Global perspective

Industry's globalization is an undeniable fact of 21st century business. Following this trend over several years, Control Engineering has extended its brand abroad to follow these developing global trends and to help the world's engineers better understand their roles in the ever-changing manufacturing industries.


Industry's globalization is an undeniable fact of 21stcentury business. Following this trend over several years, Control Engineering has extended its brand abroad to follow these developing global trends and to help the world's engineers better understand their roles in the ever-changing manufacturing industries.

In this issue you will find "The Global State of Manufacturing" supplement, which, for the first time in Control Engineering 's history, assembles perspectives of the lead editors from each of Control Engineering 's global editions—North America, Europe, Poland, Russia, and China.

Key findings highlighted in the supplement include:

  • North American manufacturers' are shifting focus from seeking engineers with an abundance of transformational knowledge (how to build products) to those who bring to the table an equal amount of tacit knowledge (an ability to analyze business situations and capitalize on them);

  • Europe, despite many economic factors seemingly arrayed against its continued success as a manufacturing center, has excelled on the global stage through a greater exploitation of control software and the leadership of numerous medium-sized, family owned businesses;

  • Despite China's numerous economic advantages and rapid ascent to become one of the globe's predominant centers of production, manufacturers there grapple with many of the same issues faced by their North American counterparts—how to better manage energy expenditures and incorporate higher levels of advanced IT technology; and

  • Market factors, ranging from foreign investment and social/governmental changes to plant modernization and information availability, are advancing growth of manufacturing in Poland and Russia.

In an interview with Jane Biddle, vice president, Manufacturing Research, Aberdeen Research, for the North American overview section of this supplement, she summed up the many issues facing manufacturers today. "Globalization is driving structural changes," she said. "Traditional manufacturing companies are being flattened. Vertical organizations are moving more toward handling horizontal business processes extending across the enterprise and to business partners—changing them from being insular enterprises into members of a larger ecosystem."

David Greenfield , Editorial Director

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