This issue begins a new year, and it brings us a little closer to technologies in our future. As we have previously mentioned, it is impossible for us or anyone to know how artificial intelligence (AI) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) developments will affect our businesses in the future.

I’m reminded of a projection made by then-Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield in 1959 (no, I did not personally hear him say it). Anyway, he predicted the future of mail delivery being guided missile systems, the new tech of the day. Never did they anticipate electronic delivery in spite of the computer developments taking place at the time.

As promised in 2017, “We will continue to report on these technologies though our magazine, e-newsletters, social media and website. In some cases, we will report impact, but sometimes you will need to decide how the technology impacts your business. We are your media partner to help keep you in the know.”

We realize that many of our readers are too busy doing their jobs to try to figure out how to do them better. To that end, we encourage you to read some of the high-tech articles and editorials presented in the past year. You can check these out by going to www.industrialheating.com and looking through our archives. Here are a few.

  • In January, our editorial presented a discussion of disruptive but necessary technology, and Tom Morrison’s column discussed the growth potential afforded by technology in the coming decades.
  • In March, we featured an article discussing an innovative heat treatment for material weight reduction. In our editorial, we also discussed the need for more industry-university collaborations, and The Heat Treat Doctor continued his two-part column on simulation software.
  • In April, one of our articles discussed an advanced carburizing technology, and we took a look at how additive manufacturing (3D printing) is reshaping the auto industry in May.
  • Throughout 2018, our column “Academic Pulse,” contributed by Carnegie Mellon University, offered some cutting-edge material inspection discussions. These included May’s column, “A 3-D View of Modern Engineering Materials.”
  • An article in the August issue discussed smarter furnaces and instrument IoT.
  • In September, two articles and our editorial added to our knowledge of AM/3D printing, which is certainly technology in action in our materials world.
  • Reader-favorite AM/3D-printing articles were highlighted in October, and The Heat Treat Doctor discussed AM as the next industrial revolution in November.

While perusing our website for these resources, don’t forget to have a look at posted videos, podcasts and webinars currently on-demand. Our news tab will keep you in touch with the latest industry-related happenings on a daily basis. We understand that consuming information looks different for different people.

In 2019, we will continue to bring you articles and editorial that help you to know which direction technology is moving and driving the industry with it. In this issue, be sure to check out a new column we call Next-Gen Leaders. Each month we will provide contributions from our industry’s younger generation to see the future through their eyes. Once again, Tom Morrison takes a looks at 2020 and beyond to help us gain some future perspective. Don’t miss The Heat Treat Doctor’s expanded column, which takes a look at the future of the heat-treat industry.

Academic Pulse continues in 2019 with a new contributing professor. This is the third year of this quarterly column, which gives us a view into some of the cutting-edge technology available to us. Be sure to watch for Dr. Bryan Webler’s first column next month. He will discuss advancements in additive manufacturing.

As this decade of the teens is drawing to a close, technology will continue to develop in 2020 and beyond. We will be here to talk about it. Stay tuned!