How It's Made (2001–…): Season 9, Episode 9 - Bumpers/Lighting Gels & Camera Filters/Steam-Powered Models/Candy Canes - full transcript

Discover what it takes to manufacture bumpers, lighting gels & camera filters, steam-powered models, and candy canes.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, LLC

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

BUMPERS...

...LIGHTING GELS
AND CAMERA FILTERS...

...STEAM-POWERED MODELS...

...AND CANDY CANES.

WITH ALL THE ATTENTION WE PAY
TO OUR CAR'S HIGH-TECH PARTS,

IT'S EASY
TO OVERLOOK THE IMPORTANCE

OF A VEHICLE'S BUMPERS.

ABOUT 80% OF CAR ACCIDENTS
ARE FRONT OR REAR COLLISIONS.

THE BUMPER IS DESIGNED TO
ABSORB
THE FORCE OF THE IMPACT,

MINIMIZING DAMAGE
IN LOW-SPEED COLLISIONS.

BUMPERS CAN BE MADE OF
PLASTIC,
FIBERGLASS, ALUMINUM, OR
STEEL.

THIS COMPANY
MAKES STEEL BUMPERS.

THEY START OUT AS BLANKS,

STEEL SHEETS
JUST 8/100 OF AN INCH THICK.

THESE ARE EN ROUTE
TO BECOMING TRUCK BUMPERS.

A ROBOT FEEDS EACH BLANK
THROUGH
A SERIES OF SEVEN TO NINE
DIES,

DEPENDING ON THE BUMPER MODEL.

EACH DIE STAMPS THE BLANK
INTO A PARTICULAR SHAPE,

USING SOME 2,000 TONS OF
FORCE.

THIS PROGRESSIVELY
FORMS THE BLANK

INTO THE FINAL BUMPER SHAPE.

BOTH THE FRONT AND REAR
BUMPERS
GO THROUGH THE SAME PROCESS,

ONLY WITH DIFFERENT DIES.

THE BUMPERS NOW TRAVEL
TO THE NEXT PRODUCTION AREA,

WHERE A WORKER CLAMPS EACH ONE
ONTO A SPECIALLY DESIGNED
CART.

AT THIS POINT, THE FACTORY
PAINTS CERTAIN MODELS.

THESE BUMPERS
WILL GET CHROME PLATING.

BUT FIRST THEY TRAVEL THROUGH
A SERIES OF BUFFING WHEELS.

THE BUMPER SURFACE
MUST BE IMPECCABLY SMOOTH

BECAUSE THE CHROME FINISH

MAGNIFIES EVEN
THE TINIEST FLAWS.

A COMPUTER-GUIDED CRANE
STACKS THE BUMPERS

AND MANEUVERS THEM THROUGH
THE CHROME-PLATING PROCESS.

FIRST IT SUBMERGES THE BUMPERS
IN SEVERAL CLEANING TANKS

TO REMOVE ANY RESIDUE
LEFT ON THE SURFACE

FROM PREVIOUS OPERATIONS.

THE COMPANY WON'T DIVULGE
WHAT CHEMICALS IT USES

TO CLEAN THE STEEL

BECAUSE THIS SURFACE
PREPARATION

IS THE SECRET
TO FIRST-RATE METAL PLATING.

THE FIRST PLATING TANK
APPLIES A COAT OF NICKEL

TO PROTECT THE STEEL
FROM CORROSION.

THE NEXT TANK
APPLIES THE CHROME LAYER.

THE FACTORY USES THE STANDARD
ELECTROPLATING PROCESS.

IN A WATER-AND-CHEMICAL-FILLED
TANK,

THE PLATING METAL PARTICLES
GET A POSITIVE CHARGE

WHILE A NEGATIVE CHARGE
RUNS THROUGH THE BUMPERS.

THIS MAGNETICALLY DRAWS
THE PARTICLES ONTO THE BUMPERS

IN AN EVEN LAYER.

AFTER A THOROUGH RINSE,
THE BUMPERS ARE INSPECTED.

WORKERS SCRUTINIZE
THE CHROME-MIRROR FINISH

UNDER HIGH-INTENSITY LIGHT.

MEANWHILE, THIS MACHINE
PRESSURE INJECTS MOLTEN
PLASTIC

INTO VARIOUS MOLDS.

A BUILT-IN COOLING SYSTEM

HARDENS THE PLASTIC
WITHIN SECONDS.

THEN OUT COMES
THE PLASTIC COMPONENTS

THAT ATTACH TO THE BUMPERS.

ONE OF THOSE PLASTIC PARTS
IS THIS STEP PAD

THAT COVERS THE TOP
OF THE REAR BUMPER.

ONCE THE PAD'S IN PLACE,

A WORKER ATTACHES
A BUILT-IN TRAILER HITCH.

STEEL MOUNTING BRACKETS

HELP STRUCTURALLY REINFORCE
THE BUMPER.

THE FRONT BUMPER GOES DOWN
A DIFFERENT ASSEMBLY LINE.

A WORKER ATTACHES A PLASTIC
TRIM

THAT HANGS DOWN
JUST BELOW THE BUMPER.

ITS AERODYNAMIC SHAPE
HELPS DIRECT AIR FLOW

TO THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT.

NEXT, FOUR STEEL
REINFORCING BRACKETS

THAT WILL ATTACH THE BUMPER
TO THE TRUCK'S FRAME.

AND, FINALLY,
THE LICENSE-PLATE HOLDER...

AND FOG LAMPS.

WORKERS TIGHTEN ALL THE BOLTS
TO A SPECIFIED TIGHTNESS.

THIS ENSURES THAT THE BUMPER
AND ITS MOUNTING BRACKETS

WILL ADEQUATELY ABSORB
THE FORCE OF THE COLLISION.

WHENEVER A NEW MODEL
GOES INTO PRODUCTION,

THE FIRST FEW BUMPERS
OFF THE LINE

GO THROUGH A BATTERY OF TESTS

TO PROVE THEY CAN WITHSTAND
STRESS, VIBRATION,

AND A CERTAIN DEGREE OF WHAT
ENGINEERS CALL CRASH ENERGY.

OTHER TYPES OF BUMPER SYSTEMS
USE A COMBINATION OF SPRINGS

AND ENERGY-ABSORBING MATERIAL,
SUCH AS PLASTIC FOAM.

WITH EITHER METHOD,

THE GOAL IS FOR THE BUMPER
TO ABSORB THE IMPACT.

IN A LOW-IMPACT CRASH,

THIS SHOULD IDEALLY CONFINE
THE DAMAGE TO THE BUMPER
ITSELF,

LEAVING THE HEADLIGHTS,
THE ENGINE,

AND THE DRIVER UNSCATHED.

UP NEXT, SOME COLORFUL
PRODUCTS

THAT SET THE STAGE
IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT.

Narrator: GELS AND FILTERS

CAN TURN A BAD SCENE
INTO A BEAUTIFUL ONE.

THEY'RE USED
IN THEATER PRODUCTIONS

TO ENHANCE THE MOOD ON STAGE.

THEY'RE ALSO USED
IN FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY

TO ADJUST COLOR TEMPERATURES
FROM DIFFERENT LIGHT SOURCES.

THESE LIGHTING GELS CAN MAKE
ANY
SCENE TAKE ON A DIFFERENT
MOOD.

THEY'RE CALLED GELS BECAUSE
THEY
USED TO BE MADE OF GELATIN
FILM,

BUT TODAY THEY ARE MADE
OUT OF TRANSPARENT POLYESTER.

THE PROCESS BEGINS

WITH A MIX OF SOLVENT, DYE,
AND FLAME-RETARDANT CHEMICALS.

THIS PRODUCES A COLORED
LACQUER.

A WORKER TESTS
THE LACQUER'S THICKNESS

BY POURING IT INTO A BRASS CUP
WITH A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM.

AS THE LACQUER DRAINS OUT
OF THE HOLE, IT'S TIMED.

IF IT FLOWS TOO QUICKLY,
THE LACQUER IS TOO THIN,

AND IF IT DRAINS TOO SLOWLY,
IT'S TOO THICK.

A STEADY FLOW

MEANS THE LACQUER MIX
IS THE PERFECT CONSISTENCY --

ABOUT AS THICK AS ENGINE OIL.

A SAMPLE OF EVERY BATCH
UNDERGOES THIS TEST

BECAUSE THE LACQUER'S
CONSISTENCY IS CRITICAL.

IF THE FACTORY
DOESN'T GET IT RIGHT,

IT WON'T BOND
TO THE CLEAR POLYESTER.

WITH THE LACQUER PREPARED,

WORKERS LOAD THE POLYESTER
FILM
INTO THE COATING MACHINE.

A BIG ROLLER SOAKS UP LACQUER
FROM A TRAY BELOW

AND SPREADS IT ON THE FILM.

A THIN BAR
ON THE ROLLER EVENS THE SPREAD

AND SCRAPES OFF THE EXCESS.

THE LACQUER DRIES IN SECONDS.

EVERY PRODUCTION RUN
OF THE SAME COLOR

HAS TO PRECISELY MATCH THE
LAST,

SO INSPECTORS REGULARLY TEST
THE LACQUER'S HUE

ON SWATCHES OF CLEAR
POLYESTER.

IF GEL COLORS
ARE EVEN SLIGHTLY MISMATCHED,

USING THEM TOGETHER WILL MAKE
FOR A PATCHY-LOOKING JOB.

DIFFERENTLY COLORED GELS
CREATE DIFFERENT EFFECTS.

THIS ORANGEY RED ONE
WILL WARM UP DAYLIGHT

TO LOOK MORE LIKE
INDOOR LIGHTING.

NOW, IN A TEST, A GEL SWATCH
IS HELD OVER A FLAME.

THE GEL BURNS
BUT NEVER CATCHES FIRE --

PROVING THAT THIS BATCH IS
READY
FOR THE HOT LIGHTS

OF A MOVIE SET.

OVER AT ANOTHER STATION,

THEY'RE WORKING ON A DIFFERENT
SORT OF COLOR-CHANGER --

A FILTER THAT
GOES ON A CAMERA LENS.

A SPECIAL SHEET
OF OPTICAL PLASTIC

IS DIPPED IN HOT WATER AND
DYE.

THE HOT WATER
OPENS THE PLASTIC'S PORES,

ALLOWING THE DYE TO PENETRATE.

WHEN THE PLASTIC COOLS,

THE COLOR
WILL BE TRAPPED INSIDE.

THE LONGER THE PLASTIC
STAYS IN THE DYE BATH,

THE DEEPER THE COLOR.

SOME SHEETS
ONLY GET PARTIALLY DYED.

THEY'LL BE TURNED INTO FILTERS

THAT AFFECT ONLY HALF
AN IMAGE'S EXPOSURE.

FILTERS MADE
FROM A RANGE OF COLORS

WILL HELP THE CAMERA'S EYE

DO WHAT THE HUMAN EYE
DOES EFFORTLESSLY --

ADJUST TO DIFFERENT
LIGHTING CONDITIONS.

THE COLORED SHEETS ARE
SHEATHED
IN THIN PLASTIC.

THIS PREVENTS SCRATCHING
AS THEY'RE CUT TO SIZE.

THESE CAMERA FILTERS
ARE NEARLY DONE.

ALL THAT'S LEFT IS FOR THE
INK-JET PRINTER TO BRAND THEM.

A SIMILAR TYPE OF PRINTER

GIVES THE LIGHTING GELS
THEIR TRADEMARK STAMP.

AND NOW IT'S TIME
TO WRAP THINGS UP.

A CARDBOARD CORE SLIDES
INTO A MACHINE

THAT WINDS THE FINISHED
GEL SHEETS ONTO IT.

THEN A PNEUMATIC RAM PUSHES
THE ROLL OF LIGHTING GEL

INTO A PLASTIC BAG.

NOW THESE FILTERS AND GELS
ARE READY TO SHOW LIFE

IN THE BEST LIGHT POSSIBLE.

WHEN WE RETURN,

MAKING TINY MODELS
THAT ARE A BLAST FROM THE
PAST.

Narrator: WHEN FACTORIES
BUILD LIVE STEAM MODELS,

THEY'RE RECONSTRUCTING
HISTORY.

THESE WORKING STEAM MODELS
TAKE US ON A NOSTALGIC
JOURNEY,

AND THEY'RE FUN
FOR HOBBYISTS OF ALL AGES.

ADD A LITTLE WATER...

LIGHT SOME FUEL
FOR THE BOILER...

AND IT'S FULL STEAM AHEAD

FOR THIS MINI REPLICA OF
A 19th-CENTURY ROAD
LOCOMOTIVE.

PRODUCTION STARTS
WITH THE BOILER.

A HYDRAULIC PRESS REPEATEDLY
PUNCHES A PIECE OF BRASS,

STRETCHING THE BRASS CAP
INTO A CYLINDER.

IT'S A PROCESS CALLED DRAWING,

AND IT ALSO STRENGTHENS
THE METAL.

A FLAT PIECE OF BRASS
IS TRANSFORMED INTO A CYLINDER

IN ONLY A FEW MINUTES.

NEXT THE ENDS OF THE CYLINDER
ARE TRIMMED.

SOLDER PASTE
IS BRUSHED ONTO A BRASS CAP

AND SLOTTED
INTO A HOLDING DEVICE.

PASTE GOES ONTO ATTACHMENTS
INSIDE THE CYLINDRICAL BOILER.

THEN THE BOILER AND CAP
ARE PRESS-FITTED TOGETHER.

THE CAP BOILERS TRAVEL
THROUGH A FURNACE,

WHICH MELTS THE SOLDER PASTE,
FUSING THE CAPS TO THE
CYLINDER.

WORKERS POLISH THE BRASS
TO GIVE IT A NICE SHEEN.

THEN THEY SOLDER COPPER PIPES
TO THE BOILER.

THESE PIPES WILL EXPEL THE
STEAM

AS IT POWERS
THIS LITTLE LOCOMOTIVE.

NEXT UP --
TRIMMING THE FLYWHEEL,

WHICH HAS BEEN PRECAST.

THE FLYWHEEL WILL SMOOTH OUT
THE ENGINE'S FIRING IMPULSES

SO THAT IT RUNS MORE EVENLY.

THE FLYWHEEL IS TIGHTLY
SCREWED
TO THE CRANK SHAFT.

WORKERS CHECK THE SLIDING
ACTION
OF THE PISTON AND ITS
CYLINDER.

THEN THEY ATTACH THE ASSEMBLY

TO THE ENGINE FRAME
AND THE CRANK SHAFT.

LUBRICATING THE PISTON
ASSEMBLY
ENHANCES ITS SLIDING ACTION.

USING COMPRESSED AIR,

WORKERS MAKE SURE THE ENGINE
FUNCTIONS AND HAS NO LEAKS.

ONCE THE MODEL PASSES THE
TEST,

IT GETS ITS FRONT
STEERING MECHANISM.

THIS WILL CONTROL
THE MODEL'S FRONT WHEELS

WHILE THE BACK WHEELS
POWER IT FORWARD.

STEAM MACHINES
ARE USUALLY REAR-WHEEL DRIVE.

A WIRE CALLED THE DRIVE BAND
TRANSFERS THE ENERGY

FROM THE FLYWHEEL
TO THE REAR WHEEL.

THE STEAM MODEL

IS HOOKED UP TO THE COMPRESSED
AIR TANK ONCE AGAIN

FOR A FINAL TEST RUN.

AND IT LOOKS LIKE THIS MODEL
IS READY FOR SOME ACTION.

ALL IT NEEDS IS A CANOPY
TO PROVIDE A LITTLE SHADE.

A RIBBED DESIGN IS PUNCHED
INTO A LITTLE STEEL ROOF.

AFTER IT GETS A NICE PAINT
JOB,
IT'S ATTACHED TO THE MODEL.

PRODUCTION ON THIS TINY
TREASURE
IS NOW COMPLETE.

THIS MODEL WILL ALSO
TAKE YOU BACK IN TIME,

BUT IN HIGH STYLE.

IT'S A LUXURY TOURING CAR.

WORKERS INSTALL
THE PISTON CYLINDER ASSEMBLY

A LITTLE LOWER ON THIS
ROADSTER
AND FIRE IT UP.

EACH OF THESE MINI STEAM
MODELS
IS A TRIBUTE TO THE ORIGINAL

AND GIVE US ALL A GLIMPSE

INTO THE COLORFUL HISTORY
OF TRANSPORTATION.

COMING UP...

TURNING SUGAR INTO ONE
OF OUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY
TREATS.

Narrator:
IN THE 17th CENTURY,

A GERMAN CHOIRMASTER

HAD SOME SUGAR STICKS
BENT INTO SHEPHERD'S CROOKS

AS A SPECIAL TREAT
FOR HIS CHOIR.

AND THAT'S HOW THE CANDY CANE
IS
BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN
INVENTED.

BUT IT WASN'T UNTIL MORE
THAN A CENTURY LATER

THAT THEY EARNED THEIR
STRIPES.

TODAY CANDY CANES COME IN
ALL DIFFERENT COLORS AND
SIZES.

CANDYMAKERS START
BY COOKING UP A BIG BATCH

OF SUGAR, WATER, AND CORN
SYRUP.

NEXT, THEY PREPARE A MIX
OF STARCH AND FLAVORING,

LIKE PEPPERMINT OR STRAWBERRY.

AS THEY BLEND TOGETHER,

THE FLAVORING BINDS
TO THE STARCH.

THE FLAVORING MIX

IS EMPTIED INTO THE MIDDLE
OF A SYRUPY SLAB.

THEN THE WHOLE THING
IS FED INTO A MACHINE

THAT FOLDS THE BATCH
REPEATEDLY
USING SHOVELS AND A PLUNGER.

THIS DISTRIBUTES
THE FLAVORING EVENLY.

COLD WATER IS PIPED INTO THE
SHOVELS AND THE KNEADING TABLE

TO COOL THE CANDY-CANE MIX

SO IT TAKES ON
THE STIFFER CONSISTENCY

THAT'S NECESSARY
FOR THE NEXT STEP.

NOW IT'S OVER
TO THE AUTOMATED PULLERS.

THESE PULLERS STRETCH
THE MIXTURE AROUND A METAL
POST.

THIS ACTION AERATES THE CANDY,
TURNING IT WHITE.

THIS BATCH
WILL MAKE 3,200 CANDY CANES,

BUT THERE'S STILL
A LOT MORE WORK TO BE DONE.

THE CANDY IS ROLLED
INTO A FAT LOG,

WHILE HEATERS WARM IT UNTIL
ITS PLIABLE ENOUGH TO SHAPE.

NEXT, STRIPS OF RED-COLORED
CANDY ARE ROLLED OUT.

A WORKER STRETCHES AND FOLDS
IT
TO WIDEN THE STRIP.

TWO OF THE RED STRIPS
ARE ARRANGED

ON EITHER SIDE
OF THE WHITE CANDY.

IT WEIGHS 100 POUNDS,

SO IT TAKES TWO WORKERS TO
TRANSFER IT TO THE NEXT
MACHINE.

IT'S CALLED A BATCH ROLLER,

AND ITS CYLINDERS ROLL THE
CANDY
THINNER AND THINNER,

DRAMATICALLY REDUCING
THE LOG'S DIAMETER

UNTIL IT REACHES
CANDY-CANE DIMENSIONS.

A TORCH MOVES ACROSS THE CANDY
TO KEEP IT PLIABLE.

THEN THE SUGARY BATCH
TRAVELS BETWEEN WHEELS

THAT SLIM IT DOWN EVEN MORE.

THE ROPE OF CANDY MOVES
FORWARD
IN A WAVE-LIKE FASHION.

THIS GIVES IT SOME SLACK
SO IT DOESN'T STRETCH

AS IT MOVES THROUGH
THE NEXT SET OF WHEELS.

THE CANDY ROPE MOVES THROUGH
TWO ANGLED BELTS THAT TWIST
IT,

AND A CHAIN OF KNIVES CUT THE
TWISTED ROPE TO CANDY-CANE
SIZE.

THIS PRODUCTION HAS BEEN
PERFECTLY CHOREOGRAPHED.

ONE MISSTEP,
AND THE JOB WOULD HIT A SNARL.

HERE, A ROLL
OF CELLOPHANE UNWINDS,

AND A DEVICE WRAPS IT
AROUND THE CANDY STICKS.

A BLAST OF HOT AIR
SHRINKS THE CELLOPHANE

ON THE ENDS OF THE CANES.

NOW IT'S TIME
FOR THESE CANDY STICKS

TO GET THEIR SIGNATURE CROOKS.

THIS MACHINE, CALLED
A CROOKER DECK, BENDS THE
ENDS.

AN OVERHEAD BRACKET BRUSH
GENTLY SECURES THE CANES

BECAUSE THOUGH
THEY'RE PLIABLE ENOUGH TO
BEND,

THEY'RE STILL FRAGILE.

THERE'S A CAMERA
INSIDE THIS ROBOTIC ARM,

WHICH ALLOWS IT TO SPOT THE
CANDY CANES ON THE CONVEYER
BELT

AND PICK THEM UP
TWO AT A TIME.

IT PLACES THEM IN CARDBOARD
PACKAGES BY THE DOZEN.

IT TAKES ABOUT HALF AN HOUR
TO MAKE A BOX OF CANDY CANES.

AND THEY'RE SURE TO COME
TO A VERY STICKY END

IN EVEN LESS TIME.

IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS
ABOUT THE SHOW,

OR IF YOU'D LIKE TO SUGGEST
TOPICS FOR FUTURE SHOWS,

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