Familiar face pioneered servos

While looking into vintage issues of Packaging World in search of fodder for this monthly historical installment, I came upon a friend of ours here at the magazine.

Jim Prunesti
Jim Prunesti

In this story from June of 1999 titled Servo-ing up new generation Lifesavers, we see Jim Prunesti using a control panel to alter a machine setting on the fly instead of shutting down and dialing in the change.

Cutting-edge at the time, this, as the headline implies, illustrates one the packaging industry’s earlier forays into servo electromechanical motion control. This was right at the start of the shift from strict mechanical to servo, which many had initially dismissed as ‘witchcraft,’

These days, Prunesti is the Vice President, Engineering, for Conagra Brands where he is responsible for engineering, environmental, and capital management. Over the intervening years between ConAgra and this 20-year-old edition of PW, Prunesti has served as Vice President, Engineer at Campbell Soup Co. and director, North America Reliability and Industrial Engineering. He also held various project and leadership positions in engineering and operations at Kraft Foods, L’Oreal, and as depicted here, Nabisco.

Prunesti was ahead of the curve with servos in 1999, and remarkably, he hasn’t aged at all.

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