Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 2 January 2009

What industry can get up to

It’s a hand pallet truck (actually, only a model). Slide the forks into the slots of a pallet on the floor, work the pump to raise the forks a couple of centimetres and one person can easily move a one-ton load.

But how do you paint such an awkward shape? Passing it through a paint bath is a no-no. The paint would clog up the raisable undercarriage and the hydraulic pump. Here’s how in a state-of-the-art Swedish factory twenty or thirty years ago.

A skilled sentient being does the job with a paint gun. Attached to the gun is a cassette recorder capable of tracking the gun’s movements. The cassette is transferred to a player which drives a robot. And the robot, equipped with its own paint gun, faithfully reproduces the skilled human’s work. Because the paint, usually in powder form, and the pallet truck are electrostatically negative and positive, very little paint is wasted.

They not only did this but also gave birth to Ingmar Bergman.

Eclogue 46b. Setting long and short sentences side by side can have a pleasing effect.
Example: With lengthy DIY projects it is quite understandable that the desire to finish the job might outweigh a wish for perfection. It happened to God!
Note: Eclogue is inappropriate but, what the hell, I wanted to use it.


Zhoen said...

Oft in searching for perfection, we mar that which is perfectly adequate. So there.

Plutarch said...

A visit which I made to Gothenberg - could it have been 35 years ago? - to see the products of a company called BT comes to mind. I clicked your photograph to see if I could read the logo on the truck but it didn't enlarge. Not the BT logo though I guess, but if not whose?
A neat and beautiful thing is a pallet truck. Thanks for the memory.

Barrett Bonden said...

Zhoen: For me adequate is perfection while rackety and/or jerry-built is adequate. Beyond those is another category called "Will-it-hold-together?"

Plutarch: Hole in one. It was BT I was talking about, BT Rolatruc in fact.

Avus said...

...and also Ursula Andress!

The long/short sentence thing has always given me pleasure, but I never knew it had a name (although I guess all written mannerisms must have). I liked the example.

Julia said...

Ode to the pallet jack (called paletak here)... Have you ever raced two across a warehouse floor? I have only sedately cruised on one (think giant unwieldy scooter), but I have witnessed hot contests. Myself, I prefer to use them for their normal purpose and surprise suppliers by demonstrating that even management (and a woman at that) can move pallets weighing a ton with just a few flicks of the wrists and a tug here and there!

Barrett Bonden said...

Avus - part two. Have I misled you with "eclogue"? I apologise. I am visited fairly frequently by a desire to use words I am aware of but have never used before. I did it several months ago with "oblation".

Julia: As editor of a magazine dealing with logistics (where pallet trucks, fork trucks, roller conveyors, etc, all play significant roles) I was supposed to behave myself with regard to the technology. Hence no racing. I imagine it would be a bumpy ride since both forks are offset from the centreline.

Julia said...

Not bumpy so much as zigzaggy. Definitely not ideal human transport! More useful in this regard normal scooters appear to be accepted in Czech warehouses and if you were to peak into a facility today you're highly likely to see an inventory person scooting across the floor from point a to point b 500 meters away.