Those of us who walk inside plastics plants on a regular occasion probably forget how it looks and sounds to someone from the outside.
Even those of us who are occasional visitors — including the ink-stained wretches of the media — come to know what to expect. We see a mass of tubes snaking from boxes to hoppers and machines and think: “automated material handling looks pretty good.”
When photographer Alastair Philip Wiper visits German toymaker Playmobil's massive injection molding plant in Malta and sees material handling, he calls it: “The Octopus, a machine that sucks and blows plastic pellets around the factory.”
Wiper is an English photographer based in Copenhagen who specializes in finding something interesting out of things others may find mundane. Or as he puts it in his blog: “I work with the weird and wonderful subjects of industry, science, architecture, and the things that go on behind the scenes.
“The things that human beings create and build amaze me, and I take an anthropological approach to the subjects of my photography, seeking out the unintentional beauty in the infrastructure.”
Late last year, he had the chance to visit and photograph Playmobil's plant, with 270 injection molding machines creating up to 5 million pieces of plastic a day.
You can check out his photos and blog online, to see how someone from outside the industry sees the plastics world.
Playmobil isn't his first plastics operation, though. Also on his blog, you can find links to his photos from a Dutch vinyl record pressing plant.