What’s new?

What’s new? For the past four decades, Plastics Technology has focused its editorial efforts primarily on answering that question. Typically our team of editors would start a conversation with an industry supplier using those exact words. And each month, this magazine and our website, www.ptonline.com, would be filled with the latest developments in technology for machinery, equipment, materials, tooling, and more in an effort to keep you—the plastics processor—abreast of the latest in supplier news.

We’ll still be doing that, but beginning in November we’ll be complementing those kinds of articles with a greater emphasis on how processors are applying technology to solve problems and become more competitive. You’ll see more practical, “hands-on” coverage of plastics processing: tips and tricks of the trade, processing how-to’s, troubleshooting guides, and in-plant case histories. The idea is to help you solve problems you are having now, or at least point you toward someone who can help.

We’re doing this mainly for two reasons:

  1. Our industry is changing. Twenty years ago, maybe even 10 years ago, the pace of new technology developments was rapid-fire. It was logical to position our magazine right in the path of these new developments, so we’d be the first to tell our audience what was going on and why it was important. Today, that pace has slowed. Of course it hasn’t stopped, but by and large the changes in technology over the past 20 years have been more evolutionary than revolutionary.
  2. Your concerns are a bit different these days. You have more competitors from all corners of the earth, you’re dealing with customers whose own businesses are reeling, and maybe because of the industry downturn you’ve had to let go some of your engineering and technical people. In short, you are more concerned than ever about the here and now, as opposed to what new device you might be looking to buy in a few years.

So, starting in November, this magazine will be a bit different from the one you are reading now. We’ll have regular columns on extrusion, injection and blow molding, tooling, energy management, and other subjects authored by experts in their fields. We’ll have how-to and troubleshooting articles that look at the common technical problems processing plants come across every day…plus advice on how to solve them. We’ll have plant tours that showcase best practices in injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, and thermoforming. We’ll have tips and insights that will make you a smarter buyer of resin and make you more aware of new business and market opportunities.

You may have noticed that the face on this page is not the one you’ve been accustomed to seeing for the last 28 years. I work closely with Matt Naitove, who has been part of the editorial team of Plastics Technology for 37 years. Matt now serves as executive editor of the magazine. If there were ever an editors’ wing in the Plastics Hall of Fame, Matt would be among the first to be enshrined. As for me, I have been in plastics publishing for more than 21 years. For the last 11, I was Plastics Technology’s publisher, which meant I focused mostly on the commercial aspects of our business. But my background is in editorial; for 10 years I was an editor at Plastics World magazine, the last five as chief editor.

I’ll have a bit more to say on this transition in next month’s issue. In the meantime, my phone line and inbox are open for your comments.