Product Pulse Innovative Tools And Equipment Affecting The Industry 64134f41706a2

The latest and greatest industrial products, courtesy of New Equipment Digest

March 16, 2023
"I think it's a really good way to kind of like get the full picture in the manufacturing space, not just what it is, and how to do it, but here's a new one to check out."

Laura Davis is the editor in chief of New Equipment Digest (NED), a brand part of the Manufacturing Group at Endeavor Business Media. NED covers all products, equipment, solutions, and technology related to the broad scope of manufacturing, from mops and buckets to robots and automation. Laura has been a manufacturing product writer for six years, knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the industry along with what readers are looking for when wanting to learn about the latest products on the market. Plant Services editor in chief Thomas Wilk recently spoke with Laura to get her perspective on new products and innovations that are affecting the industry, as well as the upcoming partnership between Plant Services and New Equipment Digest.

Listen to Laura Davis on The Tool Belt Podcast

PS: Well, tell us a little bit about yourself. I'm curious to know how your background led to this job, and especially what is it that you like the most about your work as chief editor on NED?

LD: Before I came to NED, I worked for a wire service – a very, very boring job. We would get press releases from all industries, finance to manufacturing to health, everything in between and we would edit and send these press releases out internationally. So I read a lot all day about every industry and once that job got to be a bit too much, I was hired at New Equipment Digest to read press releases about products and decide what was worthy, what was new to promote to the readers.

I started as the sole products editor, going through hundreds of releases a day, and I was very green to the manufacturing space. I really didn't know much, so I spent a lot of my first couple months Googling a lot. Like, what is this piece of equipment? How does it work? What does it do? Who is it for? I was trying to wrap my head around these things, so I wasn't just throwing up any old product.

Now I'm at a point where I'm the chief editor and I still get to go through these products on a daily basis. It can be very monotonous, but I actually love seeing what's coming out. It's what New Equipment Digest does, we talk about the new tech and equipment, but it's something that holds a special place in my heart and I love being able to provide the information of “hey, you should probably check this out. This is really cool.”

Even if it's a small washer! I think it was a year ago, a company that came out with a washer that had Bluetooth integrated into it for measuring tightness and it would tell you the data. That would have been really nice to use when I installed a new toilet and cracked it from tightening it too hard. Stuff like that I just find really interesting and I love that even being higher up on the publication, I'm still allowed to do that and promote those things. I don't have to get away from it.

PS: That’s really exciting, and a quick aside here, the reliability and maintenance folks listening to this podcast just raised their hands in sympathy with over-torquing bolts anywhere, especially someplace like a bathroom. It’s interesting that the “first to see and first to share” element of the job must be really exciting because you get first crack at a lot of this stuff that that say might take a while to filter down to the plant level.

LD: I'm hoping our readers and anyone new to the site really takes a look and finds usefulness in the products that we're promoting. I'm always open to my readers if they want to be like, “hey, there's a new product, you guys should probably look at it.” I'm open to that and covering it. It's what I do best.

PS: That's good to know and we'll put your e-mail address in the podcast notes, but for anyone who wants to take Laura up on the offer and share a product that they found really useful. It's [email protected].

NED as an online property is interesting. There's a print edition, which most people are familiar with, and then there's the outline property where it's technically split into two different sites, although you can you can access both from What are some things that you're going to do with the website this year, with the brand, that we can look forward to?

LD: Yeah. So we got a couple things going on. Last year, we started venturing into videos for a new form of content, so this year we're really ramping that up. We're planning on getting a good cadence of videos out this year from anything to issue previews, letting you know what's going to be in the upcoming issue before you get it, to videos with product demos, top products of the month videos, quick content that you guys can get. If you're on a busy day and you want to know the hits, we'll have the hits in video form for you.

Additionally we, it's our second year of our Innovation awards program, I might say second, because it was gone for a few years. So last year was our first step back into the program, but it went really, really well. I was surprised at the engagement we had for not being around for a few years. You can head over to our website and we have information about the awards, and we're looking at submissions being open around April or May, and then winners will be featured in our November issue at the end of the year.

PS: Let's finish our podcast by talking about the Plant Services / NED partnership. It stems from when Plant Services was acquired as part of the Putman Media family by Endeavor, and now you and I are in the same business group. And when Plant Services arrived as new kid on the block, you made us feel real welcome, and pretty quickly our boss asked us to work together. Could you describe some of the things that you and I talked about with that partnership?

LD: When you guys came in, we found a compatibility if you will, between our two brands. So NED since we mostly just cover equipment, and a lot of the other brands that our group are thought leadership somewhere in the manufacturing space, we don't have a lot of that. And I think sometimes we miss out on some readers not having that, and Plant Services does that really well in the MRO space.

So there's a very symbiotic relationship there that we're trying to tap into this year by collaborating and telling our audiences, when Plant Services talks about the best way to maintain this piece of equipment, you can then go to NED to find out the new types of equipment for that task. I think it's a really good way to kind of like get the full picture in the manufacturing space, not just what it is, and how to do it, but here's a new one to check out.

PS: I agree completely. One of the things that Plant Services has had trouble covering the past couple of years is the product and technology side. We've got Sheila Kennedy, who as a certified CMRP, she can take a maintenance practitioner’s eye and we do have her writing a column once a month which calls out a couple of products in a single category, but it's nowhere near the coverage that you provide. I've had a really good time figuring out with you since last July how we're going to work together, and I think our readers can expect deeper collaboration as time goes on this year to make sure that folks who check out plan services content can see some of those products featured on NED and then vice versa on NED, right?

LD: Yes, I'm very excited about this. I think it's a perfect offering and I think it's the best way to advance brands forward.

PS: So to everyone listening, you'll see more and more evidence of this collaboration going forward this year. We we've taken baby steps behind the scenes and we're going to ramp up the collaboration going through 2023. With that, Laura, thank you for being on the Plant Services Tool Belt and introducing yourself to our listeners too. If any of you out there want a technology resource and want to know what the latest and greatest is, do check out New Equipment Digest and you can reach out to Laura directly, her e-mail is in the podcast notes.

About the Author

Thomas Wilk | editor in chief

Thomas Wilk joined Plant Services as editor in chief in 2014. Previously, Wilk was content strategist / mobile media manager at Panduit. Prior to Panduit, Tom was lead editor for Battelle Memorial Institute's Environmental Restoration team, and taught business and technical writing at Ohio State University for eight years. Tom holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MA from Ohio State University

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