Making the connection

We live in a plug-and-play world. That world has moved to the plant floor, where it's plug-and-work. This month's cover story begins a three-month journey through the world of Ethernet — its history, its uses, its potential to connect the plant floor in new ways, as well as its challenges. It is appropriate — and not at all accidental — that the topic of Ethernet is the cover ...

09/01/2005


We live in a plug-and-play world. That world has moved to the plant floor, where it's plug-and-work. This month's cover story begins a three-month journey through the world of Ethernet — its history, its uses, its potential to connect the plant floor in new ways, as well as its challenges. It is appropriate — and not at all accidental — that the topic of Ethernet is the cover piece for the newly designed PLANT ENGINEERING .

As with so many manufacturing facilities, we are expanding and growing, changing and evolving, but our fundamental footprint remains the same. We have re-engineered from the inside out.

To do that, we've listened to a lot of readers over the past months telling us what's important to their work today, and what will be important in the future. To meet those needs, we've expanded our coverage of automation and maintenance to include a dedicated feature section and regular columns on both topics each month.

Our three new columns — Automation Connection, Maintenance Connection and Electrical Connection — all have two things in common. First, they aggregate the best minds in our industry to talk about the trends in these important areas. Second, they all include the word 'Connection'. That isn't a coincidence, either.

The new manufacturing world we work in requires connection to survive and grow. Our effort is to connect workers with the knowledge they need to be productive, connecting thought leaders with our readers in print and on the Web, and connecting the world to bring about a true global revolution in manufacturing — a revolution in which American workers will lead the way.

PLANT ENGINEERING has been that connection for almost 60 years. We are building off of that strong foundation. In an exciting and challenging time in manufacturing, we are part of the revolution as well.

This issue is just the first step in that effort. I invite your comments on how we can be more relevant to your future. This is, after all, your magazine. We welcome the opportunity to make that connection with our readers, every day in every way.

I spent a night last September standing on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans, waiting for a hurricane that never arrived. A year later, I see what might have been, and I'm grateful to have avoided that kind of trauma.

Our friends and colleagues in the Gulf Coast have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and the recovery will be slow and painful. We can do what we can to speed that recovery, and there are several channels available to help. The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army welcome donations at this time for hurricane relief, and the National Association of Manufacturers is working with the Department of Homeland Security to send non-perishables to the stricken region.

Helping out can mean more than food and clothing. If you know of manufacturers in the Gulf Coast region, give them a call to see how to help them get back on line and back to work. Being able to return to manufacturing as quickly as is possible will provide income and hope for those devastated by this catastrophe.

At a time of disaster, hope is hard to manufacture. Working together, though, we can do it.





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