Despite the evidence of our senses and all we are taught, the prejudice remains that the material world affords us a certain sense of permanency.

And it’s a wise choice to believe — barring unforeseen circumstances — that the car will be where you left it this morning. However, we are wrong if we take it too much further than that. Matter is more reasonably thought of as the very purveyor of change.

It’s the old saw about how you can’t stick your foot in the same river twice. The first scientists wanted to know, when, by means of a process, some “entity” undergoes substantial change in appearance and make-up, is there a substrate that persists? It’s still not obvious. But combine that gnawing curiosity with a keen desire to make your own gold and pretty soon you got yourself a global chemical industry.

In this world of computer-based corporate industry and commerce, we are trained to overcome our fears of vertigo-making change and embrace it, knowing change itself is the order and underlying structure.

Yet people may be surprised to realize just how often past societies saw it as essential to resist organizational change. It was the boast of the ancient Spartans, for example, that after receiving their community’s laws from Lycurgus, the code generated received no change for 16 generations of kings.

Application example

The New Year brings a new beginning, and we hope our readers will celebrate with us as we present this redesigned edition of Processing magazine.

Processing has been a successful industry publication for many years. The day it comes into the department of a plant or facility, people stop at their desks and take a look at it. It’s close to the plant floor and to actual operations.

For the last several years, we have focused content both on basic technologies and applications common across process industries and on advanced technologies being introduced in industrial operations around the world. The industries covered include chemical, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical. We look to identify incremental innovation wherever it is found. We believe our readers want to learn about best practices.

The magazine’s new look is sharper and allows us to accomplish our stated mission. The magazine remains accessible and easy to read. The four-color equipment and instrument photographs now are easier to peruse, while bearing more cogent information.

Content-wise, the changes are more subtle, but no less significant. The product descriptions are more about application and less a litany of specifications. The news items are snappier, easier to get through and better chosen. The feature layouts are less cumbersome.

The year ahead

The best is yet to come for Processing magazine.

As I discussed in my April 2015 column, Processing is now part of the Process Flow Network, which brings together under a single operational umbrella three of our publishing group’s industrial titles. The synergies inherent in this arrangement mean that working together, the editors of each title, which include Flow Control and Water Technology, bring readers more sophisticated coverage and better, more actionable information. In 2016, Wastewater Processing, which focuses solely on industrial wastewater issues, will be a special section appearing five times in both Processing and Flow Control.

Another example is that Larry Bachus, the “Pump Guy,” will appear as a guest columnist at least three times in Processing in 2016. Bachus is an industry veteran and expert on diagnosing pump problems and seal failures. He has taught pump and seal improvement courses at major plants and facilities worldwide. Since 2007, Larry has partnered with Flow Control to present the Pump Guy Seminar throughout the U.S. Moreover, as an author, Larry has the skills of a general science writer, and his work is a pleasure to read.

There’s much more to say about plans for Processing magazine and the Process Flow Network. Nor did we exhaust the topic of change in today’s world.