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September 1, 2003

4 Min Read
Ten years down—many more to come

imm_10th_anniv_logo50x50tra.gifDo you remember where you were 10 years ago this month? It was September 1993 and the U.S. was just emerging from a recession, marking the dawn of an unprecedented eight-year economic boom that this country had never before enjoyed. President Clinton was in the White House, Schindler’s List won the Academy Award for best picture, and the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack was steadily climbing to the top of the music charts.

The injection molding industry was set to embark on a period of robust, stimulating, and exciting growth. And in September 1993 IMM was born into the plastics publications market. Its launch was a first: a superniche publication in a trade publishing market that is niche-y by definition.

You hold in your hands the 108th issue of IMM, and to celebrate our first 10 years, all this year we’ve revisited molders and moldmakers whose doorways we first darkened in the magazine’s early days. We’ve found out how much has changed for them and how much has stayed the same. Most importantly, we hope this series has shed some light on how the injection molding industry has matured and developed in the last decade, and where it might be 10 years from now. There is much to be learned from our history.

The anniversary celebration culminates in this issue with a series of stories that conclude our look back on the last 10 years in injection molding. m On p. 104, senior editor Carl Kirkland revisits Saturn’s molding operations in Spring Hill, TN. Saturn was originally featured in the August 1994 issue of IMM. m On p. 52, in Market Snapshot, contributing editor Clare Goldsberry evaluates a decade of market growth, and in some cases, decline. m On p. 48, in the Molders Economic Index, MEI author Agostino von Hassell looks back at the macro economic forces that have shaped the injection molding industry over the last 10 years. m Sprinkled throughout this issue you’ll find smaller retrospectives from our cast of well-known and well-respected contributors, as well as comments from one moldmaker. Look for thoughts from Glenn Beall on pp. 35 and 62, Mike Sepe on p. 68, Bob Hatch on p. 101, and M&M Tool on p. 76. m Finally, on p. 146, Parting Shots, you can get a rare glimpse of some of the editors and writers whose names you know so well: Clare Goldsberry, Carl Kirkland, Michelle Maniscalco, and Robert Neilley. For the last decade they, with your help, have made IMM what it is today.

Next month begins IMM’s next decade, and we’re hopeful that it will be as exciting as the first one. The injection molding industry is in the midst of much uncertainty and doubt right now, but one thing we’ve learned in our 10 years is that this is an innovative, persistent, optimistic, and creative community. We look forward now to what our 20th anniversary will bring—Jeff Sloan

imm_10th_anniv_logo50x50tra.gifIMM #1 ships JIT

IMM was to make its debut on Sept. 14, 1993 at a plastics trade fair in Rosemount, IL. Inaugural issues were to be distributed at that show. That decision was made during the first IMM planning meeting, which was held in June 1993.

“We had to get the first issue done by then, or we were dead,” says Suzy Witzler, IMM’s first editor. “We worked 24/7 before the term was even popular.”

Given the time restraints it might have been easier to produce just another run-of-the-mill plastics magazine. But, pulling together a staff with 200 years of combined experience in plastics publishing, Witzler, publisher Pete Sullivan, and chairman Peter Zacher decided to do something very different. They decided to publish a magazine exclusively written for everyone involved in the most dynamic segment of the plastics industry—injection molding.

“Our editorial premise was to focus on the reader, rather than on the industry or the advertisers,” Witzler says. “That’s probably what was so different about what we planned to do.”

They formed their company on July 14. Their magazine had to be at the printer by the third week in August. The first issue was put together in Witzler’s living room.

“I went to Arkansas to our printer and watched each form come off the press one whole afternoon and through the night. The next morning I picked up the first bound copies and took them home to Denver,” says Witzler. “It was so exciting, starting with a clean slate and such a new idea. It was almost like having a baby.”

IMM was delivered on time. The rest is history.—Carl Kirkland

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