Sunday, March 19, 2006

Shitty Jobs #2 Le Cave

Clay is stored in big bins called tremies or doseurs. These bins are outside the factory and are refilled by big tipper trucks.
The tremies shake their contents at a controlable rate onto conveyor belts beneath them in the cave or cellar.
From there, conveyor beltrs take the clay to the various presses.

The clay at this stage is granular, clumpy, and bits of it bounce off the conveyors onto the floor. Slowly, over the hours and days, little pyramids of dry clay start to accumulate and grow.
If these piles of clay are not cleared up the grow until the cave is knee deep in dry sandy clay. So each team is responsible, at the end of a shift for sweeping out the cave and, if it is done regularly things are kept under control.

Also kept in the cave is the oil pump and resevoir that drives the hydrolic tile presses. This thing makes a hell of a noise, gets very hot and stinks of hot oil.

And the roof level of the cave is just about my head hight, so cleaning the cave involves sweeping up in a hot, noisy dusty little cement hole, semi stooped over to avoud bumping your head.

The noises of the whirring wheels under the conveyor belts, the clay tumbling down onto the conveyors and the rhythmical whirr . . . THUMP of the hydrolic pump makes the experience dante-esque. In summer when you have to get shirtless to cope with the heat it really does resemble hell.


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