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15 Artistic Views of the Factory

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naperlou
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fanciful images
naperlou   5/30/2014 11:38:38 AM
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Rob, these are someinteresting views of the factory.  Actual factories are either very impresive or somewhat blase.  The truth is often not as dramatic as artists make it out to be.  Having been in very large factories and very small ones, it is interesting that, in general, one rarely has such a grand view of the whole factory floor.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: fanciful images
Rob Spiegel   5/30/2014 11:57:24 AM
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Great point, Naperlou. there probably a good chance that many of these artisits have not spent much time in factories. Except maybe Diego Rivera.

Pubudu
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Boy on a hill
Pubudu   5/31/2014 2:12:16 AM
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Rob I really like the image Boy on a hill and now it is the best time for us to lock at the hills from a factories cause that there will not be a hills with a tries in near future. 

naperlou
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Re: fanciful images
naperlou   5/31/2014 7:40:54 PM
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Rob, one of my favorite has always been the spacecraft factories I had worked at.  These are, of course, very low volume, but they always had several things going.  There was also a test building, which was separate.  I think that was in case something went wrong.  They were always full of complex machines. 

Another very exotic types of facility is big science.  When I was at the University of Maryland we had our own cyclotron in the basement.  This also had a very large machine shop to keep it going.  I had an old sports car that I was restoring and the slave cylinder went out on my clutch.  The guys in the shop made me a new one out of titanium.  I was a thing of beauty.  In the Chicago area we have Fermilab, and also Argone National Labs.  The Advanced Photon Source (APS) is an older accelerator that is currently used to produce very high energy "light" for both industrial and research purposes.  The machinery there and the devices they make are very intesting and exotic. 

NadineJ
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Re: fanciful images
NadineJ   6/1/2014 12:30:09 AM
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I agree.  These are really interesting.  Great slide show.  Something new.  It would be interesting to see more modern works, outside of the gaming industry.

GTOlover
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Re: fanciful images
GTOlover   6/2/2014 10:56:21 AM
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I agree, woul dbe nice to see more modern looks. Or how film portray the factory.

Examples:

Terminator movies always had good factory sequences. A really far out vision was the robot factories in Star Wars II. These sort of put the sinister side of automated factories!

William K.
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Platinum
Re: fanciful images Factories ARE interesting
William K.   6/2/2014 3:15:35 PM
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As an engineer of industrial testing systems and equipment I have visited a lot of factories, and some of them really stand out. One plant area was painfully loud, and so oily that if you dropped a tool you would not bother to recover it. Another was so very clean that you could lie on your back under a machine and not have any smudges on a white uniform shirt. That room was where they assembled refigeration compressors, it had to be clean. A lot of facories do resemble some of the pctures though. 

And I wonder about that machine that CC was climbing on, what was it supp0osed to be doing?

bob from maine
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Re: fanciful images
bob from maine   6/2/2014 12:44:07 PM
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During visits to Russia in the 80's and 90's I saw that nearly every public space or conference room had murals showing the people sharing the job to achieve a common goal. I think! Very similar to Diego Rivera's paintings. I do remember standing on a mezzanine overlooking a very large machine shop of perhaps 200 lathes and milling machine all working and cranking-out product, and right in the middle of this huge room was 2 beautiful green CNC machines surrounded by yellow lines on the floor. I noted to my host that the machines were unattended and he responded proudly that those machine could do the work of 20 to 30 men, each! Then, in a lower tone he also mentioned that "In Russia, we have no unemployment." They kept the machines there for when the party leaders came from Moscow for a visit. I have always found large factories very depressing. They must have great purpose in our society but I find I have no purpose in them.

jlatorraca
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Iron
Re: fanciful images
jlatorraca   6/9/2014 1:37:06 AM
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If you get a chance to see the Grohmann Museum at Miliwaukee School of Engineering, they have an impressive art collection of the "Man at Work". Many factories, but also earlier.

http://www.msoe.edu/community/about-msoe/grohmann-museum/page/1311/grohmann-museum

from the web page description:

With more than 1,000 paintings and sculptures representing the evolution of human work, you're sure to identify with several pieces in the collection.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: fanciful images
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   6/17/2014 5:04:16 PM
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Rob- I really enjoyed that, thanks. Maybe because I too grew up in Detroit in the 60's when the automotive industry was in a heyday of muscle cars and worthy admiration.  Everyone's dad worked for either Chrysler, Ford, GM or American Motors – then the "Big-Four".  One of my earliest jobs as a graduate engineer was at Hydramatic plant in Ypsilanti. GM took over that Willow-Run plant --- Henry Ford's grand-daddy of all factories!  You know that history-?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: fanciful images
Rob Spiegel   6/17/2014 10:49:17 PM
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Those were great days for Detroit, Jim. My dad worked in marketing for Vickers, a hydraulics supplier. My grandfather was a Ford exec (after having started at GM), and my first real job was in the lab at Celanese Coatings, a paint suplier (primarily to Chrysler). 

Bog Seger said it all in his song "Making Thunderbirds": "We were young and proud -- we were making Thunderbirds."

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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stumped on Bob Seger
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   6/18/2014 12:21:28 PM
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Can't believe you stumped me on Bob Seger.  I would have bet money I knew every word to every song he did; and I don't know that one. Looking it up, I missed that entire Album, (The Distance, 1982)

Rob Spiegel
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Re: stumped on Bob Seger
Rob Spiegel   6/18/2014 1:07:03 PM
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It's a wonderful album, Jim -- Seger's return to a harder edge after the softness of Against the Wind. Making Thunderbirds is my all-time favorite song about Detroit.

I remember seeing (and dancing to) Seger in the Hideout clubs when I was a teenager. That's when Glenn Frey (later one of the Eagles) was in the band, The Four of Us.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: fanciful images
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   6/18/2014 12:55:10 PM
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Did you know the history of the Willow-Run Plant in Ypsilanti-?  Coal and Iron-ore (by rail) into one end of the plant, and B-24 bombers flying out the other end of the plant, straight to missions! 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Run#From_farm_to_flight_line

The grand Visions made into reality by Henry Ford are rivaled today perhaps only by Tesla, in his massive battery plant now being developed.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: fanciful images
Rob Spiegel   6/18/2014 1:15:33 PM
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Yes, I remember Willow Run well. I have a pilot friend here in Albuquerque who used to fly cargo planes out of Willow Run -- so I guess an airport accompanied the plant.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: fanciful images
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   6/18/2014 1:43:15 PM
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Do you remember the "Big Tire"? Driving on I94 from Detroit out to the Airport, it was on the south side, just before the Southfield Expwy.  I just had to check Google Maps – Its still there!   Wow.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: fanciful images
Rob Spiegel   6/18/2014 1:48:47 PM
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Yes, I remember the Big Tire well. A couple friends and I contemplated puting a stick of dynamite under it to see if we could get it to roll over I-94.

Can't believe it's still there.

Do you remember the car sticking out of the window of a wheel alignment shop on Woodward (near the zoo)? The front tires were constantly in a wobbly spin. Underneath the car, a sign read: Do Your Tires Do This?

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: fanciful images
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   6/18/2014 9:58:12 PM
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Nope- Didn't get out that way too often.  In all my 18 years living in Wayne County, I think I made it to the Detroit Zoo once, when I was about 7.  But I drove 8 mile its full length many times, from Southfield to St Clair Shores.  Horrible road.  Made my tires do what you're suggesting.  Pot hole after pot hole.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: fanciful images
Cabe Atwell   6/18/2014 11:11:10 PM
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The level of detail that went into the first image is certainly impressive. Too bad they don't really do that anymore, it's all CAD-model mock-ups and virtual representations.

far911
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Silver
Re: fanciful images
far911   5/31/2014 9:54:03 AM
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You are right that usually factories are not very impressive. . But this view intrigue people to go for one.

Debera Harward
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Silver
Re: fanciful images
Debera Harward   6/7/2014 8:21:20 AM
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Agreed with you Naperlou either the factories are very impressive or very blase I remember once in my childhood my school make me visited one of the candy factory and that factory was really very neat and clean it looked a if I have entered into a dream but the very next month when we visited one of the snack factory that factory has oil all around leaking from the machines and stuff so the condition of thefactory depends upon the product that is being manufactured on which scale the factory is operating as well. 

Dave Palmer
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Art and cultural attitudes
Dave Palmer   5/31/2014 12:04:39 PM
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I think it's unfortunate how artistic representations of manufacturing have changed, but they reflect cultural attitudes, not necessarily the reality of manufacturing.

For a very impressive manufacturing facility, both inside and out, look at Signicast Corporation's Hartford, Wisconsin facility.  There is a virtual tour available here.

Manufacturing doesn't have to be dirty, dangerous, or dehumanizing.  The whole purpose of manufacturing, as Rob points out, is to elevate our standard of living.

far911
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Silver
Re: Art and cultural attitudes
far911   5/31/2014 2:47:40 PM
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This artistic view shows how we can be particular calculated and progressing.

Tweet
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Bronze
Re: Art and cultural attitudes
Tweet   6/2/2014 9:13:53 AM
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Hear, hear! I love all of those How It's Made shows, and I love touring factories. (favorite tour? Budweiser plant!)

Jim_E
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Steelmaking
Jim_E   6/2/2014 9:39:25 AM
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I'm a fan of one of the largest scale industries: Steelmaking.


My grandfather and my father both worked and retired from a small steel mill, and I spent two memorable summers there during college, giving me the desire to make it through college!


Here is an excellent, artistic site from Germany, showing awesome artistic views of the steel industry:

http://www.stahlseite.de/

Dave Palmer
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Platinum
Re: Steelmaking
Dave Palmer   6/2/2014 1:10:27 PM
@Jim_E: Thanks for sharing the Industriefotografie site.  The photographer Michael Schultz has put together a two-volume set of coffee table books, called "Foundry Work," which are available through the American Foundry Society.  They are very nice (although also very pricey).  You can see them here.

AJ2X
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Silver
Re: Steelmaking
AJ2X   6/4/2014 11:15:07 AM
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I love seeing these images of factories.  When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, my dad was a public relations man for a factory that made steel kitchen cabinets, and then for a steel company.  Those lines of big machines cranking away purposefully in huge high-ceilinged buildings had a profound impression on me, and no doubt led me to becoming an engineer.

I found picture 12, by Martin Deschambault, to be the sort of muscular and heroic view of steelmaking that I remember from the brochures, magazines and even movies my dad helped create.  It IS interesting that there are no people in the picture, though.  Steelmaking will always bring to mind a movie scene of hard-hatted men throwing bags of material into a blast furnace, silouhetted against the bright glow of molten steel.

Me, I went into nice safe, clean and quiet electronics!

BrainiacV
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More games with factory like images
BrainiacV   6/2/2014 12:25:12 PM
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The Half-Life series of games took place inside military/industrial environments.

The newer versions of DOOM seemed to copy some of that experience as well.

 

Charles Murray
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Pop culture viewpoint
Charles Murray   6/2/2014 7:48:12 PM
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Great idea for a slideshow, Rob. Unfortunately, media depictions of the factory still line up closely with Slide 2.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Pop culture viewpoint
Rob Spiegel   6/2/2014 8:16:06 PM
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You're right, Chuck. Dreary is the word. The next slideshow will feature factories depicted in the movies. Film has generally been kinder to factories. They tend to be funny (Lucy and thre chocolates, Willy Wonka, Modern Times) or futuristic (Star Wars Drone Factory, Terminator).

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Pop culture viewpoint
Cabe Atwell   6/3/2014 7:47:58 PM
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The level of detail that went into the first image is certainly impressive. Too bad they don't really do that anymore, it's all CAD-model mock-ups and virtual representations.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Pop culture viewpoint
Rob Spiegel   6/3/2014 8:08:32 PM
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You're right about that, Cabe. Those cutaways had a run in the 1960s. This one tells a story of production from start to finish. You're right, there's no reason to do these in a world on CAD. However, they were great one-takes.

Charles Murray
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Re: Pop culture viewpoint
Charles Murray   6/4/2014 8:14:21 PM
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Your use of the word "dreary" reminds me of a story we did last year: "Dark, Dirty and Dead-End? Manufacturers Say No." Unfortunately, though, that's the way the public today views factories.

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1395&doc_id=267776

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Pop culture viewpoint
Rob Spiegel   6/4/2014 8:26:36 PM
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Yes, that was a good post, Chuck. We'll see a less dreary view of factories depicted in film in an upcoming post. While some film factories are downright fun (Willy Wonka, Modern Times), even the dark ones are exciting (Terminator Salvation, Star Wars II Attack of the Clones).

Charles Murray
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Re: Pop culture viewpoint
Charles Murray   6/13/2014 5:53:25 PM
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Having said all this, I have to admit that the best plant tour I ever got was at a steel mill in Gary, IN. Yes, it was dark and dreary (this was 1980), but it was awesome.

nicoleallenB
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Iron
factory
nicoleallenB   6/6/2014 3:29:17 AM
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That was really artistic. You can view how the people can work in the factory as well as see to it that they are also safe.

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