Rockwell Automation's Retroincabulator!

Warning: this is from the humor department. 

I think this is a must see by any automation professional. 

Rockwell Automation's Retroincabulator (video at


Once you get up off the floor from laughing so hard I think it teaches us something.  Namely, an instructor can often sould like this from a student or newbie's perspective.  I remember the experiences in my early years of all the jargon and mumbo-jumbo that just went right over my head.  With enough immersion in it you can start to swim but it's always a good perspective to not assume people know what our 'techie geek' words mean.  Sometimes it's hard because they become part of our subconscious. 

I'd love to know any of the history behind this video.  Was this video production really funded by Rockwell Automation?  Why?  and more important, did they eventually sell any retroincabulators?  :-) 

UPDATE (05/30/2006): Thanks to Mike Kraft, the actor in the video, for providing the answers to my questions



     Here at Rockwell Automation’s world headquarters, research has been proceeding to provide a line of automation products that establishes a new standard for quality, technological leadership, and operational excellence.  With customer success as our primary focus, work has been proceeding on the crudely conceived idea of an instrument that would not only provide inverse reactive current, for use in unilateral phase detractors but would also be capable of automatically synchronizing cardinal grammeters.  Such an instrument, comprised of Dodge gears and bearings, Reliance electric Motors, Allen Bradley controls, and all monitored by Rockwell software is Rockwell Automation’s retro-incabulator.
     Now basically, the only new principal involved is that instead of power being generated by the relative motion of conductors and fluxes its produced by the modial interaction of magneto reluctance, and capacitive duractance. The original Machine had a base plate of prefamulated amulite surmounted by a malleable logarithmic casing in such a way that the two sperving bearings run a direct line with the panametric fam.

     The lineup consists simply of six hydrocopic marzel vanes so fitted to the ambiphasient lunar wang shaft that side fumbling was effectively prevented. The main winding was of the normal lotazode deltoid type placed in panendermic simi-boloid slots of the stator. Every seventh conductor being connected by a non-reversable tremi pipe to the differential gurdel spring on the up end of the grammeters. Moreover, whenever fluorescent score motion is required, it may also be employed in conjunction with a drawn reciperocation dingle arm to reduce sinusoil depleneration. The retro-incabulator has now reached a high level of development and its being successfully used in the operation of milferd trenyas.  Its available soon, wherever Rockwell automation products are sold.

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This gets weirder

Other spellings include retro-encabulator or retro-incabulator.

Doing a little more research dug up the term turbo-encabulator which has to be the source of the Rockwell video take off.  Seems there was one done at Ford Motor Company as well.  Eric Smith has a copy of a General Electric Turboencabulator data sheet from the 1960s.  Apparently this spoof goes way way back.

Inspiration for SNL?

Hmm... I wonder where Saturday Night Live got the idea for this skit on Wilson Countersink Flanges?

Some real world babble

Here's some real world retro-incabulator like babble.


Get your order in

We're in luck as it looks like Brooke Clarke is designing a new and improved version called the Digital-Retro-Trubo-Encabulator. He's taking pre-orders!

I laugh every time I see

I laugh every time I see this video. It's GREAT!

turbo encabulator

My name is Rob Hallam and I started out in communication (post-news) at Ford Motor Co in 1979. Worked there through 1982. Worked with Bud Taggert there; he did the turbo encabulator bit for us there in 80 or 81. I think I still have a 3/4" of it somewhere. Hysterical, not nearly as produced as the AB or Chyrsler ones I've seen on line, and he didn't have gray hair (yet). Thanks for capturing some of the history of this online! Enjoyed it. Rob


My apologies - Bud Haggart is how I meant to spell his name!

This cracks me up

This cracks me up every time I see it! Thanks for the laugh. Again.