Expert Breaks Down Packaging Machinery to its ABCs

A packaging engineer can understand any packaging machine design or operation by simply learning The Engineer’s Alphabet.

Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

June 11, 2021

“From the 26 letters of the English alphabet we can form an infinite number of words. If we know the letters, we can read any of those words even if we’ve never seen them before,” says John R. Henry, changeover wizard at and frequent contributor to Packaging Digest. “A couple hundred years ago Robert Fulton described what he called ‘The Engineer’s Alphabet.’ By understanding a few, probably less than 100 concepts — like gears, screws, levers, and more — we can understand any machine, no matter how complex.”

In this video, Henry shows how you can use this concept to grasp the inner workings of any packaging machine.

The video is sponsored by Frain Industries and gets a little commercial at the end. But I felt the message about The Engineer’s Alphabet was worth sharing.

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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