1. Case History, New Installation, Plant Upgrade, and Engineering Solution Articles
Case History, New Installation, Plant Upgrade, and Engineering Solution articles all involve interviews with both a supplier and a customer. All involve a problem–solution situation: The customer has a problem, and the equipment supplier or engineering company solves it.
A Case History usually involves a customer who replaces equipment or retrofits equipment that is not meeting its needs. Sometimes the older equipment is faulty or unsuitable for the process; sometimes the customer’s needs have changed because of a new application or production growth.
A New Installation article usually involves a customer who is building a new facility or production line and must install some or all new equipment. Because of previous experience or second-hand knowledge, the customer is aware of problems that can occur in the process or has specific production goals that can’t be met with equipment the customer has used previously. The customer wants to design the best facility or production line to avoid future problems.
A Plant Upgrade article usually involves a customer who increases plant production capabilities by increasing its plant size or number or types of production lines and makes other significant plant changes.
An Engineering Solution article usually involves a customer who brings in an engineering company to design or redesign its processing line or perform another service the customer can’t do simply by replacing or adding a piece of equipment.
To get started, we need:
- Your description of the problem–solution scenario: a paragraph or more describing the customer’s problem and how your equipment or service solved it for them.
- Contact information for one person to interview at the customer’s plant and one person at your company. Be sure that your customer understands that we will want to interview them again even if you’ve already interviewed them.
- Photos, taken at the customer’s plant, of the equipment featured in the article.
Once we receive the above materials, assuming the article fits PBE’s editorial plans, we will tentatively schedule the article for a particular issue, assign an editor, and let you and the customer know approximately when we’ll start working on the article and be conducting interviews.
These articles follow a set format: They provide background information about the customer, describe the customer’s problem, highlight the customer’s search for a solution, detail the equipment or service solution, and discuss the results. We will obtain most of this information during the interviews with you and your customer.
From you, we will want detailed information about the featured equipment, how you worked with the customer, and problems you encountered during the process.
From the customer, we will want some detail about the problem it was experiencing (or the challenge it wanted to meet), how it coped with this situation in the past or how it sought to prevent a future problem, what motivated it to look for a better solution, how it worked with your company, and how the solution has worked out for it.
2. Test Center and Custom Processor Articles
Test Center and Custom Processor articles don’t always involve an interview with a customer. These articles focus on a service a company supplies to many customers. Typically, we walk the reader through one customer’s job to provide a concrete example of how a reader might use a test center’s or custom processor’s services to make an informed equipment purchase decision or increase the customer’s capabilities.
A Test Center article shows how a test center works with a customer to, for example, evaluate the customer’s material, improve its processing, or help it make an informed equipment purchase decision.
A Custom Processor article shows how a custom processor works with a customer to, for example, reduce the customer’s raw material costs or increase its processing capabilities.
To get started, we need:
- Information about your company’s test center or custom processing services. This can include a written summary as well as informational brochures or other publicity material.
- Contact information for the person we will interview — preferably a manager in your test center or custom processing facility. If you have a customer willing to be interviewed, provide that contact information as well.
- Photos, taken at your facility, of the equipment discussed in the article. Additional photos of the material being tested or processed are welcome.
Once we receive the above materials, assuming the article fits PBE’s editorial plans, we will tentatively schedule the article for a particular issue, assign an editor, and let you know approximately when we’ll start working on the article and be conducting interviews.
During the interview, in addition to asking for more details about the information you initially provided us, we will ask for information about a particular customer’s use of the test center or custom processing facility. Questions might include some of the following:
- What problem was the customer was trying to solve?
- What led the customer to your company?
- What did the customer have to do to work with you – for example, provide a certain-sized material sample or a specific kind of application information?
- What steps did your company take to assess the customer’s problem?
- What equipment and steps were involved in the testing or custom processing for this customer?
- What were the results of the testing (for example, the customer now knows how to adjust the equipment to work more effectively, or the customer buys new equipment from your company) or custom processing (for example, the customer is able to offer a wider range of products to its customers or more economically produce its current products)?