It is with great anticipation that we, the editors of Motion System Design, send out our first issue of 2008.

As in previous years, we went back to the drawing board at the end of ‘07 and examined every topic we cover and every format we employ. What you will find in this January issue is the result of that exercise, the first of what will be a bigger, brighter, and more enriching learning environment for serious motion engineers like you.

Motion, of course, is always a means to an end, and today, that end is “motion-centric automation.” All other issues aside, motion-centric automation is the key to American manufacturing and, by extension, U.S. global competitiveness. In terms of scope, it is fairly broad, reaching from the component to the system and process level, and nowhere is it covered in its entirety except Motion System Design.

Our vision for motion-centric automation plays off our thought leadership in interdisciplinary design (mechatronics) and takes it to the next logical level — the “business end” of rotary and linear motion axes and the programmable functions they perform. There, at the leading edge of applied motion, we will break new ground in 2008, exploring several motion-centric automation processes, including X-Y positioning, line shafting, registration, and web processing. Each article will look at the topic of interest over its entire scope, from component operating principles to system configuration and function, and will conclude with an online video and links to additional information sources.

Also new for 2008 is a series that will shine a spotlight on you, our readers. Each month we will visit with a motion engineer representing a different industry and find out what his or her day is like. We also hope to tap their brains and gain new insight into motion solutions and design strategies. Another new series starting this year will focus on safety, a growing concern particularly around motion systems and the mechanical and electronic connections holding them together.

Two other noteworthy additions to our 2008 line-up include a monthly department that will help you save time and another that will provide design inspiration. The time-saving series, which begins on page 53 in this issue, will focus on various motion control and power transmission components. Next month, we launch the “idea and inspiration” series, applying some of the concepts discussed in the editorials on Leonardo da Vinci.

Despite all the new and unique content, we still intend to maintain a full complement of technical articles, the core of the magazine since its inception in 1959. As we approach our 50th anniversary, we remain, as always, an information resource dedicated to machine drives and related components, or more fundamentally, applied torque and force. We look forward to a productive and successful year and we wish you the same.