Ultimate Factories



Behind-the-scenes show is great for curious kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series shows how skilled employees and high-tech tools maintain efficiency in factories and manufacture products.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

The featured companies (Harley-Davidson, Budweiser, Peterbilt, John Deere, etc.) obviously get a lot of publicity from the show.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One episode centers on a Budweiser factory and mentions alcohol consumption.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this docuseries offers a fascinating look at the technology, precision, and human skills that turn the wheels at massive factories like Peterbilt Motors and Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser. Cameras follow the entire production process, showing how raw materials are pressed, buffed, mixed, and fermented into parts of a finished product. This fact-based series will give viewers of all ages a new appreciation for what's involved in producing massive quantities of goods. Though little kids probably won't have the attention span to follow a whole episode, grade schoolers who wonder how things work will enjoy it.

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What's the story?

ULTIMATE FACTORIES takes viewers on behind-the-scenes tours of several of the United States' largest factories -- including Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser, Peterbilt Motors, John Deere, and Harley-Davidson. The docuseries follows the entire manufacturing process, showcasing both the state-of-the-art robots and the skilled employees who keep the assembly lines running smoothly. Interviews with designers, engineers, and factory workers offer insight into the featured company's history, as well as what's involved in turning out huge quantities of products each day.

Is it any good?


This intriguing series is tailor-made for curious families, packaging entertainment and education in a way that appeals to everyone from grade schoolers through adults. One episode documents the assembly process of Harley's new V-Rod motorcycle at the company's 10-acre factory in Kansas City. Viewers watch as piles of parts become rumbling engines, sheets of metal get pressed into fenders, chrome pipes are delicately attached to the bike's frame, and the final products are crated for shipment. Along the way, employees explain how high-tech lasers and diagnostic machinery add precision and speed to the assembly process, and computer graphics help demonstrate how the tools work.

Kids who wonder how things work will be particularly intrigued, though they might need some extra explanation when it comes to technical jargon or plant operations.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the production process. How did the products in this episode get made? What tools did the workers use? How did machines and computers make their jobs easier and faster? Kids, what do you like to build? What tools do you use? How do you decide what to build and how to build it? What would you most like to build if you could? Why? What would it look like? What would you like to see being made?

TV details

Cast:Mark Keller
Network:National Geographic Channel
Topics:History, Science and nature
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

This review of Ultimate Factories was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

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