As you have most likely already guessed, we’re undergoing some changes here at Food Engineering.

This month marks my first issue as Editor in Chief of the magazine, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead our publication into the future. Much like the food processing industry, this is an interesting and challenging time for the business-to-business publishing industry. It’s exciting and, if we’re being completely honest, a little scary.

It’s exciting because the ongoing innovation in the tools we have available to us allow for more efficient processes, offer more and better data to evaluate what we are doing well or not so well, and give us flexibility and adaptability we never could have imagined even a couple years ago.

Does that sound familiar?

It’s a little scary because the pace of change in the industry means it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in either the short term or the long term, and we always have that concern in the back of our minds that something we never anticipated is going to come out of left field and ruin our carefully constructed plans.

Does that sound familiar?

The good news is that we have a clearly defined goal, and it’s shared by everyone here: We will continue to be the indispensable source of information for the food processing industry, and we will do so by constantly asking ourselves “how can we do this in a better way?”

We have an excellent example of that in this very issue. This month, we’re providing coverage from our annual Food Automation and Manufacturing Conference, which was packed full of presentations from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Whether it was insights from Bell’s Brewing on how to implement a unified automation system, the Women in Manufacturing panel discussing the challenges women face in the food processing industry, or technical experts sharing their knowledge through the Solutions Theater, the conference provided attendees with ideas and information that they can carry forward into their own operations.

By sharing the highlights from the conference in the magazine, we hope to provide those takeaways to those of you who were not in attendance. We realize that the one thing every processor—regardless of revenue, market or product line—is always looking for is new ways to improve operations, and that is what we will continue to share with you. We will do so in the magazine, on our website, through webinars and newsletters, and at the FA&M Conference.

We have some new ideas in the works as well, and we’ll be sharing those with you as they come online. But in a world and an industry that is constantly changing, the one thing we will always promise you is that we will continue to be at the forefront of what’s happening in the industry and what it means for you.

I welcome your feedback on what we’re doing now and what you’d like to see from us in the future. You can contact me at laughmanc@bnpmedia with your thoughts, comments or questions, and I’m sure I’ll cross paths with many of you at industry events as well.

This is an exciting time and a challenging time, and we can either embrace the excitement or hide from the challenges. We’ll be doing the former, and I expect that all of you will be as well. I can’t wait to see where the industry goes from here, and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to have a front-row seat.