Everything has it's field, and everything can be quite interesting. I'm always amazed by what is out there, and last night it was a bread factory.
A friend of mine who distributes some bread locally, gets his bread from a bakery downtown. Since he wasn't in town, and had a late add to his order, i went there to do a pickup. After getting through the gate, i drove up to the rear entrance, and was able to see the workings inside.
I didn't see the actual baking. What i did see though, was the coooling, separating, and bagging. The cooling is done on a huge spiral. A rack with numerous levels turning ever so slowly according to the need. The bread stays on that for a while before it makes it to the bottom and gets separated. So *that's* how they do it.
After coming off the rack the bread is greeted by two workers. They separate and order the bread onto the next platform. Seems more guiding than anything else, but depending on what came through, they were doing a lot of moving. From there the bread is pushed along to the bagger. (Though there was a machine in between that did something, though i do not know what.)
The bagger is like a long chute, not too long, but not short. It is longer that i would have thought. The canopy is clear plastic so it was easy to watch the workings. The top had a conveyer belt of its own with a hooked platform. That is, there was mostly a hook, except instead of a point on the end, there was a plate. The plate pushed the bread as it went through.
As the bread went along, a thing that looked like a beak, pointed downward toward a pile of bags. Lifting up the top of a bag, a gush of air blew the bag open. The beak went into the bag and opened up, with the air still rushing. So, the bag was both help open by the beak, and fully extended by the air. The bread was pushed through the beak into the bag, the beak closed, and the bag was pushed on to the next platform. There, the long plastic part on the end of the bag went through a thing that fastened it. A person on the end watched what came out, moved it, and dealt with any errors.
As you may have noticed, the bagging was my favorite part. I was amazed at it, and kept staring at it. Such simplicity. It's so beautiful.
While watching it, i was waiting for it to break. I program for work. There always the bugs, or the memory leak, or where Windows decides to take lunch. When a program works well, i am amazed, as i am already conditioned into thinking that it should break. In fact, if it doesn't, the equilibrium of the entire universe would be off. I'm sure it's something like that. Yet, here there is a machine, working with puffs of air and impossible to open plastic bags, and yet there was no error. The suspence was enthralling. I'm sure there's some deep philosphical meaning here, yet i am at a loss.