We interrupt this editorial series on the life of Nikola Tesla to bring you an important announcement. As you know, this is the first issue of 2006. In it, you will find several new departments and sections designed to help you stay ahead of the curve in power transmission and motion control — particularly in the area of industrial automation.

For starters, we've changed and enhanced our yearlong series called Design by Objective. Real-world designs are often dominated by one or two objectives; maximizing precision, for example, or speed, torque, or durability. Over the course of the year, we will address some of the most common objectives driving motion system design today. Each article will include a mechanical as well as an electronic perspective, giving the reader a variety of options and strategies to apply to the problem at hand. On page 45, we begin the DBO series with an in-depth look at energy efficiency.

Another addition, somewhat of a followup to the Productivity Forum series published in previous years, is Need for Speed. Each month we gather and present information on how to optimize the speed of a particular component. On page 38, you'll read about ways to rev up your bearings. I encourage you to not only read these articles, but also share your knowledge and experience (regarding speed) with us. It's a good way to help out your fellow engineer.

Two other new departments debuting in 2006 are Mechanisms & Machines and Did you know. The latter highlights the creative process as well as the inventiveness of the unsung heroes of power transmission and motion control. If you'd like to honor someone and have an interesting story along these lines, please contact us. Also feel free to send in ideas for Mechanisms & Machines. Here we intend to focus on engineered motion functions, especially those hinging on interdisciplinary design.

Interdisciplinary mechanical, electrical, and computer design is also at the heart of the Motion in Packaging series that begins on page 41. In the months that follow, we will look at many other motion-intensive packaging operations, including printing, converting, web processing, pick & place, cartoning, inspection, and capping.

You'll also find many familiar departments in 2006; old favorites like Fun with Fundamentals, Brushing Up, and MSD 101. Product-oriented coverage will remain relatively unchanged with general announcements, monthly spotlights, and a dedicated page on air-powered motion called Pneumatic Solutions.

If you've been to our website lately, www.motionsystemdesign.com, you'll see that we've added a blog and forum section. Keep your eye on that as well as the site itself; we have a redesign planned for the first part of this year.

That about does it for the announcements. I hope you enjoy the new format and that you'll join me next month as we wrap up our series on the fascinating life and work of Nikola Tesla.