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.

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
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.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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