Looking back is fine, but it’s time to look ahead

Over the past 12 months, we’ve brought you a look at how PLANT ENGINEERING was born, how it has grown and developed and changed and evolved in 60 years. We’ve looked at how much of what we face today in manufacturing are really just old problems with a new face. It is always instructive to see where you’ve been.


Over the past 12 months, we’ve brought you a look at how PLANT ENGINEERING was born, how it has grown and developed and changed and evolved in 60 years. We’ve looked at how much of what we face today in manufacturing are really just old problems with a new face. It is always instructive to see where you’ve been.

Now it’s time to see where we’re headed.

PLANT ENGINEERING will tackle three significant issues in 2008. They will be the focus of our Manufacturing Summit on March 31 and April 1 in Chicago. They will be the focus of our ongoing content online and through our electronic newsletters. They will form the foundation of our efforts to create dialogue and raise the discourse in manufacturing both in the United States and in our growing global manufacturing economy.

They will get all this attention because when we asked you what you thought the key issues were in the coming year, this is what was on your mind:

  • • Workforce Development: Our landmark study, “The Changing Role of the Plant Engineer,” pointed to this issue more than any other as the biggest concern among plant managers. Lou Dobbs, the “populist” idiot roaming the airwaves of CNN, doesn’t believe there’s a job crisis in manufacturing. Manufacturers know better. Everyone we talk to on this issue is concerned about developing the next generation of manufacturing workers and manufacturing innovators. We’ll create not just light, but real solutions on this issue throughout 2008.

  • • Sustainability: It used to be a cute catch phrase, but sustainable manufacturing %%MDASSML%% which we define as the intersection between social and fiscal responsibility %%MDASSML%% is a growing trend. Manufacturers, including all of this year’s Top Plant winners, understand that sustainability doesn’t mean recycling pop cans or lowering the heat. It is a strategic initiative designed to deliver reliable manufacturing products in a socially responsible way. It’s being green and making green at the same time. We’ll show the way to that success.

  • • Data Management: We are connecting the plant floor to the enterprise in new and amazing ways today. Frankly, it’s about time management celebrated the excellence that happens every day on the plant floor. Data are driving that celebration, but with it comes the need to make sure we understand what the data can help us do better, and which pieces of that data can make us better at our jobs. We’re past just collecting data; we have to manage it, and make very sure it doesn’t manage to overwhelm us. We’ll have a discussion all year on this issue.

    • These major initiatives will come on top of our usual efforts to keep you up to date on crucial issues such as arc flash, maintenance strategies, training, asset management, plant efficiency and all the new products that will make all those efficiencies possible.

      It’s a heady agenda, but it’s one we relish working to bring you. After looking back at 60 years of excellence with PLANT ENGINEERING , it’s time we looked ahead.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
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This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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