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Articles related to capital projects


Week of 23 October 2017: Internal Quality
Week of 23 October 2017: Internal Quality

Some people (and I suspect they are often the same people I described above) think doing a quality job is relevant only to their outside customers and clients. Wrong! In fact, one could not be more wrong than this. Practicing internal quality principles really saves money (practicing quality externally saves and wins customers). Internally, two things go wrong when we fail to hold to the highest quality standards...

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Capital Arguments for October 2017
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Week of 16 October 2017: When your reputation for quality is horrible
Week of 16 October 2017: When your reputation for quality is horrible

If your reputation for quality is horrible, there is only one choice--fix it. But to reach that one choice, you must first be willing to accept the feedback that your reputation for quality is poor. This is a hurdle for many organizations; they are dismissive of customer feedback, and say to themselves, "It is only a single case" or "customers are not willing to pay for quality." I know of three organizations that have met this challenge head-on and done something about it...

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Week of 9 October 2017: When you can't figure out how to fix your quality
Week of 9 October 2017: When you can't figure out how to fix your quality

Wait a minute--you did not know your quality was broken? Your product or service quality is always broken. It is always broken because quality is a moving target. What may have been the best quality among your peers last month may send you to the bottom of the heap this month.

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Week of 2 October 2017: Quality Advantages
Week of 2 October 2017: Quality Advantages

Over a quarter of a century ago, quality was all the rage in industry. Business books on quality abounded and everyone had laser cut letter Q's sitting on their desks (at least in my world). About this time, I had a boss who attended some great quality seminar and came back reporting, "Quality is just as good as the customer requires, no more, no less." He was wrong. Welcome to quality month at Paperitalo Publications...

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Week of 25 September 2017: Management compliments and criticisms are not always obvious
Week of 25 September 2017: Management compliments and criticisms are not always obvious

Many employees spend an inordinate amount of time trying to read the "tea leaves" of the boss's behavior. Most of this effort is a waste of time...

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Groundbreaking planned for $184 million Columbia Pulp mill that will turn straw-waste into pulp
Groundbreaking planned for $184 million Columbia Pulp mill that will turn straw-waste into pulp

Columbia Pulp will have a groundbreaking and community tour next week for its $184 million mill in southeast Washington, which will use straw to make pulp for paper production.

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Capital Arguments for September 2017
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Week of 18 September 2017: Be careful how you define your team, part 2
Week of 18 September 2017: Be careful how you define your team, part 2

Last week we talked about exactly who is defined as part of your team. This was done from the stance of making sure you don't, due to naïve generosity, take on work outside your scope and in the end, do everything poorly. At the same time, you must ward off the outside work without building silos or fortresses that seed discontent. This week, we will deal with two issues that may come up as you protect your team and strive for excellence in your team's area of responsibility, as well as good relations with all of your coworkers.

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Chile's Arauco to move ahead with $185 million facility
Chile's Arauco to move ahead with $185 million facility

Chilean forestry company Arauco, a subsidiary of industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec SA, will invest $185 million to build a new cellulose and textile pulp facility in the nation's south, the company said on Wednesday.

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Week of 11 September 2017: Be careful how you define your team, part 1
Week of 11 September 2017: Be careful how you define your team, part 1

A team is your specific, small group of personnel assigned to do a specific job or set of jobs. Although I am not much of a sports fan, I can give an example from there. Suppose the quarterback notices that the waterboy forgot to fill the drink containers? Does he ask for a time out so the players on the field can do this job? No. While in the bigger picture, they are all on the same team, when it comes to specific tasks they are not.

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Week of 4 September 2017: What assets are affecting your performance?
Week of 4 September 2017: What assets are affecting your performance?

I recently had a discussion with a long-time industry professional concerning this question: which is more important to a given mill--the technology or the management?

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Week of 28 August 2017: Corruption Month 2017, Fourth Week
Week of 28 August 2017: Corruption Month 2017, Fourth Week

Every August, we focus on corruption we have seen or heard about in the industry in the past year. As usual, these stories are told by Fos, a pulp rat. It is my privilege to put Fos's stories in print for you...

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Week of 21 August 2017: Corruption Month 2017, Third Week
Week of 21 August 2017: Corruption Month 2017, Third Week

Every August, we focus on corruption we have seen or heard about in the industry in the past year. As usual, these stories are told by Fos, a pulp rat. It is my privilege to put Fos's stories in print for you...

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Capital Arguments for August 2017
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Irving plans tissue facility in Georgia, 200 jobs
Irving plans tissue facility in Georgia, 200 jobs

Construction is expected to start this summer, a news release from Gov. Nathan Deal's office said, with completion expected in 2019.

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Week of 14 August 2017: Corruption Month 2017, Second Week
Week of 14 August 2017: Corruption Month 2017, Second Week

Every August, we focus on corruption we have seen or heard about in the industry in the past year. As usual, these stories are told by Fos, a pulp rat. It is my privilege to put Fos's stories in print for you...

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Week of 7 August 2017: Corruption Month is here again!
Week of 7 August 2017: Corruption Month is here again!

Every August, we focus on corruption we have seen or heard about in the industry in the past year. As usual, these stories will be told by Fos, a pulp rat. It is my privilege to put Fos's stories in print for you...

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 Columbia Pulp says construction is expected to begin in August on proposed mill
Columbia Pulp says construction is expected to begin in August on proposed mill

A proposed $184 million pulp mill in southeast Washington plans to take straw, a waste product from wheat and alfalfa farms, and convert it into pulp for paper and packaging products.

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Week of 31 July 2017: People versus computer technology
Week of 31 July 2017: People versus computer technology

I was talking to an old friend who spent one of his college days' summers doing fetch-and-carry work in a paper mill. Although it had been many years ago, he was still in awe of that "big ol' paper machine" and the fact that it took "twelve or thirteen men" to run it. No more, Tom, I said...

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Week of 24 July 2017: How well do you know your territory?
Week of 24 July 2017: How well do you know your territory?

"You've got to know the territory." As I remember it, this was a song sung by a chorus of some erstwhile salesmen in the Broadway show "The Music Man." If you are a mill manager or a department manager, it is your responsibility to be a walking encyclopedia about your territory and all that is in it. You've got to know your territory...

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Capital Arguments for July 2017
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Week of 17 July 2017: The quandary of environmental advocates
Week of 17 July 2017: The quandary of environmental advocates

The real objective of the environmental advocacy groups today is their own survival. They cannot afford to declare a great victory, for then their incomes dry up. They are in quite a predicament!

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Week of 10 July 2017: Being Hands-on Engineers and Scientists
Week of 10 July 2017: Being Hands-on Engineers and Scientists

It was not so long ago that engineers and scientists often came from a rural background. This is still true in developing nations, but for those of us living in developed nations, it is usually no longer the case. My own experience is a good example...

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Week of 3 July 2017: Make your office make a statement
Week of 3 July 2017: Make your office make a statement

This column is for the younger generation. Ready? Away we go! You get your degree and head off to the mill to work. Or perhaps your first job is with a supplier. In any case, you are proud of your accomplishments to date--but reality is about to set in. After you sign the pile of papers from the human resources department, you will be taken to your new office...

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Georgia-Pacific to expand Palatka, Florida mill, add 80 jobs
Georgia-Pacific to expand Palatka, Florida mill, add 80 jobs

Georgia-Pacific announced that its Palatka, Florida, mill has been selected as the location for the company's previously announced investment of more than $400 million in its GP Consumer (retail) tissue and towel business.

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Capital Arguments for June 2017
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Week of 26 June 2017: Do you feel like somebody's watching you? They are...
Week of 26 June 2017: Do you feel like somebody's watching you? They are...

Do you have trouble getting subordinates to do what you want them to do? There can be many reasons for this, but one of the most common is that YOU are not doing what you want THEM to do...

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Week of 19 June 2017: Preparing for your personal buy-out day
Week of 19 June 2017: Preparing for your personal buy-out day

I have spent a lot of time talking to investment bankers. Their interest is in buying into deals, looking at bankrupt companies for possible purchase and so forth. In short, they are looking for nuggets in the pulp and paper industry. Such are the fortunes of a mature industry. If you have been located in a mill or a headquarters for some period of time, you may have already seen company names and logos come and go, while you personally occupied the same space. Observing colleagues in the industry, I have noticed a number of behaviors that could use some improvement, to the benefit of the persons whose careers may be affected...

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Week of 12 June 2017: Inspect inspections
Week of 12 June 2017: Inspect inspections

If you are buying inspection services, make sure you are getting them. I was in a facility once where I saw what happens when these things go wrong. This facility had some high priced instrumentation for which they had an annual inspection contract. It just so happened that I was very familiar with one piece of instrumentation that was on this inspection cycle and I was standing beside it when the inspector came by. I knew every flaw this instrument currently suffered. The inspector's entire activity, as I observed it, was to take off last year's inspection sticker and put on this year's...

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Glatfelter Chillicothe, Ohio mill stack will get a fresh look
Glatfelter Chillicothe, Ohio mill stack will get a fresh look

The iconic red-and-white paper mill smokestack that many people associate with Chillicothe is expected to get a fresh look later this year.

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Week of 5 June 2017: Your role in your company
Week of 5 June 2017: Your role in your company

Wandering around the industry as I do, I am often amazed at the perceived roles people think they have, as indicated by their actions and words each day. Many appear to have no clue to the overall picture. It is really quite simple...

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Week of 29 May 2017: My feelings about feelings
Week of 29 May 2017: My feelings about feelings

A person starting a career is a bit of an open book. Such people may have had some work experiences, maybe even some military experience, but, in general their expectations about the work environment are recognized, even by them, as just that: expectations that may or may not become reality. It amuses me, for instance, to hear some of the ideas soon-to-be college graduates have about work. One told me something to the effect that once she started to work, she saw excitement in life as being over--you go to work each day, do the same things each day and forty years later you retire. Sadly, I have actually met people who have done exactly this. What I am getting at here, though, is something more subtle...

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Georgia-Pacific Brewton Mill Completes $388 Million Energy Improvement Project, Invests Another $50 Million For Product Improvements
Georgia-Pacific Brewton Mill Completes $388 Million Energy Improvement Project, Invests Another $50 Million For Product Improvements

Local and state officials joined Georgia-Pacific Brewton mill employees and their families on Saturday to celebrate the completion of a $388 million energy improvement project after two years of construction.

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Week of 22 May 2017: Table talk can be educational
Week of 22 May 2017: Table talk can be educational

No matter how much formal education you have acquired, there is one forum that stands above others in importance. It is one in which you participate first as a receiver, and then, later, if you have children, as a provider. It is the forum of the family dinner table...

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Capital Arguments for May 2017
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Georgia-Pacific Investing $400 million To Grow Consumer Products Business
Georgia-Pacific Investing $400 million To Grow Consumer Products Business

Georgia-Pacific announced significant investments, which total more than $400 million, for its GP Consumer (retail) tissue and towel business.

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Week of 15 May 2017: The problem of scattered assets--some new, some old
Week of 15 May 2017: The problem of scattered assets--some new, some old

There is a lesson here for us all--an opportunity for a critical self-examination of how large decisions are made...

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Week of 8 May 2017: How would you change things if you could?
Week of 8 May 2017: How would you change things if you could?

Over the years, I have heard many conversations start with, "If I were in charge of this place..." If you were in charge, what would you change? Why would you change it? How would you accomplish the changes? When would you change it? Let us take things one at a time...

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Chinese paper company will 'adjust its business plans' at proposed Chesterfield, Va. facility
Chinese paper company will 'adjust its business plans' at proposed Chesterfield, Va. facility

Tranlin Inc., the U.S. division of a China-based company that announced plans in 2014 to open a massive $2 billion paper products mill in Chesterfield County, is pushing back its construction plans for the project.

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Mill upgrade, distribution center planned in north Louisiana
Mill upgrade, distribution center planned in north Louisiana

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the plans this past week with the CEOs of Graphic Packaging International and DHL Supply Chain, companies joining together for the investment and expansion.

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Week of 1 May 2017: Up and at 'em--or just sitting?
Week of 1 May 2017: Up and at 'em--or just sitting?

Recently I have seen a number of cases in which human energy was not being expended to any appreciable extent. Actually, I was witnessing laziness. I have not discussed this topic in a long time, so perhaps it is time once again to bring it up. It is a topic that tends to offend some folks, for people do not like to be singled out as lazy or unenergetic. To assuage the embarrassment of the truly guilty, let me say that we all are struck by this at one time or another. And we must admit that we know some people who are in a permanent rut of inactivity. So, who to blame? What to do?

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Week of 24 April 2017: Perception vs. Reality
Week of 24 April 2017: Perception vs. Reality

The phrase, "perception is reality" is often a cautionary warning as to how others might perceive what one is doing, or how they look and so forth. I want to talk today about times when perception is not reality and how this might affect our actions...

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Capital Arguments for April 2017
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Week of 17 April 2017: Hindsight vs. Foresight
Week of 17 April 2017: Hindsight vs. Foresight

You are reading this, most likely, at an operating facility. I am going to give you two important challenges that are vital to the success of your company, no matter what your position is.

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Week of 10 April 2017: Taking control of your time
Week of 10 April 2017: Taking control of your time

I will bet you have tasks, if viewed by a critical eye, that would appear somewhat ludicrous. They may include a meeting you attend regularly that does nothing toward moving your enterprise forward. They may be insane reports that no one reads, or some other habitual exercise that does nothing...

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Week of 3 April 2017: General liability and the cost of not caring
Week of 3 April 2017: General liability and the cost of not caring

Years ago, when I started this column, I decided one important thing to be done here was to beat the drum for safety. Well, we have, and we plan to continue doing so. I am writing today, however, about general liability--caused by people or caused to people through exposures of various kinds. Some of these are safety matters, some are security matters. Others can arise out of employment law...

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Week of 27 March 2017: Thinking new thoughts about maintenance
Week of 27 March 2017: Thinking new thoughts about maintenance

There are some ways in which original capital purchases can serve to reduce maintenance costs and downtime...

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Week of 20 March 2017: When we were younger, when things were simpler
Week of 20 March 2017: When we were younger, when things were simpler

Today we spend lots of time talking about predictive, preventive maintenance and have all sorts of seminars and software to manage this. There is no excuse for not having a strong predictive, preventive maintenance program. But can it all come down to something as simple as proper care of bearings?

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Capital Arguments for March 2017
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Week of 13 March 2017: Maintenance Storerooms
Week of 13 March 2017: Maintenance Storerooms

If you have read my thoughts on maintenance storerooms over the years, you will accuse me of having been all over the place, and you will be correct. At one time, I adopted the attitude that everyone should do what they were best at doing, and in the case of paper mills, this was making paper, so they should outsource storerooms. I still think this is good for small consumables and specialized repairs (such as roll repairs and recovering). However, for other items, such as pump assemblies, screens, motors and so forth, keep your own--but take care of them. This philosophy certainly applies for existing papermills (but read to the end)...

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Week of 6 March 2017: Maintenance
Week of 6 March 2017: Maintenance "Costs"

We have been conditioned to think maintenance is a cost and unscheduled maintenance is acceptable. There is no basis for this logic; it is just a rumor passed around from board room to board room. It is time for your senior management to take a long hard look at the numbers, not the traditions...

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Week of 27 Feb 2017: Future jobs in transportation
Week of 27 Feb 2017: Future jobs in transportation

We have spent the entire month talking about driverless trucks, drones, robots and so forth. So what is in the future for humans in this scenario?

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Week of 20 Feb 2017: Deadheading Drones
Week of 20 Feb 2017: Deadheading Drones

We have heard a lot about drones delivering packages, but not so much about the return flights--there will be a lot of deadheading going on. Can this wasted transportation resource be put to good use?

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Capital Arguments for February 2017
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Week of 13 Feb 2017: Rethinking local transportation needs
Week of 13 Feb 2017: Rethinking local transportation needs

While last week I was talking about long distance transportation of pulp by pipelines, let's look at what should be done locally, given the current state of technology...

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Week of 6 Feb 2017: What has changed? What is new?
Week of 6 Feb 2017: What has changed? What is new?

This is transportation month at Paperitalo Publications. This week, we discuss trucks and pipelines...

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Week of 30 Jan 2017: Keeping Capital Project Costs Low
Week of 30 Jan 2017: Keeping Capital Project Costs Low

There are a number of actions by mill owners that drive up the costs of capital projects. We'll wrap up this month by touching on these...

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Week of 23 Jan 2017: What you don't know about your capital project
Week of 23 Jan 2017: What you don't know about your capital project

Construction projects are complicated, even the little ones. I can guarantee you that you can watch a five-million-dollar project all day long for its entire duration and you won't know half of what happened, not half the interactions that occurred over its duration. There is one contemporary and one post completion test you can do...

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Anthony Pratt urges California to lift its agricultural output
Anthony Pratt urges California to lift its agricultural output

Anthony Pratt has challenged America's most populous state to double the value of its food exports to more than $40 billion annually as his company prepares to build its first hi-tech box plant in California.

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Capital Arguments for January 2017
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Week of 16 Jan 2017: Why mills lose at capital projects
Week of 16 Jan 2017: Why mills lose at capital projects

In addition to the fantasyland I referenced last week, there are other issues in capital projects that are landmines...

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BillerudKorsnäs getting new board machine in Gruvön, Sweden
BillerudKorsnäs getting new board machine in Gruvön, Sweden

BillerudKorsnäs has awarded Voith with a fully equipped XcelLine board machine. The machine with a design speed of 1.200 m/min producing liquid packaging board, carton board, food service board and white kraft liner will be one of the largest board machines of its kind.

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Oji to add another Aussie plant for food packaging
Oji to add another Aussie plant for food packaging

Oji Holdings will construct a new Australian plant for food-grade cardboard boxes made from pulp, rather than recycled paper, for supply to local meat processors and farmers.

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First Quality Tissue to expand its operations in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
First Quality Tissue to expand its operations in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

First Quality Tissue, LLC a manufacturer of ultra-premium towel and tissue products, will expand its operations in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, a move that will create 184 new jobs.

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Week of 9 Jan 2017: Lawyers and Capital Projects
Week of 9 Jan 2017: Lawyers and Capital Projects

Having been in the industry for over forty years and having written my fair share of expert witness reports, I can tell you that major capital projects (over, say, USD 5 million) are more likely to end up in court than not. This does not have to be. OK, Jim, you say this does not have to be, then why does it happen? There are two or three conditions that cause construction court cases. They come up repeatedly...

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Week of 2 Jan 2017: Capital Projects are about to change
Week of 2 Jan 2017: Capital Projects are about to change

If you have been doing capital projects for only a few years, I think some surprises are just around the corner. Here is my assessment of where we are headed, assuming some natural or human-caused cataclysmic event does not occur...

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Capital Arguments for December 2016
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Capital Arguments for November 2016
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China's CAMC Engineering plans to invest in a new Finnish pulp mill
China's CAMC Engineering plans to invest in a new Finnish pulp mill

Boreal Bioref Oy, a new Finnish company, said on Thursday it had signed a letter of intent with China's CAMC Engineering over an investment in a new 780-million euro ($836 million) pulp mill project.

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Hood Container installing new equipment at St. Francisville paper mill
Hood Container installing new equipment at St. Francisville paper mill

Hood Container of Louisiana is installing new equipment at its St. Francisville paper manufacturing facility in a $61 million project that will add 10 jobs with an average salary of $51,450, plus benefits.

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Ashdown Mill Celebrates Startup of Fluff Pulp Machine
Ashdown Mill Celebrates Startup of Fluff Pulp Machine

Domtar's Ashdown Mill will mark a new day in the mill and company's history on Nov. 3, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the startup of a newly converted fluff pulp machine.

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Capital Arguments for October 2016
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Södra inaugurates new pulp mill in Sweden
Södra inaugurates new pulp mill in Sweden

Södra's new pulp mill in Värö was officially inaugurated on Friday 30 September.

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Tranlin hires engineer for paper mill
Tranlin hires engineer for paper mill

Chinese-owned Tranlin Inc. is taking a major step to proceed with its planned, $2 billion pulp mill.

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Capital Arguments for September 2016
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Toscotec dryer section rebuild successfully starts up at Sonoco Alcore mill in Italy
Toscotec dryer section rebuild successfully starts up at Sonoco Alcore mill in Italy

A Toscotec dryer section rebuild has been successfully started up at the Sonoco Alcore paper mill in Ciriè-Torino, Italy.

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Week of 25 January 2016: When Capital Projects Fail
Week of 25 January 2016: When Capital Projects Fail

Failure takes many forms--the budget was too low, the schedule was wrong, training was poor, markets were not as predicted and on and on and on. However, I have never seen a project fail badly if it had a good design basis...

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Week of 18 January 2016: Assets--the intended results of Capital Projects
Week of 18 January 2016: Assets--the intended results of Capital Projects

I once worked for a company that was proud of its capital projects and how the completion of such projects added to the assets of the company. The next company I worked for was proud of its return on investment (ROI) and had a philosophy of investing as little as possible in capital projects, for such investments drove down the ROI. This seems like a conundrum, but there are always other details that need to be explained to understand such matters...

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Week of 11 January 2016: Capital Projects are serious business--not fiction
Week of 11 January 2016: Capital Projects are serious business--not fiction

Capital projects consist of three elements--money, time, and space. Getting two out of three right is not too hard. Getting all three correct is like bowling a perfect game.

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Week of 4 January 2016: Welcome to January--especially those of you with new capital projects
Week of 4 January 2016: Welcome to January--especially those of you with new capital projects

A new year, and it is capital projects month on the Paperitalo Editorial Calendar. In my nearly forty-six years in this industry, I have seen capital projects from all sides. I have seen so many projects, from the truly frightful to shining examples, that I could write a book. In fact, I did. ... I want to start this month's columns with a slightly different slant. I want to begin by talking about the relationship between suppliers and owners.

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