Volume 23 | Issue 1 | Year 2020

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Life is now different. You know the devastation the spread of coronavirus has caused, not just to manufacturing and business in general, but to all of our daily lives.

Most of the articles in this issue were written before the advent of the coronavirus crisis. Unlike the Industry Today email newsletters and website, which have been updating our subscribers with breaking news related to the global pandemic, the magazine’s content is planned months in advance. In that respect, while we publish digitally on-line, we remain timebound in laying out what at core is still a traditional magazine. Consequently, the optimistic tone of features developed at the beginning of 2020 seems outdated only three months later as we went to publish.

Still, we remain optimistic. America is relying on manufacturing innovation and business creativity to help get us through this crisis. And while many businesses are suffering today, we’re confident that once we all get through this, we are poised together to return to the enterprising optimism we all recently shared just a short time ago.

So, with that in mind, we bring you articles written during better times, but represent a future we can still realize. One example is the vital importance of broadband during the coronavirus pandemic both to enable the move to remote work as well as provide entertainment and community for families in a time of social distancing. Consequently, the joint business and government program announced by the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at North Carolina State University to promote broadband services in every county in the state by 2022 remains significant.

Bold initiatives are essential not just during the current health crisis, but to address the challenges of climate change. The University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Research (CAER) is developing a methodology to convert coal tar pitch into carbon fiber, an essential material in automotive and aerospace to make transportation more energy efficient and environmentally-friendly.

Aerospace is just one manufacturing sector hard hit by the pandemic. We included coverage on Connecticut and its leading position for aerospace manufacturing despite its bullish viewpoint is no longer current. However, we’re confident that non-profit organizations such as AdvanceCT are at the forefront of of providing economic solutions that will benefit the state and industry not just during the crisis, but when we emerge from it.

And when we do recover, practices such as Additive Manufacturing, our feature on the Neighborhood 91 production campus at Pittsburgh International Airport, will help all manufacturers get back on a stable footing. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is part of the profile on Mckinsey and Company’s Global Lighthouse Network comprised of 44 organizations, isn’t going away. It provides the bedrock foundation on which industry can be confident of making a vital comeback.

Stay safe, and stay positive.