18 August, 2019

Celebration and reflection

08 December, 2017

Having probably perused the front cover of this edition of Hydraulics & Pneumatics before making it this far, it is unlikely to have escaped you by now that this is a rather special issue. Some 21 years since its inception, the journal has come of age. Having myself been sitting in the editor’s chair for over 12 years now, I have increasingly come to appreciate the value of the journal as the only publication dedicated to the fluid power industry.

Indeed, it would appear that the journal proved to be a highly viable proposition from the outset. Let the launch editor, Bob Dobson, take up the story. “My personal realisation that we had established a successful magazine that was winning over readers and advertisers came on the day I got back from a holiday in the States. I had only been at my desk for a couple of hours when a call came through from Eaton Hydraulics in America – inviting me to visit the company across the Atlantic because it figured that Hydraulics & Pneumatics was its key magazine in the UK. It was only a few months into the project that we were able to recruit a dedicated salesman for the new title and, not long after that, bring in a fulltime editor.”

Having secured an encouragingly firm foothold from the outset, the journal continues to evolve editorially to reflect the highly dynamic and ever-changing nature of the sector it serves. Nevertheless, while our industry has become far wider technologically – what with the formidable developments that have taken place in areas such as automation and robotics, not to mention computer technology – at the heart of our editorial remit, fluid power remains sacrosanct.

Many of the technological developments that have taken place within our industry since Hydraulics & Pneumatics first appeared in 1996 are referenced throughout our Special 21st Anniversary Report, which commences on page 34 of this edition. However, it is worth reflecting on the fact that technology in a more general sense has developed in leaps and bounds since our first edition left the printing house. It is sobering to think, for instance, that so many conveniences we now take so much for granted were just fledgling entities or even completely non-existent back then.

The Internet was barely heard of, although by the late 1990s it has been estimated that traffic on the web grew by 100% each year; leading to the global phenomenon it is today – offering major benefits to businesses and to people in the domestic, education and social spheres. And even though by the mid-1990s we had moved on from the ‘brick’-like mobile phones so beloved of any self-respecting yuppie a decade or so previously, the advent of the smartphone was still some way into the future, with the first iPhone being unleashed a mere ten years ago.

Returning to our industry and this journal, I would just like to say on behalf of the entire Hydraulics & Pneumatics team a heartfelt thanks to readers who have stuck with us for the past 21 years, and also to readers who are more recent incumbents within the fluid power and related equipment sector. I do hope you continue to find the publication to be a good source of knowledge and interest, as well something that translates into solid business and operational value for your business. Here’s to the next 21 years.

Ed Holden


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