Six issues ago, with our November issue, we rolled out the new Plastics Technology. In the two issues before that, I used this space to lay the groundwork for what was in store for the magazine and what was behind the changes we were about to make.
I wrote that we were refocusing the magazine to reflect what we felt were significant changes in the industry. For decades, we focused our editorial efforts on what was new—primary processing equipment, auxiliary equipment, resins, additives, you name it. And we felt that was the correct approach to take during a time when new products were being developed at a frenetic pace. But as the industry has matured, I explained that the introduction of new technology has slowed, and we had to adjust accordingly.
Something else was going on at the same time: Our economy tumbled hard. As a result, our industry consolidated, many processors pared down their engineering departments, and we felt we had to help fill the knowledge void by producing a magazine that had more of a hands-on, nitty-gritty approach to processing.
So beginning in November we introduced a series of what we call Know-How columns, written by esteemed industry experts and consultants on injection molding, extrusion, tooling, and—this month, for the first time—blow molding. We made articles on troubleshooting a more regular part of our editorial mix. We launched a section called Practical Processor, inviting our readers to use us as a conduit to technical experts in the field to help them get answers to processing problems.
We also fine-tuned our features in an effort to provide more tips and tricks of the trade to our audience. We tweaked our resin pricing department to include strategies processors could take to best position themselves in the face of ever-changing prices and fluctuating supply. And we endeavored to make you, the plastics processor, more directly involved in Plastics Technology by writing about you in our monthly On Site and Processor Strategies articles. We even changed the tagline, or subtitle, of our magazine—it’s on the cover right under the title—to Dedicated to Improving Plastics Processing.
Meanwhile, I subjected you to my opinions in this column on this and that: Why I felt the North American plastics processing market was lagging behind others, and what might be done about it. More recently, I even chided you about not getting involved enough when the very plastics products you make are threatened by well-intentioned but somewhat misguided legislation.
So now I ask you, how are we doing? Do you find the articles in our magazine useful? Have they helped you in any way? Have our stories about what other processors are doing caused you to rethink something about your business? Because we’re trying to make a difference, and we need some input from you to guide us along.
I am writing this shortly after watching the Academy Awards on TV. Whenever I watch the Oscars, I am reminded of Sally Field’s 1980 acceptance speech for best actress in Norma Rae: “You like me, right now, you like me!”
So do you like us? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org