On left: Tony Spina’s 1958 photo, “Motown – Man and Industry”; on right: machine gun belts
In yesterday’s post about Laura Handler’s “flirt” bottle, we characterized it as a “kinetic package” because of the spinning movement of the cap’s ornamental ball.
It turns out, that the same phrase was coined in 1958 by a packaging engineer at General Motors to mean something quite different.
Most intriguing new concept to turn up in packaging in months is Ralph A. O’Reilly’s story on parts feeding from the package. As soon as we heard what O’Reilly was up to, we hustled an editor out to see him. The result is the story in this issue. It could well mark the start of a major change in thinking about packaging.
Kinetic Packaging: Parts Feeding From The Package
A pattern for the future has been set at GMC with the debut of ‘kinetic’ packaging: automatically loading small parts and components, at their last maneuvering machine, into ‘magazine’ containers that can feed them automatically into assembly machines.
… The principle of kinetic packaging is not new. The long, looped belts that feed ammunition to machine guns are excellent examples. So, too. are the sticks of staples that you put in your stapling gun. But kinetic packaging of small parts for assembly is new. It is so new that very few examples of it exist. These few, however, are revealing. They show a pattern for the future.
Ralph A. O’Reilly
Modern Materials Handling, 1958
(And another thing, after the fold…)
“Automation began replacing workers in the plants that remained… At the depth of the 1958 recession, when Detroit really began reeling, 20% of the city’s work force was unemployed.”
Michigan: Decline in Detroit
Time Magazine, 1961