Working in a factory gives me access to industrial and mechanical items all day long, and ever since I started there in July of 2021, I have marveled at the beauty of the items manufactured, and even the scrap material. Every so often, I need to stop by the tool room to pick up some specialized measuring equipment to send out to suppliers, so they can make sure that the parts they process exactly meet our specifications. Resting on the counter is a box containing used cutting tools that will be discarded to be recycled, since they have reached the end of their useful life. I immediately took photos, since I think they are actually quite intriguing.
At the beginning of the process is the raw material which we buy to make the aircraft parts built in the factory.
There are bars, blocks, cylinders, and other shapes of steel, aluminum, and titanium that come into the factory daily. The photo on the right is titanium blocks. And the process of cutting and shaping those raw shapes into parts generates many pounds of scrap metal, which gets recycled into new bars and blocks.
The state of Washington gets the majority of its electric power from hydroelectric dams on our many rivers. Those dams are some of the world’s largest mechanical devices, constructed from tons of concrete, steel, and other metals. The most important dam in our state is the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, and it is a marvel of human ingenuity, since its construction in the 1930s.
It has produced reliable electricity for the Pacific Northwest for nearly 100 years. Closer to home is the Gorge Dam, on the Skagit River just north of where we live.
In 2017 on our trip to Montana, our little group took a tour of a local distillery. The equipment there was shiny and new, and the product was pretty good, too!
My husband and I both worked in the aerospace industry. The biggest Boeing factory is in our city, and they have a Museum of Flight near the plant. On display there is a jet engine, with the cowling removed so you can see how it is made. You never dream that an engine could be that complicated until you can actually see inside.
Can you imagine being the workman who puts one of these together? How many different pipes, fittings, and hoses there are, that all need to be in the exactly right place! It’s mind-boggling, and gives you a new respect for the machinists and assemblers who build them every day.
And speaking of hydraulics, just last week we went out to dinner, and the restaurant was in the middle of a construction zone. Out front was a big piece of earth-moving equipment, and we marveled at all the exterior hydraulic lines, for all its lubrication.
And the operator gets to sit in a nice, comfortable, air-conditioned cab while he’s digging in the dirt. Every little boy’s dream!
Here’s the Link to John’s Original Post.