A New Finished Coat at Age 77

New look and feel for Products Finishing magazine as we redesign the pages and bring you a fresher look


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By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed something a little different about your July issue of Products Finishing magazine.

Since we’re part of a finishing industry that makes everything shiny and corrosion-resistant, we’ve decided to dust off our pages a little bit, slap on a new finish coat and hope that our salt spray results will give us another 80 years or so to bring surface finishing news and stories to you, the reader.

Our redesign has been a major team effort here at Products Finishing, thanks to our extremely talented art and design staff led by Creative Director Jeff Norgord, and Art Directors Laurie Dugan and Aimee Reilly, all of whom sharpened their Crayolas and went to work turning an established look into something I believe is new and exciting for our readers to enjoy.

They were influenced by the real backbones of our publication, Senior Managing Editor Kate Hand and Assistant Editor El McKenzie, who took ideas and concepts garnered over hundreds of issues from the past few years and turned them into a readable flow of stories, photos, graphics and nibbles that I’m sure our readers will like even more in the years ahead.

Me? I just get to drive this thing each month with stories about our nation’s plating shops, powder coating facilities, anodizers, mechanical finishers, electrocoaters, painting applicators and general finishers. You know, the real people.

Standing back and admiring the new finish, I really like the sharp new lines that delineate the various topics we cover each month: plating, powder coating, painting, anodizing, parts cleaning, electrocoating and more.

The story packages have been redesigned to more clearly present what you are reading about, how it affects your finishing business and what you can learn from all we present to you each month. We’ve also decided to incorporate more video links back to PFonline.com so you can read it in these pages and then see it in action on our website.

Probably the most obvious of our improvements is that we’ve changed up our masthead on the cover of the magazine a bit to spell out exactly what it is we cover each month in these pages: the finishing of products. Most people know us as “PF,” but we wanted to ingrain in everyone our focus on the process of finishing products, which is what we started out doing back in 1936 and continue today, more than 77 years later.

We hope you’ll like the new look, and we pledge to continue to bring you the information and news you need each month to help run your business and stay profitable.

We’ve also added a new column in the magazine this month with expert advice from attorney Beth Gotthelf that will help many of you better understand (and hopefully avoid) the regulatory and legal matters that affect the finishing industry.

This may sound wrong, but if you’ve never had to work with Beth, then that’s probably a good thing. Let me try it this way: as one of the premier environmental lawyers in the U.S., she has represented numerous platers and finishers around the country who have unfortunately run afoul of the green police, namely the EPA and occasionally OSHA. That is why we are so excited that Beth has joined Products Finishing as our legal columnist to answer your questions, and help you weave your way through the intricacies (read: nightmares) of environmental regulations and policies. Her first column debuts in this issue, and it’s very informative.

It’s good if you’ve never needed to hire Beth or someone like her, but it’s also great to have someone like her around when you need it. Her perspective and advice will be valuable to all of our readers, not just platers; just ask a painter or powder coater about some of the regulations they face.

Beth has spoken at too-many-to-count conferences and trade shows, and her talks always run overtime because the questions keep coming and Beth knows her stuff. She’ll be available in these pages to answer pertinent questions about regulatory and environmental matters, and if you need her in real life—maybe not if, but when—you can reach her at her Detroit law office, where she is also general counsel to the Michigan Association of Metal Finishers.

Welcome aboard, Beth, and enjoy the new Products Finishing, readers.

Drop me a line at Tim.Pennington@PFonline.com and let me know how you like the new look, the new feel and the new finish.

We can’t promise we won’t change a few more things over the next 80 years, but everyone needs a facelift every now and again. We hope you like ours.