By Walt boyes, Editor in chief
Twenty years ago this October, we began a great experiment: to see if we could successfully create and sustain a magazine that wrote from the end users’ viewpoint and spoke for the end users who work in automation in the process industries.
Many awards later, not only are we still here, but we’ve created the best magazine in the space. We’ve created some of the industry’s most-read blogs and a website that defines how a website devoted to process automation should be shaped. We created a real Readers’ Choice Award and were the first to bring you the Top Fifty report, so you know what’s happening to the vendors from whom you buy your systems. We produced a Directory of Lost Companies wiki using the power of Web 2.0, created regular podcasts and videocasts, and we have spun off two other magazines: Control Design and Industrial Networking. And we created AutomationXchange--the anti-tradeshow. Not bad for twenty years.
In keeping with our iconoclastic history, we won’t spend this year in an orgy of self-congratulation. You won’t see any “remember when” articles. What you will see is a detailed and disciplined look into the future of automation in the process industries by some of the luminaries of the profession.
We’ll to continue to campaign for those things we believe are of critical importance: educating the public about the value of the automation professional; the need to recruit more young people to the profession of automation; the necessity to avoid “standards wars,” and the need to educate both professional and public about what it takes to provide adequate cybersecurity for the process industries.
In 1988, we were a North American-centric print publication. We’ve morphed into a global information source, just like our industries have morphed into global enterprises. We are committed to continuing this metamorphosis as our industries and the roles of automation professionals continue to grow and change. We will do this in every way we can: through the website, webcasts, podcasts, videocasts, articles and in any other form or media that you, our end-user readers, want us to use.
I am proud of the heritage of this magazine and of our continuity. Keith Larson, who writes the back page of this magazine, and Paul Studebaker, who now is editor in chief of our sister publication, Plant Services, and I represent almost the entire history of the magazine, and we’re all still here. We are devoted to continuing to make Control and ControlGlobal.com the benchmark by which all other automation publications are judged.
We’ve updated Control’s looks too. We have completely redesigned the magazine, aiming to make it easier to read and to locate your favorite sections. The new design is more “airy,” and the fonts are easier on aging eyes like mine. Our art director, Derek Chamberlain, has been working on this new look for almost a year now, and we’re really pleased with what he‘s come up with. We hope you are, too. Let us know what you think.
Enough with the shameless self-congratulation. On with the mission.