Have you watched the show or the YouTube videos that show how mass production is accomplished? The National Geographic as the series of Mega Factories or Discovery Channel has “How it’s Made”.
They show you how a raw piece of earth turns into a huge sheet of aluminum, gets processed and turns into a soda can. And the soda cans can be manufacture at an eye blinking speed that is almost incomprehensible.
How mayonnaise, peanut butter, jelly, milk, soda and so much more, how they are created from raw ingredients in such a short amount of time and on such a grand scale.
I thought about our road system, the people that envisioned it, the people that created it, the people and machines that built it – to me amazing and crazy.
Farming, harvesting the immense amount of vegetables to feed us all over the nation. The meat, the number of cows, the number of pigs, chickens and so forth, to feed everyone in the nation.
Then you have the process of taking them from the farms and being able to get them into every grocery store across our nation, it is amazing to me.
It amazes me because I guess I am not that big of a thinker. I am not sure how the idea of: “Hey, we can build this 100,000 sq ft building and make enough chips, milk, cookies, to supply the nation from it. It will be cheaper and higher quality than people growing their own and having it distributed locally.
Building the interstate highways. Justifying the cost of how much they had to tear down, build up, the supplies, the machinery, the engineering, amazing, absolutely amazing.
Sometimes, I think these Maga factories came out of the blue – but maybe I am wrong. The first mega factories it seems most often are brought up, is the Ford assembly line. I see the logic of how mass manufacturing arose from its concept. I see how cars manufacturing or assembly would not be cheaper by moving factories closer to the buyers. I see how it was cheaper to move the assembly of the auto quicker, which proved to be cheaper by quantity.
This thought process got me thinking about who makes all the stuff that goes into the stuff. We always buy the stuff at the end of the manufacturing process. From clothes, coffee pots, tools, cars, house, but who makes all the other components. And who makes the components that make the components? What I mean, let us take thread or clothes. We go into the factory and see how they take “thread” and make it into clothes, amazing process right?! But how did the thread become thread, and who made the components that made the thread, the machines, the parts and so on.
If you just look at ordinary things we use, like a pencil. There is the lead, somehow became lead in a pencil, the wood around the pencil, the paint on the wood, the edging, the eraser, and the little piece of metal that holds the eraser. No each of those small items had machines and tool help create it, who made them.
When I get into a car, it is made of thousands of pieces. We have windshields, the sun visor, the steering wheel, the dashboard, the gauges in the dashboard, the radio, the speakers, the brake pedals, and the door handles. Not to mention the electric motors in the doors. The seats, maybe they are heated, who makes the seats, then who makes the “heated” part of the seats.
Then I start thinking about who designed these things, when did they start thinking about it, how did we decide it was economical to do so. The dashboard, somehow it was thought of, drawn out designed, but the components of it. It seems to be a combination of cardboard, fiberglass, plastic, and nylon, I have no idea. But where are they made; do they make more than just one. How far in advance do the changes need to be made. How are they formed? Just the door handles, how and where are they made. The design of them is a huge factor made each year for each model.
The tires on our car, the rims that hold them, the large nuts and bolts that hold them on. The breaks, the parts of the breaks to hold then in their place, the makeup of the brake pad themselves that stop us. Each not just had to manufacture as a unit, but what makes up the metal, who manufactured them, the bolts, screws, and springs, all had to be made up of raw ingredients. Where did they come from, how was it manufactured? Who engineered it, the drawings to create them?
You get the point. I feel like I live in a bubble. When I stop and think about all the things I do not see and how they are going to be in my sight or possession, I am amazed by the human race. It is amazing what we have done. The national highways, the electricity grid, the phone system (old and new), the water system, the internet. TV, the old ones. Have you ever looked in the back of one of those? It is amazing they can send a signal through the air and voice and images are then converted inside the TV and displayed for us on a screen. What about radio? Not just the ability to transmit sound hundreds of miles while we are driving, but the devices that are used to receive the sound wave and convert it so we can listen to it comfortably in our car.
When I stop and think about objects, I never think about them and wonder “How did it get here?” it truly boggles my mind. A spoon seems simple, but the metal had to come from somewhere, the machines that made it, shaped it, heated it, had to be created from somewhere. And we have not even touched on the complexity of how the raw ingredients were transported from one manufacturing stage to the other, and it still costs us only a few dollars.
I often think about milk, one of the simplest items. The farmer must raise and feed the cow, then milk the cow every day. The machinery just to milk the cows is amazing! Then the milk gets stored, then maybe transported. The milk cartons, the many sizes: pint, quart, 1/2-gallon, gallon. The printing on the cartons, the glue which holds them together, the plastic for the gallon, who made it, how was it made, who designed it? I know, I am repeating myself, but when I stop and think of all the things the humans have done, it is absolutely amazing. I have not even touched on the computer, the home computer, laptop, or the huge servers that transmit the vast amounts of data used by our social media platforms or corporations like Walmart and Amazon.
If you can, go for yourself and see a huge factory. I have been in an auto factory, but we could only see parts of it at a time. What blew me away the most is when I walked into an Amazon distribution warehouse. The 1/4-mile building had boxes running all over the place. I felt like I walked into another dimension of reality. Just amazed me they can build such a large facility, run it so efficiently and have so many people touch the product, and we get it at an affordable price. And again, I start thinking of all the small pieces assembled to make the product I bought, the machines that assisted in making that product and the pieces of it and then how some dust in a mine somewhere was converted into the object I just bought.
To me what we have created and what we can do is amazing. It is not just what most of the time, it is amazing how much and the distribution of it.
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