Full Circle

This editor’s introduction to the mold-building industry has much in common with his introduction to the broader world of manufacturing nearly seven years ago.


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When I applied for my first writing and editing job after graduating from Ohio University, I didn't have a clue what I was getting into. Barely a month later, I found myself standing bewildered, jaw agape and eyes wide, amid the bustle and din of IMTS 2006. This was a whole new world, and upon returning home, I couldn't help but marvel at how everything around me--the cell phone case in my pocket, the milk jug in the fridge, my toothbrush, virtually anything plastic--could be traced back to skilled craftsmen using sophisticated machinery to cut cavities from hardened steel.

Of course, that IMTS and other events I’d attend as a budding editor for Modern Machine Shop magazine, a sister publication of MoldMaking Technology, also introduced me to myriad other ways in which machining makes modern life possible. Still, mold and die stood out as a particular fascination during my seven years with that publication. This interest is one reason why I was more than happy to make the transition to MoldMaking Technology when the opportunity arose a few weeks ago.

In taking that opportunity, I’ve come full circle. Again, I see a new path ahead, and again, it all seems quite overwhelming. There’s a lot to see and learn, and I’m excited to take it all in. This time, however, I’m a bit older, and I’ve got a solid background in writing about manufacturing technology. I’m also looking forward to really honing in on a single industry, as opposed to trying to encompass all things metalworking. That should make it easier to develop the contacts and the more specialized knowledge I’ll need to provide you, the reader, with a window into the world of mold manufacturing beyond the walls of your own shop.

In fact, perhaps you can help. Good, non-commercial technical content is a major strength of MoldMaking Technology. However, one thing I bring to the table is a knack for developing application stories—that is, not technical articles, but pieces that describe real-world examples of technology changing businesses. I’m always hunting for a good lead, and if your shop is doing anything new, please send me an email at mdanford@moldmakingtechnology.com. (Note that everything is confidential until you agree otherwise.)