The holidays are over and it's back to work. I hope you're beginning the new year with a renewed sense of purpose. We certainly are at Motion System Design as you will discover reading through this issue. This year, our goal is to provide you with more information, greater perspectives, and a wider variety of topics and motion technologies.

One timely addition to our editorial line-up is a new series called Peak Productivity. For the past 20 years, manufacturers have focused on quality. But today, in more and more industries, it's productivity. In a series of articles looking at productivity from both sides — what helps and what hurts — readers will learn how to get the most out of their designs from the component level up. The first installment, a discussion on bearings, is found on page 52.

Another series, Design by Objective, although not new, will be presented in a more practical way. The design objectives we will consider this year include extreme environment, efficiency, size and weight, safety, vibration and noise, response, precision and accuracy, lifetime and reliability, connectivity, and ease of use. Each month we'll explore a different topic, presenting relevant and ready-to-install power transmission and motion control products. This month's topic is high speed, page 42.

A few page flips from there, page 46, you'll find something that will probably draw applause from many of our long-time readers. For years, our research has shown that the majority of MSD readers use air-powered actuation on at least one axis in their servo-based motion systems. For them and for others who may benefit from fluid power, we are adding a new department called Pneumatic Solutions. To supplement this largely product-oriented coverage, we will also publish feature articles on pneumatic actuation in March, May, and October.

Also appearing for the first time in 2005 is Systems & Subsystems, found on page 48. Engineers continually face the build-or-buy decision. We recently asked our readers about this in regard to conveyors. The majority said they are just as likely to buy as build, and the new S & S department will keep them apprised of what's available. Other motion-based systems within the scope of what we intend to cover include rotary and linear positioning stages, gantries, intelligent actuators, robotics, and indexing tables and stations.

Another section worth noting is Motion in Packaging. Continuing from last year, the packaging series will home in on motion-defined operations — converting, palletizing, printing, wrapping, material handling, and sorting to name a few. On page 28, the series kicks off with web processing.

Existing departments, like MSD 101 and Brushing Up, will remain, and if anything, appear more consistently than last year. We will also continue our enewsletters, perhaps adding a few, which you can sign up for by visiting our website.

Perhaps the best news is the return of Fun with Fundamentals. For many of our readers — especially Jasper Jones, Project Manager at Invista Corp., Salisbury, N.C. — the long wait is over. Well, almost over. Look for the new and improved FWF in the March issue.

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, please send them our way.

Thanks for your interest in Motion System Design, and we look forward to serving you in 2005.