1993: the frustration of it all.
Then there was--and is--a sluggish world economy. Japan and Europe are both in the dumper. As lackluster as the US economy is, it's booming compared to both of them. As several component and equipment manufacturers have told us recently, "if you're not selling anything now you never will. The problem is the price squeeze is so tight, we can't make any money." Or maybe you are one of the unfortunate ones getting squeezed out as world competitive pressures force elimination of your job in the latest corporate restructuring.
Even so, the happenings in 1993 have not been all bad. Something positive has sprung from the chaotic political and business atmosphere. The US auto industry is 12 months closer to getting its house in order to compete globally and domestically. More recently, small victories, both in the area of production efficiency and profits, are being reported. Aerospace continues in dire straits. But even there, reports of small companies restructuring themselves to compete in a world devoid of a Cold War-market stimulus are emerging. Admittedly it'll take a generation, but even small steps are already being recorded by companies and the educational system to deal with the unemployment, and the even more problematic under-employment situation that's ship-wrecking too many in our society because of global restructuring.
The impact on us here at Tooling & Production is no less dramatic. The past year has seen change as we--just as you--scramble to keep up with the shifts in metalworking manufacturing. Editorially and circulation-wise our focus is changing as metalworking shifts from a mechanically driven technology to a future where electronic and software advancements will have more to do with success; where management, marketing, and production shifts from a domestic to an international focus; where composites, plastics, ceramics, and exotic metals win applications away from the more traditional materials associated with metal-working; where production runs dwindle to discrete part lot sizes of one; where emerging markets such as medical applications are creating new challenges in miniaturization and accuracy for metalworking operations, large and small.
Change is exciting, even as it is frustrating. We at T&P are thriving on it as we follow our readers and advertisers, the companies they represent, around the globe in search of solutions so you can keep up with the change in your jobs. This year has seen us expanding our circulation and editorial coverage throughout North America. Circulation in Mexico and Canada is growing. So is our reader acceptance. We have expanded our coverage of electronic hardware and software. The special reports on ISO 9000, the revolution in quality, the exploding market and technological opportunities in the medical area will continue.
The year ahead will be no less challenging as metalworking in the US continues to struggle to recapture its economic and technological clout. But in the meantime, let's try to put aside the frustration of 1993 and enjoy the season.
Happy Holidays from the Tooling & production team.
Stanley J Modic Editor-in Chief
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|Author:||Modic, Stanley J.|
|Publication:||Tooling & Production|
|Date:||Dec 1, 1993|
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