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A Refreshing Experience

Production Machining has a new look as we continually endeavor to enhance our readers’ experiences with the magazine while following our own advice in preaching the value of continuous improvement.
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Production Machining magazine

Thanks to independent designer Laurie Dugan for creating the version of our refresh that we chose as well as our editorial, creative and marketing teams for implementing it so efficiently — especially given we’re still all working remotely.

I feel lucky. And there’s an extent to which I feel a bit spoiled.

Since coming on board with Production Machining last year, our brand has revamped its website, hired a digital editor to (among other things) help improve our social media presence, and, most recently, our team redesigned our print magazine starting with this issue.

Like leading machine shops, we’re continually looking to identify ways to improve, and the magazine’s new look is the latest example of that.

The print magazine remains the anchor of our 20-year-old brand. It’s the primary means for discovery of new machining concepts, processes and technology that readers can then hop on the internet to research and learn more.

The print magazine remains the means for discovery of new machining concepts.

And I continue to hear stories from shop owners and managers about dog-earing stories they’ve read and passing that magazine issue to others to read and then look into whether it makes sense to implement in their shop. Similarly, there’s a sense of pride when I see PM on tables in the foyers of machine shops I visit. (Visits which, thankfully, are happening more frequently these days.)

But I’m often asked where we come up with story ideas. Sometimes, they come from manufacturers of machine tools, worhkolding devices, software, cutting tools and other equipment that have identified customers who have a good story to tell. Proactive manufacturers have internal marketing departments or external public relations agencies that liaise between editors and the shop to facilitate communication. Oftentimes, these groups have a pretty good idea of what we’re looking for in a good story lead, and can explain how a shop leveraged the OEM’s product in its overall process improvement efforts. After that, it’s just a matter of chatting with someone at the shop to see if we can identify a story slant.

Other times, shop owners or managers contact us directly, or meet us at industry events or trade shows to explain recent improvements they might like to crow about in an article. They understand that having an article appear in the magazine and on our website helps boost shop morale and also gets the shop in front of new customers.

Then, there’s social media and the internet. I’ve had success identifying prospective shops to profile by using keyword searches to locate shop websites or YouTube videos. I use a variety of industry-related keywords, depending on what I’m hoping to write about, such as medical machining, Swiss-type lathes, hard turning and so on. I then check out the sites that appear in the search results, looking for information that leads me to believe the shop might have a good story to tell.

If you feel you have an idea for what might make an interesting story in Production Machining — perhaps as a result of your own continuous improvement efforts — shoot me an email. And, let me know what you think of the magazine’s new look.

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