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A Look Back, and a Look Ahead

Sept. 12, 2019
Machine Design marks an important milestone.

I’m not sure what makes anniversaries that end in zeros or fives more noteworthy than any other passage of time, but we do see these milestones as somehow more significant. For example, 2019 is the 100th National Football League season. This year also is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and the 50th anniversary of Woodstock—two events which, in their own way, were far out.

Because we see no point in bucking this historical trend, Machine Design will complete 90 years of industry service this year, and we’ll recognize that milestone in January with a special anniversary issue. It’s more than just passing a year in time, however. If these anniversaries have any great value, it’s in that they allow us to reflect on where we were and see how far we’ve come. Just as important, we should take this time to see where we’re going.

This 90th anniversary issue will attempt to do all of these things, and we invite our readers to be an active participant in that process. We will collect your memories of Machine Design and of the work that has arisen from our industry over the next few weeks for inclusion in this special issue.

We want the answers to three basic questions:

  • What is your job today? How are you addressing the opportunities and challenges in modern manufacturing?
  • How has your job changed over the years? For some of you just starting in this career, the changes may be subtle. For those with a long experience in our industry, they may be more profound. All such views help provide a complete vision of the road we’ve been on.
  • Where are we headed next? How do you see your future, and how do you see the changes we all experience each day continue to evolve?

We’d welcome your thoughts on how Machine Design has played a role in your career, and we’ll be looking for that subscriber who has been with us the longest. Anyone who can verify their length of subscription will be celebrated in some very special ways.

We also need an honest appraisal of our industry and our world. There are significant challenges in manufacturing today, but there also are tremendous opportunities. Technology is leading us in some exciting areas, but that journey requires change. Machine Design has chronicled that change, and we’ll be taking a long look at how many things have changed in those 90 years.

Round-numbered anniversaries are great for reflection, but they also are for many a chance for recommitment. Machine Design made it to 90 by understanding what information you wanted, anticipating what information you would need for the future, and delivering solutions in a form that made it easy for you to use. I hope you continue to challenge us, starting by sharing your thoughts and memories as we prepare the 90th anniversary issue in January.

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