Ultimate Factories

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Thursday 10:00 PM on National Geographic Premiered Jan 01, 2007 In Season

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  • Bacardi

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 8 -

    The mojito, the rum and Coke and the daiquiri - made legendary with the help of one of the world's most popular rums - Bacardi. For 150 years, the Bacardi family has worked on perfecting its unique blending process to create a one-of-a-kind flavor. We'll travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where family tradition and technology meet to create one of the most popular premium rums. The main distillery produces more than 200 million bottles of rum a year, using the same formula and aging techniques that were used in the original batch 150 years ago. Bacardi's special process includes extracting alcohol from molasses, fermentation, distillation and the charcoal mellowing of the rum, which is filtering the rum to reach a smooth texture. But to be sure it is the best, Bacardi brings in its master blender to ensure that each bottle of rum tastes the same.moreless
  • Ford F-150

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 7 -

    With rare access, cameras enter the Ford factory, which employs more than 3,500 people. The factory operates 20 hours a day, five days a week, and over 1,200 trucks are built, with a new truck rolling off the assembly line every minute. The plant consists of a massive three-building complex: the body shop, the paint shop and the final assembly line building. We'll follow along every step of the way as each vehicle is churned out and stamped with Ford's seal of approval.moreless
  • Frito Lay

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 6 -

    The Frito Lay factory in Perry, Ga. Is one of the biggest chip factories in the world. The facility is divided into four main areas: the bakery, where they shape and bake products including cheese puffs, Funyuns and pretzels; the corn room, for tortilla-style products like Doritos; the potato chip production area; and finally a distribution center. We'll follow as potatoes are peeled, sliced, cooked and coated with flavors to perfection, and we'll have a front-row seat as the chips fly past the automatic system that scans each one, registering any anomaly in color, weight, size or density. If it isn't perfect, it is blown into the reject bin, ensuring that only the best quality is packaged to hit grocery stands across the country. We'll see how a simple potato is transformed into one of America's favorite snacks.moreless
  • Mack Truck

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 4 -

    The Mack Titan has over 10 tons of chrome and steel, packing 605 horsepower and a 200-ton towing capacity. This new truck is built right here in the U.S. at Mack's 1 million-square-foot factory in Macungie, Pa. With a high level of customization, nearly every truck that rolls off the line is different. This makes automating the production process nearly impossible, so the work on the Titan is done almost entirely by hand. Manning several assembly lines and production facilities, this factory is powered by old-fashioned sweat and elbow grease. While many companies have switched to automated painting, Mack still paints all vehicles by hand. And all parts, including the monstrous engine, are inspected to ensure they meet Mack standards before installation occurs. When the final product drives off the production line, the Titan will tackle some of the toughest jobs in the trucking industry.moreless
  • Porsche Panamera

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 3 -

    The new addition to the Porsche family is pushing the company into uncharted territory. In April 2010, the Panamera became the best-selling Porsche model in the United States. Assembled at a state-of-the-art factory in Leipzig, Germany, the facility combines some of the best of modern automotive technology to produce 120 Panameras each day. Our cameras are on the front lines as each car is built with precision and quality, from the installation of the roof to the paint job. We'll watch as 300 workers custom build Panamera engines... all seven of them based on the amount of power the driver wants.moreless
  • BMW X-Series

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 1 -

    BMW has moved production of one of their most popular cars, the X3, to the Spartanburg County, South Carolina BMW facility. To keep up with the heavy demand, the South Carolina factory increased production by 50%, hired 1,000 new workers and purchased 300 additional robots, adding over a million square feet, and even built an eco friendly painting facility that is powered by the methane gas emitted from a local landfill site. Go behind the scenes of the production of this "ultimate driving machine."moreless
  • Coca-Cola

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 7 - 3/17/11

    Coca-Cola reaches more countries than there are in the United Nations, and it takes a power factory to provide a beverage consumed in over 99 percent of the populated world. The machines in a bottling plant pump out almost 800 bottles per minute, utilizing specialized --air-veyor-- belts to maximize efficiency. Canned Cokes are filled at an astonishing rate of up to 1,700 cans per minute in a process more complex than meets the eye. And, Coca Cola Company's worldwide supply chain is executed without ever revealing the beverage's famously secret formula.moreless
  • Jack Daniel's

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 6 - 3/10/11

    Smooth, strong and utterly unique, the legendary amber liquor known as Jack Daniels is one of the world's best selling whiskies. And every single bottle is made in just one place -- tiny Lynchburg, Tennessee. National Geographic goes inside the factory where tradition and technology intersect to make 150 million bottles of Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 each year. The factory holds enough whiskey to fill 3 million bottles at any given time, fermented with yeast that descends from the same used in the original batch 140 years ago.moreless
  • Bentley

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 5 - 3/3/11

    It is one of the most luxurious cars ever built. A fusion of old-fashioned handcrafting and 21st Century automotive science. It takes five hundred and fifty hours to create the latest Bentley model...nine weeks' work for a team of artisans and cutting-edge technicians, supported by hi-tech precision robots. No two Bentleys are the same: their customized features go beyond an extensive palette of color and material options for body, upholstery, wood-paneling, even seatbelts! You can also have cigar humidors, champagne picnic sets, even Bentley baby-seats and the very latest in armor-plating.moreless
  • Mercedes Benz

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 4 - 2/24/11

    Go inside Mercedes' largest German factory to see what it takes to build the 571-horsepower Mercedes SLS. Computers control everything in a Mercedes with more than a mile of wiring in each car, but to create the fastest Mercedes to date -- topping out at 197 mph -- it takes some of the best engineers in the world to mold a light yet strong supercar in 15 hours. The spiritual successor of the original 1950s Mercedes 300 S-L, the $183,000 2010 SLS blends modern engineering with classic Mercedes design.moreless
  • Dodge Viper

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 3 - 2/17/11

    Detroit's only hand-built production car, the Dodge Viper, is born, bred and built in Detroit, Michigan. National Geographic takes a unique insider's look at the Viper factory in the current model's last year of production. This ultimate factory is comprised of craftspeople who spend two and a half days building each Viper, which is packed with 600 horsepower that can take it from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. Without any robots on this assembly line, every Viper is truly hand-crafted.moreless
  • Maserati

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 2 - 2/10/11

    An exotic car built to push performance to the edge while blending Italian elegance is crafted inside Maserati's ultimate factory. It takes 22 days for a Maserati to be assembled and considered road ready -- and the Maserati Gran Cabrio, a $135,000 convertible that tops out at more than 170 mph, is the new pinnacle of performance and comfort.moreless
  • Dodge Challenger

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 1 - 2/3/11

    National Geographic goes under the hood to inspect today's Dodge Challenger -- an American classic reborn 40 years after its inception. Loud, curvy, and packed with power, the modern version of the 70s classic stays true to its roots, and adds technology and 21st century engineering into the mix.moreless
  • Chevy Volt

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 8 -

    The soon-to-be-released Chevy Volt electric car just might redefine the automotive world It can go from 0 to 60 in less than nine seconds, hit a top speed of 100 miles per hour and is good for 40 miles of zero-emission, pure electric driving. National Geographic got a rare, behind-the-scenes look inside the preproduction factory for this revolutionary vehicle. At GM's 200,000-square-foot facility outside of Detroit, Michigan-a place closely guarded for fear of industrial espionage-see what it takes to design, build, and assemble this car of the future. At this high-tech "Ultimate Factory," 18,000 parts and 1,000 hours of aerodynamic testing come together to create the Volt. And, at the heart of this revolutionary design is a 6-foot long, 400-pound battery that GM hopes will usher in a new era of automobiles.moreless
  • Porsche

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 4 - 10/22/09

    Ultimate Factories goes inside the famous House of Porsche to see how they create the Porsche 911, one of the most influential and recognizable vehicles in the world. Every distinctive element is manufactured at the Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart, Germany, a historical industrial monument.moreless
  • Rolls-Royce

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 2 - 10/8/09

    The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the ultimate symbol of automotive luxury. The brand has been revived with a technological transfusion by new owner BMW, yet the Phantom model remains as British as the umbrellas built into its doors. That's right - each one comes with a Teflon-coated hide-away umbrella that can pop out with the touch of a button. Ultimate Factories goes inside the creation of this supercar to reveal all the extravagant touches you'd expect -- the sumptuous polished wood interior, a 15-speaker, nine-channel stereo system and the legendary whisper-quiet ride.moreless
  • Lamborghini

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 1 - 10/1/09

    What does it take to build a car that can go from zero to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 211 mph? National Geographic heads to the small farming community in Italy that is home to the main factory for the Lamborghini Murcielago SV to find out.moreless
  • Fire Trucks

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 6 - 6/19/08

    Go inside fire trucks mammoth 800,000 sq.ft. operation, where over 1,500 highly skilled workers mix muscle and high-tech tools.
  • UPS

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 5 - 6/19/08

    The UPS Worldport in Louisville is a one-of-a-kind technological wonder -- and the most efficient delivery system on the planet.
  • Caterpillar

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 4 - 1/28/08

    The Caterpillar 797B is so large that assembly takes place at six locations. Tour all of the factories that build this mining Goliath.
  • Winnebago

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 3 - 1/28/08

    Winnebago's motor homes, or RVs, have set the standard since the 1960s. But now they have upped the ante with their newest cross-country colossus, the Vectra. Offering 400 square feet of living space, the Vectra even includes a giant basement. From the chassis factory in Gaffney, SC, to the "Big Bertha" mega-plant in IA, visit the Ultimate Factories that create the ultimate home away from home on the open road.moreless
  • Corvette

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 2 - 11/29/07

    NGC takes you to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where GM is developing the new aerodynamically efficient Corvette Z06.
  • BMW

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 1 - 11/29/07

    See firsthand how cutting-edge robot labor and human touch combine to craft a $45,000 Z4.
  • Apache Helicopter

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 8 - 2/15/07

    Take a rare, in-depth tour of the Boeing plant in Mesa, Arizona, where the world's most lethal attack helicopter is made.
  • John Deere

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 7 - 2/7/07

    Go behind the scenes of John Deere's factory to witness the birth of one of agriculture's most vital harvesting machines.
  • Harley-Davidson

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 6 - 1/28/07

    Go behind the scenes of the 10-acre flagship Harley-Davidson factory to witness the birth of the latest model, the V-Rod.
  • Peterbilt

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 4 - 1/28/07

    At the Peterbilt factory in Denton, Texas, the world's most sophisticated trucks are built from scratch.
  • Budweiser

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 3 - 1/28/07

    The Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis has used the same yeast strain since 1876 to make its famous beer.
  • M-1 Tank

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 2 - 11/30/06

    Visit the factories that turn the decades-old Abrams M-1 tank into one of the world's most powerful land weapons systems.
  • Ferrari

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 1 - 11/9/06

    Inside Ferrari's closely-guarded factory, you'll see the creation of the latest model -- and take a test drive at 200 mph.
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