This is how rubber bands are made (video)

Originally published at: This is how rubber bands are made (video) | Boing Boing


Just the other day I was braiding some My Little Pony toys with my girls when I picked up a rubber band that was not fully cut from another one. In that moment I realized rubber bands must start out as a tube that is sliced. I’d never given it much thought before, but it’s cool to see the process now.

I do remember learning on Bill Nye or something that rubber bands’ fibers are kinked up at rest and when you stretch a rubber band, they straighten, but naturally pull back to their bunched shape. That image has also stuck in my head, but I t didn’t stick for me that they are essentially embedded springs the way the patent cited describes them.


Yes, but where do they make balloons?
They Might be Giants - Where do They Make Balloons? - YouTube


Is that how they made the Rubberband Man?


I’d like to believe it’s as easy as they make it look, but that’s quite a stretch.


And this is where they go to die… in glory.


If I missed the first couple minutes of the video I would’ve thought they were making candy. Forbidden caramel.

Homer Drool GIF


i could watch videos on how they make stuff all day.


I strongly suspect that my perspective has been warped by mostly thinking of Japan as a manufacturer of things like high end optoelectronics; but I was more than a bit surprised at how many steps involved guys hefting heavy looking rubber chunks between batch processing steps with very limited assistance from a conveyor belt or similar.

Probably tricky to justify making a bunch of capital improvements to continue manufacturing rubber bands in a high cost location; but obtaining rubber-wranglers in that labor market, at a price the presumably-fairly-competitive market for rubber bands can bear, can’t be a fun position to be in.


So, finding good employees is a stretch?


I love “how it’s made” videos in general but I especially love ones that show an organized, tidy, safe factory with good quality controls. Props to Japan for usually going above and beyond because it makes sense and not because they have to.


Came for this. Left appointed. :wink:


I can almost hear Mr. McFeely and Fred Rodgers talking over the video…


TIL Arby’s comes from Japan

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I love/hate these videos: the photography is very nice, the pace and music are both calm… but the descriptions of what’s happening are very much lacking. “Bands are heated to make them more elastic” must be vulcanization, but it’s glossed over. What’s the powder applied to the bands? Why does the video sort of loop, where it shows the center section slit from the sides, and then the sides seem to be collected in piles and re-calendered? It’s like these things are made by an art student who has NO IDEA of what they’re watching, and doesn’t know enough about industrial processes to ask the right questions.

The commenter (@FathomBlue) who said it looks like they’re making candy is right, in large part because there’s no detail shown to distinguish these processes from making caramel!

All sort of infuriating, if I’m honest.

It’s weird, normally I would agree with you 100%. But something about this video, and [a few like it] (ポロンちゃんを大量生産するプロセス。日本の古いおもちゃ工場。 - YouTube) I’ve come across lately, seem to slide into a different headspace for me.

I’m with the film school kid on this one. Here, try pairing it with some French post-electro:

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