Have you ever seen that episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel get a job in a candy factory? That’s one of the classic episodes with the conveyor moving faster and faster and they’re not being able to keep up. To keep the candy from falling on the floor they’re stuffing it in their mouths and down the front of their dresses.
Fifty years later I watch Unwrapped on The Food Network and they often go inside the factories where food products are made. It’s nothing like I Love Lucy and I’m impressed with how much technology has changed. The candy travels down the conveyors with hardly any human interaction. How does it know what to do next? I know you’re going to say microchips and computers.
As it travels there’s some sort of picking system where the product is separated or goes into a small package, again with no human interaction. I’m again asking myself, how does the machine know where to separate to get the required amount in each package.? What if the item is a little off center on the conveyor? Do the machines ever mess up?
They travel a little farther and they’re packed in to shipping cartons. Again the machine knows how many packages to a carton and then there’s the shipping label. I don’t see a person addressing each package but the machine will print and apply the shipping label on it’s own.
I realize technology has advanced a lot since Lucy & Ethyl and even more since Henry Ford implemented the first assembly line.