Readers Choose November 2020 as Last Year's Favorite Cover

Learn a bit about how this winning cover came together. Turns out, it was a nice mix of creativity and collaboration.


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Readers chose the November 2020 cover in Production Machining’s recent Favorite Cover Survey.

Readers chose the November 2020 cover in Production Machining’s recent Favorite Cover Survey.

Last year was a year like no other and the results from our recent survey show that our readers’ favorite cover for 2020 was also just as unusual. With 12 very different cover images to choose from — including processes, equipment and emerging leaders — our readers selected the November 2020 cover as their favorite. 

That cover was different from Production Machining’s (PM) usual cover style. It illustrated the “lights-out” machining Lori Beckman wrote about in her feature article “Human-Like Robot Automates Secondary Machining Operations.” One robot. One light switch. One great cover.

A well-designed cover invites readers inside the publication. It’s the print version of window shopping, inviting readers to come inside and check out what each issue has to offer.

That said, obtaining a good cover photo for each print issue of PM isn’t particularly easy even in the best of circumstances. And 2020 made it even more challenging as our editors often weren’t able to visit shops in person to shoot the photos themselves.

So, they had to use a little creativity and some teamwork. “Derek (Korn) deserves the credit for this photo,” says Lori Beckman, PM senior editor. “The concept was his idea, and the photo was taken by a marketing person at Absolute Machine Tools.”

For the November issue, the focus was on Lori’s feature story about how two seven-axis robot arms enable two second-op mills to run lights out in a machine shop in Ventura, California. Derek Korn, PM’s editor-in-chief, thought it would be interesting to have the OB7 robot arm turning off a light switch, illustrating the “lights-out” aspect of the story.

Nicole Conrad, the sales and marketing coordinator-turned-photographer at Absolute Machine Tools, was able to take the shot the at just the correct angle, lighting and orientation that the PM team envisioned. “I appreciate the collaborative nature of how all this came together,” Korn says.

And we appreciate our readers. Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and many thanks to our readers who continue to advance the precision machining industry.

For more information about how the November cover came together, read “The Story Behind Production Machining's November Cover Image.” To see all of 2020’s cover shots, scroll to the bottom of our latest issue page. And, if high-precision, high-volume machining is your focus, consider subscribing to PM’s free print magazine.