Paper still popular in a paperless age

The future is a wonderful thing. The only problem is it never arrives. As we arrive in 2006, we have all of these wonderful gizmos and gadgets to make our lives easier and more efficient. Which is why, if you're like me, you're busier than ever. Yet we try to innovate, and you're seeing some of that innovation at PLANT ENGINEERING this January.


The future is a wonderful thing. The only problem is it never arrives. As we arrive in 2006, we have all of these wonderful gizmos and gadgets to make our lives easier and more efficient. Which is why, if you're like me, you're busier than ever. Yet we try to innovate, and you're seeing some of that innovation at PLANT ENGINEERING this January.

We've unveiled our new Website (more about that in Online Connection this month) and we've increased Plant Mail!, our e-newsletter, to weekly distribution to provide you with the kind of knowledge you need as quickly as possible.

One of our more unique innovations this year is a digital edition of PLANT ENGINEERING magazine. It looks, reads and even turns pages exactly like the print product, but with two major differences - it comes right to your computer screen via email rather than your mailbox, and all of the Internet links that you see on the print pages are live, meaning you can click through on stories and advertisements right from the electronic product.

We've offered it as an alternative way for our readers to get PLANT ENGINEERING each month. In an increasingly paperless society (think how many e-mailed Christmas cards you got this year) this is just one more step in that direction. In reading the response from many readers, I've been pleasantly surprised by two things:

  1. More than 2% of our readers have opted for the e-book version of PLANT ENGINEERING

  2. Many more readers said they like PLANT ENGINEERING just the way it is.

    1. A lot of people liked the basic idea of digital magazines, but many were concerned about download times, eye strain and the ability to print and transfer pages. The last item is important because we know PLANT ENGINEERING stories get copied and passed around manufacturing facilities from office to office and shift to shift. Our technical people tell me that you can save the electronic magazine as a .PDF file and copy and print from there. In that way, you can use the magazine just as you do now.

      John Hinck is a big fan of the electronic magazine, especially the links to stories. "It's a pet peeve of mine when something's touted on the cover (with no page number) and then I can't find it in the table of contents because it has a different title there then it did on the cover. With a hotlink, who cares? Click it and I get what I want." Not only have we made John happy, but as he already knows, we always include page numbers on our covers. Of course, the links also work from the table of contents."

      In favor of keeping the print version, Cade Timbers writes, "It is easy for me to read, convenient for me to us 'offline,' relaxing for my eyes, and all around much more enjoyable. I can read the magazine when and where I like."

      When and where was an important consideration for Tom Frenz. "It's a great idea but I prefer the printed edition. I can't carry my computer to my favorite 'reading room'!"

      Perhaps that's the next innovation, Tom.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 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.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
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
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

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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The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
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.
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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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