Challenges and Opportunities


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The optimists among us claim that every challenge, looked at the right way, is an opportunity. If that’s the case, the finishing industry is currently faced with quite a few such opportunities. Examples include increasingly onerous and expensive environmental and worker safety regulations, offshoring of parts finishing to China and other low-labor-cost (and less regulated) nations and rising customer demands for higher-quality parts, lower prices and faster deliveries.

You know first-hand about these and other challenges, and you know they’re not going to go away anytime soon. Responding to them in a positive way will require that you evaluate the good and not-so-good in your operations, then keep and amplify the good portions and revamp or replace the ones that are lacking.

We believe we can help you with this task. For nearly 70 years, Products Finishing has been a solid source of news and information on the latest finishing technologies, as well as on environmental, safety and other issues. PF is the only magazine in the industry that covers both organic and inorganic processes.

In these pages, you’ll find technology articles describing new tools and techniques to help you work more productively. We cover applications, giving you a glimpse into processes at other shops that might be useful in your own operations. We present tutorial articles, which outline the fundamentals of finishing processes and technologies. And, of course, we always bring you the latest product and industry news, both in the pages of the print magazine and on the World Wide Web at www.pfonline.com.

The challenge—and opportunity—now before me as the new editor of PF is to make the magazine the most useful and authoritative in its field. In many ways, I feel my entire career has led up to this opportunity. As a technical communicator for more than 20 years, I’ve covered technologies including materials science, industrial control systems and quality management—three subjects that are all of importance in the finishing industry. I’ve also written about metal forming and plastic injection molding processes and have served as editor-in-chief of three different technical magazines and as technical editor for a series of materials science handbooks.

But the bulk of my experience in technical communications has been covering the machining and metal cutting industry. This latest step in my own career is really just the next step in production: surface finishing. We want to make PF your primary source, no matter what types of parts you have or what type of finishing processes you employ.

I’m proud to be the new editor of Products Finishing, and I look forward to learning more about the finishing processes and about the companies that perform them. But this magazine—or any other worth the paper it’s printed on—really belongs to you. Please tell us what you’d like to see covered in future issues. How you communicate with us doesn’t matter—use the web site, e-mail, telephone or snail mail to let us know what’s important to your and your shop.

We want to hear from you. Don’t miss this opportunity!