.

A WORKER INSTALLS ONE
AT EACH END OF THE FLUE.

HE THEN INSERTS THE FLUE
INTO THE CASING

AND TWISTS IT TO LOCK
THE SPACERS INTO THE RIDGES.

THIS CONNECTS AND ALIGNS
THE CHIMNEY SECTIONS PROPERLY.

THE TOPS OF CHIMNEYS
HAVE STEEL RAIN CAPS.

THEY LET SMOKE AND GASES VENT
BUT KEEP RAIN OUT,

ENSURING THAT WHERE'S THERE'S
SMOKE, THERE IS INDEED FIRE.

CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

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