Let me start off 2004 by apologizing for the cheesy “Matrix” reference in the headline above. I’m a huge fan of the films, and figure that since I didn’t make so much as a single “Matrix” reference in 2003, I was entitled to at least one in 2004. But then again, the “Matrix” is soooo 2003.
To be fair, my motivation for using the word “reloaded” isn’t entirely Matrix-based. After all, January is traditionally a time when we “reload” our personal and professional lives, taking stock of the previous 365 days and setting new objectives for the year ahead. The business world is no exception to that rule.
In the past couple of years, I’ve made it a point to let our readers know what PF has on the docket for the upcoming year. So in that tradition, I’d like to share with you some of the things we have in store for our readers in 2004.
Perhaps the change that I’m most excited about is the addition to Products Finishing magazine of an Editorial Advisory Panel (EAP). Sometimes, advisory panels have a tendency to turn into little more than just a list of individual and company names on a masthead somewhere, leaving readers to wonder what kind of contribution those people actually make to the publication. This will not be the case with PF. Not only will the members of our EAP play an active role in determining the short and long-term future of Products Finishing, but they are going to be playing an active role in the month-to-month production of our publication by authoring articles and moderating our PF Online Forums. Plan to see the following names in our publication on a regular basis:
•Lyle Gilbert (powder coating) is no stranger to PF, nor to the industry. Having served this past year as the Moderator of PF Online’s Electrocoating Forum, Mr. Gilbert is an experienced veteran of the coating industry. He worked for 26 years in various positions with MetoKote Corporation, Lima, OH. Mr. Gilbert is an SME Certified Manufacturing Engineer in the field of Coating and has delivered technical papers at several coating conferences. Now working as an Industrial Coating Consultant, he has authored several articles for Products Finishing magazine and other trade magazines.
•Bob McElroy (painting) is marketing services manager for Sherwin-Williams Chemical Coatings Division. He joined Sherwin-Williams in 1984 and has many years of experience in sales, service and product development, working with OEMs and their finishing vendors in the metal, plastic and wood finishing industries. He is a member of the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) and the Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE) and holds a B.S. degree in business management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mr. McElroy is based at the company’s Cleveland, Ohio headquarters.
•Ray Dargis (plating) has over fifty-six years of experience in the metal finishing and metallurgy industries. An educator at heart, Mr. Dargis spent the majority of his career working for McGean-Rohco. In recent years, he was instrumental in securing the use of the McGean World Training Center (which he also helped design and build) for hosting AESF courses. In addition, as project manager for the Small Business Environmental Assistance Center at Cuyahoga Community College, he championed the offering of AESF courses there. This past summer, The American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society (AESF) awarded Mr. Dargis the Charles Henry Proctor Leadership Award, one of the industry’s most prestigious honors.
Last year, one of the comments that we heard most often in plant visits and reader correspondence was that you wanted more management-oriented content in our publication. Consequently, we’ve brought on board a new management column, authored by Dr. Ted Pollock. Much of Dr. Pollock’s career has been devoted to helping business people maximize their effectiveness. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and is the author of a number of highly popular books, including Managing Effectively and Sales Secrets of the Pros, as well as of hundreds of articles for the business press. His column debuts in the February issue of Products Finishing magazine.
Beginning this month, you’ll notice a new section of the magazine called “Solutions.” Coming on the heels of last year’s introduction of our “Quality Finishing” section, “Solutions” is designed to open readers’ eyes to supplier-driven solutions to the day-to-day obstacles faced by today’s captive finishing plants and jobs shops. You can find our inaugural “Solutions” article on page 48.
Continue to keep your eyes open in 2004 for special print and web-based projects designed to take your understanding of various finishing processes to the next level. One project currently in development is our UV Technology supplement, which will run in the April 2004 issue of PF. Developed in association with Radtech International, the supplement will focus on the evolving role of UV technology in three key areas: powder coating, automotive and plastics. Based on the incredible success of past supplements, we’re very excited about this project.
Included in the supplement will be the results of our UV Awareness Survey. We invite all of our readers to participate in this survey at www.pfonline.com/uv. Spend five minutes providing us with your input, and you could win a Panasonic DVD player, and the “Adventures of Indiana Jones” DVD box set!
Don’t think we’ve forgotten about PF Online, the Directory & Technology Guide (PFD) or any of the other tools that make PF the industry’s #1 publication. We are constantly revisiting and reinvesting in these products in order to make them even more valuable for our readers. For instance, we’re currently looking at some ways to make the PFD an even better resource for buyers of finishing equipment and commodities.
We have also developed a new Anodizing Zone on PF Online. Functioning similarlry to our other process zones, the Anodizing Zone conveniently organizes all of our anodizing resources, databases, archives and special features in one location, making it easier to find and access information that is specific to anodizing. You can visit the Anodizing Zone at www.pfonline.com/anodize.
As always, the ability of Products Finishing magazine to evolve and mature hinges on reader feedback. Please continue to write and call to let us know what you think, even if that feedback isn’t always positive. In the end, it’s the readers who are the core of this publication.