Two Bits of Good News to Start 2021

The Precision Machining Technology Show has moved from April to August and Production Machining turns 20. These are both good things.
#opinion #PMTS


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COVID-19 caused a great many changes in 2020. Turns out, it also spurred a change for 2021. The Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) has pushed back this year’s Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS) from April to August. But, that’s a good thing.

This news item explains why. In short, although an effective vaccine is expected to soon be available to some, the outlook of hosting a quality live event in April remains murky. Pushing PMTS to August 10-12 and holding it at the same Cleveland venue as 2019 (the Huntington Convention Center) offers a better opportunity for a more normalized show experience. Plus, Ohio’s restrictions on large gatherings are expected to be lifted in this year’s second quarter. The same goes for companies that, for now, remain under significant travel restrictions.

By the PMPA making this decision sooner rather than later, it helps exhibitors and attendees better plan for the show. Plus, knock on wood, this means PMTS could be our industry’s first live event in a long time!

Moving PMTS to the second half of 2021 should enable a more normalized, safe environment.

Last month, the Production Machining team and Gardner Business Media (GBM) events staff began having preliminary brainstorming sessions with the PMPA to develop fresh ideas to maximize exhibitors’ and visitors’ show experiences. (GBM publishes our magazine and now manages the PMPA.) It’s exciting for me because while I’ve attended many past PMTS events, this will be my first show as Production Machining’s editor-in-chief.

My hope is that it will be helpful and informative as past shows have been, but I’m betting the community vibe will amped up a bit more since we haven’t been able to network together in what feels like forever.

As far as the magazine is concerned, rescheduling the show meant adjusting our editorial calendar to move our PMTS preview issue from April to July. But, in believing/hoping that the show would in fact be moved to August, we were already preparing as if the April issue would be a “normal” one anyway.

And speaking of “normal,” won’t an event like those held in the “before times” be cool?! I think I know the answer to that.

What the pandemic couldn’t change, and what is also good news, is 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Production Machining magazine.

I have a copy of our first issue from January 2001 and was recently flipping through it. Then Editor-in-Chief Chris Koepfer’s opinion column laid out the reasoning for launching this magazine. He wrote it would be “dedicated to covering the complex issues of the screw machine industry” and would “present practical process and technological information that’s of use to your shop today and in the future.”

It’s the “of use to your shop today” part that resonates with me. Even though it has been tough for editors like me to visit shops, we still have strived to present stories about how advanced technology is being applied in the real world by real shops. Actual visits have been replaced with phone calls and video chats, but we’re still getting good detail describing how shops are leveraging new concepts, processes and ideas to their advantage.

The magazine also continues to offer insight about technical equipment and software advances that shops can immediately integrate, although the concepts might be a tad different than those covered in 2001. An example is found in this Last Word column that appeared in our January issue, describing not only the promise of industrial artificial intelligence but how that is currently being applied in equipment such as CNC band saws.

In addition, since day one, the PMPA has provided readers with news from and about its member companies, touching not only on technology but also general business topics and the association’s helpful industry advocacy efforts.   

Twenty years later, there remains great synergy between the magazine, the PMPA and PMTS. And I’d suggest it is stronger than ever.

So, I’m looking forward to 2021 as we’ll continue to present ideas in the magazine that can help readers grow their machining businesses and, hopefully, have an exciting PMTS that highlights new technology while providing networking opportunities with fellow shop owners and managers (and editors like me, too).

Here’s to a great New Year.


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