By Joe Feeley, editor in chief
I normally would never draw reader attention to an advertisement in this magazine, but, in this case, it’s our own “house” ad, so I think I can vouch for its value and intent a little bit.
The ad (p. 42) is about our annual Innovator Awards competition. For the uninitiated among you, this is a nice opportunity for an industrial OEM to get some well-deserved recognition for the way it chose to use automation and controls to make a customer or two deliriously happy.
The case histories we regularly run in the magazine and on ControlDesign.com help raise the visibility of machine builder companies that make good choices about the controls they embed in their machines. We enjoy helping to tell their stories and providing a stage on which their work can be seen and appreciated by their peers.
The Innovator Awards celebration takes this a bit further. We tend to think of it as finding the best of the best of these types of stories of machine automation and controls. We’ve celebrated six companies during the first two years of this process. We’d love to have six, seven, maybe 10 winners this year, with representation from all the major machine-building market segments that we cover.
A machine builder can nominate itself, can be nominated by a supplier or system integrator company that was a partner in designing and executing the machine controls, or can be nominated by a customer.
Once the nominations are in, we take the time to learn everything we can about the solution and understand the value it brought to the machine user or users.
At that point, our editorial staff and a few industry veterans will identify those that stand out from the rest, notify the winners and announce them to Machine Builder Nation in July.
The nominating period will run into April. Go to ControlDesign.com/innovator to get the details, or get in touch with me or Managing Editor Mike Bacidore, who’s in charge of the whole thing.
I also want to tell you it’s “so far, so good” regarding your collective initial reaction to the Machine Builder Forum we fired up in September. It’s cracked into the top 10 of the most viewed pages on the web site—not bad considering it takes a while to get the word out that it’s there in the first place.
One disappointing result thus far is that we haven’t drawn you into the conversations going on there as much as we’d hoped. That’s our fault. It appears you’re reading, but you’re not inspired to add your own thoughts. I’m told we need to be patient about the time it takes for these seedlings to take off and grow, but we want to know if there’s anything about its format or navigation that discourages you from adding comments or starting a new line of discussion. Tell us what you want to find there. We’re very adaptable, even, dare I say, innovative.