Yesterday’s Factory Automation

I recently came across this video of 1936 footage from a car assembly line in Flint, Michigan. I was really impressed (and surprised) with the level of automation throughout many of the processes – I hadn’t realized that manufacturing technology had progressed so far at that time.

Although it looks like many of the processes shown are based on more purely mechanical systems than is the case today, it was inspiring to see how powerful a well-designed mechanical system can be, even without throwing electronic sensing and controls into the mix. It’s fascinating to imagine what some of the brilliant engineers of yesteryear could have cooked up with the power afforded by today’s (or tomorrow’s) technology.

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