As we begin 2017, it is remarkable how seamless the transition from last year to the new year seems to have taken place. That is not to say the usual concerns about the speed with which everything seems to have taken off in 2017 are unfounded; perhaps it is simply a case of expecting there to be such a frenetic pace to the year in advance.
Normally, the opening edition of the magazine would be consumed with all the new things happening. New machines, new partnerships and new business activities. There is a lot of new, granted, but what is much more interesting is how familiar the underlying reasons for these new launches are, as they are based on addressing the same needs of 2016 and 2015 and before. True, the benefits of the new year and the longer time engineers have had to consider the problem means there might be a new method of solving an old problem, or a system that is more efficient, but 2017 does not so far seem to be a year of seismic change. And I am delighted.
This delight stems from the promise of even more efficient systems, less waste, faster turnaround times and exceptional quality throughout the industry. By continuing to develop better tooling and manufacturing techniques or equipment, rolls can be cut to size and fit quicker with less downtime and waste, saving the customers and suppliers resources. Less waste across the finishing of products means that less raw materials will be required, so less strain on natural resources and the environment, combined with all of these systems working faster and in harmony, will reduce downtime or inefficiency in manufacturing and ensure that costs stay down.
This year we have altered the format of the magazine to go bi-monthly, so each edition will be bigger and more comprehensive. In our first edition we are looking at developments in software and examining current trends in the ink sector. There are articles on drying and curing and die cutting, and an updated look at recent news from the static control market. Finally, there is a preview of the upcoming Packaging Innovations show in NEC Birmingham 1-2 March and our regularly scheduled news and expert opinions.