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It is December and that means it's time for the annual directory issue of FE&S as well as for my annual dose of humility as a prognosticator. For the record, in the last year I have also been wrong about the durability of Bitcoin, the outcome of Brexit and the timing of the first female president of the United States.

About 12 years ago, as the newly installed publisher of FE&S (then part of Reed Business Information), I confidently predicted the certain demise of printed directories as internet searches replaced paper and ink. Well, as you can tell by the weight of the catalogue in your hands, I was wrong!

What has happened over those 12 years is that digital and printed directories have become powerful tools that the user chooses how and when to implement. While I was surprised that printed directories are still in demand, the digital book market is getting the same kind of surprise. E-book sales declined roughly 20 percent in the first half of 2016 while print sales increased during the same period. It's clear that both have their place, and together they allow readers to utilize the platform of their choice when acquiring the information they want and need.

We are proud of this issue because, in the 70th year of FE&S magazine, it represents the largest and best directory that we have ever assembled. That is partly because of a decision that we made a long time ago to include not just those manufacturers that decided to advertise with us during the year but all verified manufacturers that chose to share their contact information with us through our directory portal at www.fesmag.com/directory.

In this issue, you will find the same commitment to great editorial content that you have come to expect from us month after month.

Thank you for being a consumer of the fresh content that we create!