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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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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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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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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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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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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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How many hours of uptime do you estimate your facility loses per year due to a lack of the correct spare part?
How many hours of uptime do you estimate your facility loses per year due to a lack of the correct spare part?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Residues climb as wood pellet feedstock
Residues climb as wood pellet feedstock

Wood pellet manufacturers in both the US and Canada are increasingly diversifying their feedstock to reduce fiber costs and take advantage of less utilized fiber sources, according to analysis by Wood Resources International.

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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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Does your company budget unplanned maintenance costs?
Does your company budget unplanned maintenance costs?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Anthony Pratt's Visy borrows $150m from super funds in groundbreaking deal
Anthony Pratt's Visy borrows $150m from super funds in groundbreaking deal

Anthony Pratt has struck a groundbreaking deal for his private manufacturing giant Visy Industries to raise $150 million in long-term debt from two Australian superannuation funds.

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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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Do you think there will be more or less attractive jobs in the transportation sector in the future?
Do you think there will be more or less attractive jobs in the transportation sector in the future?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Valmet to supply an evaporation line to Sappi's pulp mill in Ngodwana, South Africa
Valmet to supply an evaporation line to Sappi's pulp mill in Ngodwana, South Africa

Valmet will supply an evaporation line to Sappi Southern Africa Limited to be built at the company's pulp mill in Ngodwana, South Africa.

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RYECO announces new sheet-break detector
RYECO announces new sheet-break detector

Sheet-break failures from heat, debris, web strikes, operator paper-hooks, coating splashes, sizing splashes, mount failures, excessive sensor bouncing and more are a thing of the past with RYECO's new Smart-ONE Break Detection System.

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Cascades Sonoco Announces Multi-Million Dollar Investment in Birmingham, Ala., Facility
Cascades Sonoco Announces Multi-Million Dollar Investment in Birmingham, Ala., Facility

Cascades Sonoco, a joint venture of Sonoco Products Company and Cascades Inc. announced the investment of approximately $16 million for the expansion of its existing Birmingham, Ala., facility.

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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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Do you have any driverless vehicles on your site (inside or outside)?
Do you have any driverless vehicles on your site (inside or outside)?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Södra invests and expands sawmills
Södra invests and expands sawmills

Södra is investing just over SEK 200 million in the Långasjö, Värö, and Orrefors sawmills.

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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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How may years do you think it is until we have driverless trucks?
How may years do you think it is until we have driverless trucks?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Mondi Group acquires Excelsior Technologies
Mondi Group acquires Excelsior Technologies

Mondi Group has acquired 100% of the outstanding share capital of Excelsior Technologies Limited from funds managed by Endless LLP and certain other minority shareholders, for a total consideration of GBP 33 million (Euro 38 million), on a debt and cash-free basis.

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Avery Dennison says it will acquire Yongle Tape Company Ltd.
Avery Dennison says it will acquire Yongle Tape Company Ltd.

Avery Dennison announced it has agreed to acquire Yongle Tape Company Ltd., a manufacturer of specialty tapes and related products used in a variety of industrial markets, including the global automotive industry.

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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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What did Jim miss in helping you have a successful capital project?
What did Jim miss in helping you have a successful capital project?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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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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Has your mill ever been harmed by the way a general contractor treated a subcontractor?
Has your mill ever been harmed by the way a general contractor treated a subcontractor?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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AF&PA Elects New Chair, Announces Officers
AF&PA Elects New Chair, Announces Officers

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced the election of Clearwater Paper Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Linda Massman as the new AF&PA Board Chair and released the 2017 slate of AF&PA Board officers.

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Nippon Paper acquiring Plus Paper Foodpac
Nippon Paper acquiring Plus Paper Foodpac

Japan's Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd is entering the Indian market by acquiring the largest local paper cup manufacturing company owned by the BK Modi Group for an undisclosed amount.

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Definitive Agreement Reached for WestRock to Acquire Multi Packaging Solutions for $18 per share
Definitive Agreement Reached for WestRock to Acquire Multi Packaging Solutions for $18 per share

WestRock Company and Multi Packaging Solutions International Limited announced Tuesday that a definitive agreement has been reached for WestRock to acquire all of the outstanding shares of MPS for $18.00 per share in cash and the assumption of an estimated $873 million in net debt, for a total enterprise value of $2.28 billion.

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American Forest & Paper Association Backs Presidential Directive in Support of Manufacturing Growth
American Forest & Paper Association Backs Presidential Directive in Support of Manufacturing Growth

American Forest & Paper Association President & CEO Donna Harman issued a statement in support of President Trump's directive to support U.S. manufacturing by expediting the permitting process and reducing regulatory burden affecting domestic manufacturing.

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Kadant Solutions Introduces the Next Generation Creping Holder
Kadant Solutions Introduces the Next Generation Creping Holder

Kadant Solutions, a division of Kadant Inc., announced the launch of its Conformatic™ AL creping holder

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WestRock Enters Into Definitive Agreement to Divest Home, Health and Beauty Business for $1.025 Billion
WestRock Enters Into Definitive Agreement to Divest Home, Health and Beauty Business for $1.025 Billion

WestRock Company announced Monday, 23 Jan 2017, that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Silgan Holdings Inc. under which Silgan will purchase WestRock's Home, Health and Beauty business for $1.025 billion in cash plus the assumption of approximately $25 million in foreign pension liability.

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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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Friendly suppliers
Friendly suppliers

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Researchers, $1M in grants to help Maine recover from 'natural disaster' of mill closures
Researchers, $1M in grants to help Maine recover from 'natural disaster' of mill closures

About $1 million in federal grants and access to the federal laboratory that began the Atomic Age will help the state's $8.5 billion forest products industry determine its future, officials announced Wednesday.

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First Nation Forestry Council and four B.C. Pulp & Paper Companies work together to promote greater co-operation
First Nation Forestry Council and four B.C. Pulp & Paper Companies work together to promote greater co-operation

The First Nation Forestry Council and four B.C. pulp and paper companies are pleased to announce they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote and support the growing role and influence of First Nations in the B.C. forest sector. The four companies include: Catalyst Paper, Nanaimo Forest Products (Harmac), Paper Excellence Canada and Zellstoff Celgar Limited Partnership.

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BillerudKorsnäs makes further investment in Internet of Packaging
BillerudKorsnäs makes further investment in Internet of Packaging

BillerudKorsnäs is taking a further step into the Internet of Packaging by investing in a minority holding in UK technology company Hanhaa.

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Fire at Kaukauna, Wisconsin Expera paper mill
Fire at Kaukauna, Wisconsin Expera paper mill

KAUKAUNA, Wisconsin (From WLUK) -- Fire in a ventilation system at a Kaukauna paper mill was quickly put out Friday afternoon, the 13th of January.

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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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Have you ever seen a capital project end up in court?
Have you ever seen a capital project end up in court?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Social Security Administration Suspends Mailing of Social Security Earnings Statements, Leaving Many without Access to Critical Savings Tool
Social Security Administration Suspends Mailing of Social Security Earnings Statements, Leaving Many without Access to Critical Savings Tool

Consumers for Paper Options, a coalition advocating for access to important paper-based services and information, has expressed strong opposition to a new decision by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to suspend the mailing of Social Security Statements to workers under the age of 60.

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AF&PA Targets Regulations, Taxes, Transportation, Trade Among Top 2017 Advocacy Priorities
AF&PA Targets Regulations, Taxes, Transportation, Trade Among Top 2017 Advocacy Priorities

The American Forest & Paper Association announced 2017 advocacy priorities that include smarter regulations to unleash economic growth, comprehensive tax reform, efficient transportation and trade policies that advance U.S. competitiveness. The association will pursue these over the coming year to support the paper and wood product manufacturing industry's ability to create jobs and grow the economy.

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Kemira invests in expansion of ASA capacity in Nanjing, China
Kemira invests in expansion of ASA capacity in Nanjing, China

Kemira announced that it will make a multi-million euro investment in the production line expansion of sizing agent (ASA) at its Nanjing site in China.

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Trump adviser wants mega-mergers, like DuPont Dow, blocked
Trump adviser wants mega-mergers, like DuPont Dow, blocked

Bruce Rastetter, an Iowa entrepreneur and ag adviser to Donald Trump, wants the president-elect to block pending mega-mergers like the $130 billion marriage between DuPont and Dow Chemical Co.

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Report: Paper industry still vital part of Maine's economy
Report: Paper industry still vital part of Maine's economy

The death of Maine's pulp and paper industry is highly exaggerated. That's the conclusion of a new preliminary report by Mindy Crandall, an assistant professor of Forest Management and Economics at the University of Maine.

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Glatfelter Names Tim Hess to Lead Specialty Papers Business Unit
Glatfelter Names Tim Hess to Lead Specialty Papers Business Unit

Glatfelter announced the promotion of Timothy R. Hess to Senior Vice President and Business Unit President, Specialty Papers.

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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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Do you think capital project activity is about to heat up?
Do you think capital project activity is about to heat up?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Buyer of closed Madison, Maine paper mill envisions success with new use
Buyer of closed Madison, Maine paper mill envisions success with new use

Gregory Schain of New Mill Capital Holdings in New York City points to one recent success his company has had in Maine as he looks to the company's newest acquisition: the shuttered Madison Paper Industries mill.

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Södra: New autumn planting record
Södra: New autumn planting record

In autumn 2016, 6.1 million saplings from Södra were planted. This is an increase of 1.3 million saplings compared with the 2015 autumn planting season. Södra delivered a total of 33.6 million saplings in 2016.

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Stora Enso divests Formeca
Stora Enso divests Formeca

Stora Enso has divested its 100% shareholding in its Finnish subsidiary Formeca Oy, a provider of high-quality machines for automated packaging lines, to Amitec Oy, a specialised engineering and machine construction company based in Finland.

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Valmet to supply white liquor pressure disc filter to Daio Paper in Japan
Valmet to supply white liquor pressure disc filter to Daio Paper in Japan

Valmet will deliver a white liquor pressure disc filter to Daio Paper Co. Ltd's Mishima pulp mill in Japan.

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Crown Timber changes name to Södra Wood Ltd
Crown Timber changes name to Södra Wood Ltd

On 1 January, Crown Timber Group Plc was renamed Södra Wood Ltd. The forest industry Group Södra acquired Crown Timber in March last year and the integration of the companies has proceeded at a high pace since then, culminating with this name change.

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 AF&PA Statement on Proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Kraft Pulp Mills
AF&PA Statement on Proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Kraft Pulp Mills

"By signing the proposed rule, the EPA has indicated that the 2001 maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rule protects public health: That's a positive testament to our industry's investments and commitment to air quality and sustainability..."

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Closed Madison, Maine mill sold to 'joint venture' of companies
Closed Madison, Maine mill sold to 'joint venture' of companies

Madison Paper Industries, which closed in May and put about 215 people out of work, has been sold to a buyer with plans to put the property back into use as an industrial site.

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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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Valmet delivers a defibrator system to Quansen Wood in China
Valmet delivers a defibrator system to Quansen Wood in China

Valmet will deliver a defibrator system to Quansen Wood Co., Ltd's new fiberboard line located in Mengcheng county in Anhui province, China.

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Södra: Record increase in timber exports to Poland
Södra: Record increase in timber exports to Poland

Södra's exports of sawn timber to Poland have increased 150 percent in 2016. Although Poland is not an entirely new market for Södra, it has grown rapidly in recent years and is interesting from various perspectives.

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Fire at Smurfit facility
Fire at Smurfit facility

Firefighters from Forney and Terrell extinguished a fire at the Smurfit Kappa paper mill on Friday night.

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Week of 26 Dec 2016: Energy/Perception/ Environment Blend
Week of 26 Dec 2016: Energy/Perception/ Environment Blend

Whether you are the CEO, Mill Manger, Energy Czar or a Project Engineer, your job today is more demanding than ever as we deal with energy, the environment and public perception...

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Do you think your mill will be revising its energy budget in the first quarter of 2017?
Do you think your mill will be revising its energy budget in the first quarter of 2017?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Brazil's Hypermarcas in talks to sell diaper unit to Belgium's Ontex
Brazil's Hypermarcas in talks to sell diaper unit to Belgium's Ontex

Belgium's Ontex Group NV is in advanced talks to buy the diapers business of Hypermarcas SA, Brazil's most diversified pharmaceutical firm, the companies said.

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Fortress Paper enters into an agreement with Chadwick Wasilenkoff for his continued role as executive chairman
Fortress Paper enters into an agreement with Chadwick Wasilenkoff for his continued role as executive chairman

Fortress Paper Ltd. announced that it has entered into an agreement with Chadwick Wasilenkoff for his continued role as Executive Chairman of the Company on a full-time basis.

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Universal Forest Products senior executive sentenced to prison time
Universal Forest Products senior executive sentenced to prison time

A Universal Forest Products executive was sentenced in federal court on Thursday to 50 months in prison for conspiracy, mail fraud, money-laundering and making false statements in a loan application in connection with the construction of Vineyard Commons in Highland, N.Y.

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SCA enters wound care with $2.9 billion deal
SCA enters wound care with $2.9 billion deal

Svenska Cellulosa AB will acquire BSN Medical for 2.74 billion euros ($2.9 billion) as the Swedish maker of Velvet tissues expands into wound care and orthopedics ahead of a planned split from forestry products.

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Clearwater Paper Acquires Manchester Industries
Clearwater Paper Acquires Manchester Industries

Clearwater Paper Corporation announced it has acquired Manchester Industries of Richmond, Virginia, a leading, independently-owned paperboard sales, sheeting and distribution supplier to the packaging and commercial print industries.

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Glatfelter Announces Planned Executive Leadership Transition in Human Resources
Glatfelter Announces Planned Executive Leadership Transition in Human Resources

Glatfelter announced that Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Administration, William T. Yanavitch II, will retire from the company, effective March 31, 2017.

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Week of 19 Dec 2016: I told you energy is political!
Week of 19 Dec 2016: I told you energy is political!

For many years, I have been telling the faithful readers of this column that energy is a political issue. Now the proof is in...

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Estimate the number of VFD pumps installed in your mill
Estimate the number of VFD pumps installed in your mill

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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UPM biodiversity programme receives an honourable mention from FIBS
UPM biodiversity programme receives an honourable mention from FIBS

The UPM biodiversity programme received an honourable mention in the 2016 corporate biodiversity awards by Finland's leading corporate responsibility network FIBS. The six finalists presented their proposals to a judging panel and audience in a pitching event.

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Watchdog launches action over 'flushable' wipes advertising
Watchdog launches action over 'flushable' wipes advertising

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it had instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Kimberly-Clark Australia and White King seller Pental Limited.

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U.S. President-elect Trump's get-tough trade plan could benefit Maine forest industry
U.S. President-elect Trump's get-tough trade plan could benefit Maine forest industry

Maine sawmills and timber harvesters could benefit if President-elect Donald Trump goes through with a draft plan to aggressively renegotiate trade terms for competing softwood lumber imported from Canada.

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ABB launches online system for measuring, monitoring and controlling freeness in pulp mixtures
ABB launches online system for measuring, monitoring and controlling freeness in pulp mixtures

ABB has launched L&W Freeness Online, what the company describes as a reliable, repeatable and cost-effective online system for measuring, monitoring and controlling key quality variables - Canadian Standard Freeness (CSF) and Schopper-Riegler (SR) - in paper stock preparation.

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Company: Florida lignin investment approved
Company: Florida lignin investment approved

The board of directors of Borregaard and Rayonier Advanced Materials have decided to go ahead with the investment project in Florida after securing necessary permits as well as incentives from local authorities.

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Week of 12 Dec 2016: Easy Energy Money
Week of 12 Dec 2016: Easy Energy Money

These two ideas have been around for a very long time, but I am amazed at how many people don't use them, not just in replacement scenarios, but in new installations. The first one I want to mention is regenerative drives. The other application is VFD (variable frequency drives) on pumps...

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BillerudKorsnäs explores new technologies - launches full scale tests adding MFC to its paperboard
BillerudKorsnäs explores new technologies - launches full scale tests adding MFC to its paperboard

After promising initial tests, BillerudKorsnäs is now moving ahead with full scale trials adding microfibrillated cellulose, MFC, to its paperboard products. The initiative is made possible through a new cooperation with Norwegian biorefinery pioneer Borregaard.

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Stora Enso - Change in the reporting of costs related to growth of biological assets
Stora Enso - Change in the reporting of costs related to growth of biological assets

Stora Enso is changing its reporting regarding the costs related to the growth of biological assets (i.e. growing trees) starting from the fourth quarter of 2016.

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UPM Biofuels joins Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials
UPM Biofuels joins Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials

UPM has become member of RSB, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials. RSB is a global standard and certification scheme for sustainable production of biomaterials and biofuels. It is also an independent multi-stakeholder coalition, which works to support the sustainability of biomaterials.

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Longview, Washington millworkers to vote on new KapStone offer
Longview, Washington millworkers to vote on new KapStone offer

Millworkers will vote on a new contract offer from KapStone next week, more than two years after their original contract expired.

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Austrian, Chinese victims of Pakistan crash worked for Andritz group
Austrian, Chinese victims of Pakistan crash worked for Andritz group

The two Austrians and a Chinese man who died in a plane crash in Pakistan worked for Austrian engineering group Andritz on a hydropower project in the north of the country, a spokesman for the company said on Wednesday.

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Nippon Paper Industries reviews the production structure of glassine paper
Nippon Paper Industries reviews the production structure of glassine paper

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. decided to review the production structure of glassine paper and achieve a more efficient production structure, as part of the restructuring initiatives, on the basis of the contraction of the domestic paper market.

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Interfor completes sale of Tacoma sawmill property
Interfor completes sale of Tacoma sawmill property

Interfor Corporation has completed the final step in the monetization of its former sawmill in Tacoma, Washington, with the closing of the sale of the Tacoma sawmill property for gross proceeds of $32.4 million.

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Week of 5 Dec 2016: Power & Energy
Week of 5 Dec 2016: Power & Energy

We are headed for a crisis. We have a combination of operators who have little physical understanding of the systems they operate, some of them have an attitude, and, on top of that, the hardware and software that serve as their crutches is obsolete. We want to do something about this...

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Have you ever changed venue, path or some other physical condition in order to gain a different perspective on a problem?
Have you ever changed venue, path or some other physical condition in order to gain a different perspective on a problem?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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CelluForce and Fibria sign a strategic partnership agreement
CelluForce and Fibria sign a strategic partnership agreement

Buoyed by growing interest and technological advances in its innovative product called CelluForce NCC™, a form of high quality cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), CelluForce has signed a multifaceted strategic partnership with Fibria.

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Stora Enso celebrating 100 years on the Helsinki Stock Exchange
Stora Enso celebrating 100 years on the Helsinki Stock Exchange

Stora Enso is one of the world's oldest limited companies and has a documented history dating back to 1288 when shares were issued in Stora Kopparberg. On the Helsinki Stock Exchange Stora Enso has been listed for 100 years.​

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Veritiv opens Fairfield, Ohio operations center
Veritiv opens Fairfield, Ohio operations center

After opening its new operations center in Fairfield, Veritiv Corp. is looking forward to expanding its workforce in the region.

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Week of 28 Nov 2016: Innovation--when you are stuck
Week of 28 Nov 2016: Innovation--when you are stuck

This week, we talk about some tricks you can use to unplug an innovation log jam...

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Looking back on your career, do you think there is more innovation now?
Looking back on your career, do you think there is more innovation now?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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DuPont to end pension contribution for active employees
DuPont to end pension contribution for active employees

DuPont will no longer contribute to active employees' pension plans, a move that will affect the retirement of 13,000 workers.

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Week of 21 Nov 2016: Innovations--winners and losers
Week of 21 Nov 2016: Innovations--winners and losers

I thought I would spend some time this week talking about some of the innovations I have witnessed over the years...

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Technical difficulties
Technical difficulties

With our quiz this past week...

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OMNOVA Solutions Inc. announces CEO succession
OMNOVA Solutions Inc. announces CEO succession

OMNOVA Solutions Inc. is moving forward with its CEO succession process, and Kevin M. McMullen is stepping down as Chairman, CEO and President, and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective December 1, 2016, to pursue other interests.

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Week of 14 Nov 2016: I can teach you innovation
Week of 14 Nov 2016: I can teach you innovation

I concluded several years ago, that while people like me may be naturally wired to be innovative, creativity can be taught. It boils down to several steps or realizations. I don't think I have shared these in such a wide audience before. So, here goes...

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How to add innovation to our industry
How to add innovation to our industry

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Duluth, Minn. caps electric franchise fee, saving Verso $390,000
Duluth, Minn. caps electric franchise fee, saving Verso $390,000

Heeding concerns that a proposed franchise fee could jeopardize the future of Verso Corp.'s paper mill in West Duluth and the 260 jobs it provides, city councilors unanimously voted Monday night to roll back the fee the company could have seen tacked onto its mammoth electric bill.

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Week of 7 Nov 2016: How to add innovation to our industry
Week of 7 Nov 2016: How to add innovation to our industry

The secret to innovation is to carve out the risk of innovation and allocate it to investors who have the attitude to handle it...

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The final act
The final act

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Longtime Louisiana-Pacific CEO Harry Merlo dies at 91
Longtime Louisiana-Pacific CEO Harry Merlo dies at 91

Harry Merlo, the former long-timer chief executive officer of Louisiana-Pacific Corp., died Oct. 24. He was 91.

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Week of 31 Oct 2016: Quality--the final act
Week of 31 Oct 2016: Quality--the final act

Time and again, I have seen people conduct themselves in an exemplary manner throughout their careers, only to find themselves departing their places of employment in an untimely fashion. Once I went to work in a paper mill where this had happened en masse just before I arrived. The place was a mess. Whole departments had been eliminated and it looked as if the people had just left for a fire drill...

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Do you think you treat business acquaintances the same, no matter whether they are customers or suppliers?
Do you think you treat business acquaintances the same, no matter whether they are customers or suppliers?

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Week of 24 Oct 2016: Other Quality, Part 2
Week of 24 Oct 2016: Other Quality, Part 2

In the vein of what we discussed last week, let's continue. An area where I think many fall down, especially if they are not used to being in this particular venue, is customer relations. When in doubt, defer to your customer...

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Being on time
Being on time

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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SCA and the UN Foundation Convene Fourth Annual Dialogue on the United Nation's Global Agenda
SCA and the UN Foundation Convene Fourth Annual Dialogue on the United Nation's Global Agenda

SCA President and CEO Magnus Groth to address the power of public-private partnerships in achieving the Global Agenda and advancing hygiene awareness and standards globally.

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SCA Recognized as World Leader for Corporate Action on Climate Change
SCA Recognized as World Leader for Corporate Action on Climate Change

SCA has been identified as a global leader for its strategies and actions in response to climate change and has been awarded a position on the Climate A List by CDP, the international not-for-profit that drives sustainable economies.

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Duluth, Minn. to modify electric fee to help paper mill
Duluth, Minn. to modify electric fee to help paper mill

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson announced Tuesday that her administration will ask the City Council next week to amend its ordinance which raises the city's electric utility franchise fee from 1 percent to 3 percent starting next year, bending to the complaints from the Verso paper mill that said the higher fee could force its closure.

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SCA Joins the Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 program
SCA Joins the Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 program

SCA announced that it has joined the Circular Economy 100 (CE100), an Ellen MacArthur Foundation program established to enable organizations to develop new circular opportunities.

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Week of 17 Oct 2016: Other Quality, part 1
Week of 17 Oct 2016: Other Quality, part 1

Quality comes in many shapes and forms. I want to talk about some of them this week...

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On Inside Quality
On Inside Quality

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Pratt Industries sets new production record
Pratt Industries sets new production record

Pratt Industries announced that it has set a company production record recently when the company's four, 100% recycled paper mills combined to produce more than 5,000 tons of the "industry's best paper" for the first time in a single day.

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Verso paper mill workers in Minnesota ask West Duluth council to reconsider electric franchise fee
Verso paper mill workers in Minnesota ask West Duluth council to reconsider electric franchise fee

Employees of the Verso Paper Co. in West Duluth again implored city council members Monday night to reconsider their decision last month to triple a local electric franchise fee it charges.

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Week of 10 Oct 2016: Inside Quality
Week of 10 Oct 2016: Inside Quality

Quality must not be an attribute that employees think can be turned on or off, dependent on time, place and resources. Apply the same quality everywhere all the time. Your business will thank you for it.

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'Imminent' spruce budworm outbreak worries New Brunswick forest industry
'Imminent' spruce budworm outbreak worries New Brunswick forest industry

Insect been wreaking havoc near border in Quebec and several 'hot spots' in province have been sprayed

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Veritiv forms new business services segment, appoints three executives
Veritiv forms new business services segment, appoints three executives

Veritiv Corp. has formed a new business segment, Veritiv Services, to oversee growth of the company's logistics and value-added services.

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N.C. State conference a big
N.C. State conference a big "family reunion"

More than 300 attend annual meeting and LGMI conference is coming to Raleigh in mid-October

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Week of 3 Oct 2016: How much quality?
Week of 3 Oct 2016: How much quality?

Once in my career, a boss told me we were building too much quality into our products. He said we should provide only the quality the customer expects. That might be true if "extra" quality costs extra expense which you cannot recover. There is another way to look at this...

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There are only two requirements for a successful career
There are only two requirements for a successful career

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Week of 26 Sep 2016: There are only two requirements for a successful career*
Week of 26 Sep 2016: There are only two requirements for a successful career*

*All else being equal and if you always behave in a legal, moral and ethical manner and you understand that the invoice printer is the most important machine in any enterprise. These are a given and you should already know them by now, if you have been following me for any length of time. After forty-six and one half years of observing modern business life, I think it does indeed boil down to two things, at least in large corporations...

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Do you think your CEO exhibits psychopathic traits?
Do you think your CEO exhibits psychopathic traits?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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AF&PA appoints new communications director
AF&PA appoints new communications director

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has selected Barbara Riley as communications director.

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Week of 19 Sep 2016: Make them sign for it
Week of 19 Sep 2016: Make them sign for it

A recent study, done by Australian Bond University and the University of San Diego, of US CEOs in the supply chain industry found that 21 percent had "clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits" (psychopath: a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior). Based on my 46 years in industry, I think they have nailed it, perhaps even gotten the number a bit low. So, this column is for the other 79% of you...

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Coldwater acquires EZ eco smart cleaner Technology for Wires and Press Felts-- 90% Less Water and Eliminates Need for Mist Removal
Coldwater acquires EZ eco smart cleaner Technology for Wires and Press Felts-- 90% Less Water and Eliminates Need for Mist Removal

David Withers, President, announced that Coldwater has acquired the EZ eco smart cleaner technology for wires and press felts.

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Are you management material?
Are you management material?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Week of 12 Sep 2016: Are you management material?
Week of 12 Sep 2016: Are you management material?

Some, not all, young people in the industry often want to know what it takes to get into management. The answer is simple to state, a bit more difficult to execute. It is this: perform beyond expectations and become known for it. However, before we go further into this (likely next week), let's discuss some matters that you can use to test yourself to determine if you have the disposition to be a manager...

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Week of 5 Sep 2016: Hard or soft?
Week of 5 Sep 2016: Hard or soft?

Every facility in our industry has two types of assets--hard and soft. By hard I mean buildings, machinery, process control systems and so forth. By soft I mean people. When a facility produces products for a vibrant market (defined as steady or growing, not declining), which are more important to its success--the hard assets or the soft assets?

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Week of 29 Aug 2016: Corruption Month 2016, fifth week
Week of 29 Aug 2016: Corruption Month 2016, fifth week

As Corruption Month 2016 comes to a close, Pulp Rats Vel and Hae relate their experiences to Great Grandmother and the rest of the council...

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Louisiana Flood and Paperitalo Friends
Louisiana Flood and Paperitalo Friends

Louisiana is home to a significant portion of the North American pulp and paper industry, both mills and suppliers. When I think back to the business I have done over the decades in Louisiana, the volume is staggering (I received my first project in Louisiana in 1979 in Bogalusa). Right now several of our clients call Louisiana home as well as do many of our friends.

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Week of 22 Aug 2016: Corruption Month 2016, fourth week
Week of 22 Aug 2016: Corruption Month 2016, fourth week

"I did not relate this story to the council, but I wanted to share it with you readers of Mr. Jim's column. It happened in a place where I lived and it is a bit complicated, for I do not understand all the things the Big Things do. Apparently, from the best I can gather, the Big Things make paper products for something called money. They hand other Big Things products they make and these Big Things give them this money in return. Why, I don't understand, but that is the way things seem to work..." Fos the Pulp Rat continues his tale.

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Week of 15 Aug 2016: Corruption Month 2016, third week
Week of 15 Aug 2016: Corruption Month 2016, third week

How many times have you seen a less than honest performer running out the back door as the investigators are coming in the front door? It happens quite often. Fos the Pulp Rat continues his tale...

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Week of 8 Aug 2016: Corruption Month 2016, second week
Week of 8 Aug 2016: Corruption Month 2016, second week

When the rats know we have to follow the rules, there is no excuse for us humans, is there?

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Week of 1 Aug 2016: It's corruption month!
Week of 1 Aug 2016: It's corruption month!

If you are a new reader, a bit of explanation is in order. In the trade journal business, at least in the northern hemisphere, August is the lightest readership month of the year. So, last year we tried something different to perk up August. We labeled it "Corruption Month" and let Fos, a pulp rat, write the stories. This was a huge hit. So, Fos is back again with more tales from the dark side of the pulp and paper industry and beyond...

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Week of 25 July 2016: Impact
Week of 25 July 2016: Impact

What is the impact of your mill on the world as a whole? The truth is we don't know--no one knows because there are simply bits of science yet to be discovered. It is likely, however, that the impact is not as great as environmental NGOs say it is and not as little as your CEO may concede...

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Week of 18 July 2016: Just one more
Week of 18 July 2016: Just one more

Today the number of regulations with which a business or even a homeowner must comply has reached an incalculable quantity. It is as if one were reading the Book of Leviticus and attempting to understand how one properly prepares for the Jewish Sabbath--times ten million. The regulators, bureaucrats and their contractors see it to be their sacred duty to write just one more regulation. This leaves us with an impossible task--how to comply with all the regulations and the new ones constantly being foisted upon us...

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Week of 11 July 2016: The source of regulations
Week of 11 July 2016: The source of regulations

Last week I gave you my definition of regulations: "Regulations are imposed by those who have artificially gained power on those who own assets." I would like to spend this column discussing those who have artificially gained power. There are three groups that come to mind when I think of those who have artificially gained power. They are environmental NGOs, lawyers and governments. Let's take these one at a time...

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Week of 4 July 2016: Saving us from ourselves
Week of 4 July 2016: Saving us from ourselves

This is environment/regulations month here at Paperitalo Publications. Issues surrounding the environment and regulations necessarily, unless you subscribe to conspiracy theories, involve the mitigation of risks. I'll tell a story on myself to set the stage....

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Week of 27 June 2016: What's in a Contract? Part 3
Week of 27 June 2016: What's in a Contract? Part 3

As we wrap up procurement month, I want to talk to you about performance-based contracts. These are very different from most other contracts. They can be complicated to write, but if awarded to a competent bidder, can bring guaranteed results...

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Week of 20 June 2016: What's in a Contract? Part 2
Week of 20 June 2016: What's in a Contract? Part 2

We talked last week about what is not in a contract and the premise that in the eyes of the law in most places, if money has exchanged hands you have a contract. This week I wanted to take a higher level look at what one might want to include in a contract. And, we'll further simplify it by focusing on a contract that is of the "time and material" variety...

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Week of 13 June 2016: What's in a contract? Part 1
Week of 13 June 2016: What's in a contract? Part 1

It is true that if you want something in a contract, you must put it in the contract. It is also true that there are things not in a contract that are implied. A basic principle in the laws in the United States at least is this: if you accept money to do a task, there is a contract. It may be a verbal contract, but it is indeed a contract. Unfortunately, such contracts, if they involve a substantial claim by one party against another, will be sorted out the expensive way--in court. Here's an example...

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Week of 6 June 2016: Procurement Follies
Week of 6 June 2016: Procurement Follies

It is procurement month at Paperitalo Publications. The mill-related troublesome issues that can be attributed to the purchasing department are myriad and legion. This is not to say that there are not great purchasing agents, but this is a focal point of interaction with outsiders. It can lead to grand levels of loss through misunderstanding, incompetence and fraud. I want to discuss two issues today, two issues that are critical even before one arrives at the content of purchasing documents...

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Week of 30 May 2016: A flight of fantasy--wild and crazy energy ideas
Week of 30 May 2016: A flight of fantasy--wild and crazy energy ideas

As we wrap up energy month, let's look at some completely kooky ideas for saving energy. The naysayers will have their negative comments, but keep in mind what looks kooky now may be the greatest thing in just a few years. After all, if a mere two hundred years ago had you tried to speculate on humankind's harnessing and use of electricity coming in just a couple of centuries, you would have been labeled a complete nut-job. So, here we go...

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Week of 23 May 2016: The easiest energy savings
Week of 23 May 2016: The easiest energy savings

The easiest energy savings follow the same philosophy as the easiest safety improvements. If it does not exist, it cannot hurt you or consume energy. Your first reaction will be this: we don't operate anything we don't need in order to run our facility. Really? I'll bet I could find all sorts of things to turn off or modify in your facility...

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Week of 16 May 2016: Energy ROI Calculations are suspect
Week of 16 May 2016: Energy ROI Calculations are suspect

Energy projects have to be looked at from many angles, particularly if they are a significant investment as compared to the depreciated value of the assets they serve. Don't develop a cost overhang situation that will sink the mill if you guessed wrong (and you can count on guessing wrong). This is why you have to develop several scenarios...

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Week of 9 May 2016: Energy Leakage
Week of 9 May 2016: Energy Leakage

If a mill is thinking about adding to their energy generation sources, that is by adding another boiler to their fleet--it is time to pause and take a deep breath. It is one thing if you are changing fuels, quite another if you are just adding to your total steam generation capacity...

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Week of 2 May 2016: Energy is always political
Week of 2 May 2016: Energy is always political

As we start Energy Trends month here at Paperitalo Publications, I want to make sure those of you with a few less years of experience than I have understand that energy is probably the most concomitant political and scientific subject you will ever face...

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Week of 25 April 2016: The safest mill
Week of 25 April 2016: The safest mill

If adding things makes a site more hazardous, taking them away should reduce the hazards. The problem is, that over time, we get used to the hazards around us and pay no attention to them until we encounter them in an accident-causing situation...

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Week of 18 April 2016: When safety is used by top management to set an example
Week of 18 April 2016: When safety is used by top management to set an example

Last week's column was titled, "Does Senior Management cause Safety Issues?" This week, I want to report on two incidents of which I have direct knowledge where safety missteps by plant managers got them fired...

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Week of 11 April 2016: Does Senior Management cause Safety Issues?
Week of 11 April 2016: Does Senior Management cause Safety Issues?

There are times when the demands of management, which I'll admit include demands to conduct all work in a safe manner, sometimes force us to forget safety and push on to achieve the business operational objectives. Further, there is often a fine line when one is ascertaining how to proceed. Nearly everything we do has a dangerous component to it...

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Week of 4 April 2016: Kicking off Safety Month
Week of 4 April 2016: Kicking off Safety Month

It is Safety Month at Paperitalo Publications. Let's start off by understanding two things: (1) serious, sometimes fatal accidents occur in our mills today, this is not something that happens in the past or somewhere else and (2) what we tell our fellow employees, through words, deeds and actions is extremely important to conducting operations in a safe manner.

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Week of 28 March 2016: The greatest of these is love
Week of 28 March 2016: The greatest of these is love

No matter the department, people who love their jobs and care for the assets are the best inside-the-fence chance your mill has at succeeding.
This goes double for maintenance.

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Week of 21 March 2016: More on Boneyards and more
Week of 21 March 2016: More on Boneyards and more

We humans have a propensity for collecting things; it is in our nature. There is an entire industry that has developed in the last three or four decades to cater to this mental disorder--the self-storage industry. You drive by self-storage units all the time--how many of them do you think hold contents whose value equals just one year's rental on the unit? Just because we are in the corporate world does not mean we do not make poor decisions about keeping junk.

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Week of 14 March 2016: From whence comes Maintenance Personnel?
Week of 14 March 2016: From whence comes Maintenance Personnel?

In decades past, in the United States, engineering students came off the farm. It was often a first step up for farm family children to go to engineering school. I was a classic example. I left the farm and became a mechanical engineer. Today, entry level personnel, even if they are trained engineers, often do not have the practical background we used to have...

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Week of 7 March 2016: How to know if a mill is well maintained
Week of 7 March 2016: How to know if a mill is well maintained

You will never know if a mill is well maintained if you follow the mill's "tour route"--you know, the route they keep clean and in great shape for executives, board members and customers. Didn't know that mills have "tour routes"? Have I got some hot property in Florida for you! In a mill that is in really bad shape, you won't have to go to the places I am going to tell you about, for they, that is those in charge, will never let you get there. Thus, the first clue you are in a poorly maintained mill is if you run into resistance to a full blown tour...

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Week of 29 February 2016: Communications
Week of 29 February 2016: Communications

Over my career, the best operating mills and companies I have seen have had very open communications. In these systems, there is a culture encouraging communications between departments and between mills. Conversely, the worst I have seen have been those with a fortress mentality, both internally to a site, between departments and externally to the site, between mills. The worst I have ever seen was in a company making grades in declining markets. The mills saw each other as every bit as big a competitor as the mills actually belonging to competitors...

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Week of 22 February 2016: Transportation on your site
Week of 22 February 2016: Transportation on your site

In some cases, I have seen mills go to great lengths to negotiate strong contracts for their long-haul freight, only to ignore what was happening on their own property, perhaps because of the location of their mills. You can't do much about the location of your mill, if you happen to have arrived after the grand opening. But you might be able to do something about the shuffling of trucks, containers and rail cars about your site...

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Week of 15 February 2016: I've been workin' on the railroad!
Week of 15 February 2016: I've been workin' on the railroad!

Railroads could advance a lot further in serving their customers--in our case, pulp and paper mills and their customers...

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Week of 8 February 2016: The Red Ball Express
Week of 8 February 2016: The Red Ball Express

When the Allies invaded France in June of 1944, they knew they would have to conquer transportation problems if they were to be successful in reaching their objective. Starting on 24 August 1944 and running until 16 November 1944, the Red Ball Express operated 5,958 vehicles and moved 12,500 tons of freight each and every day from the coast of France to the front lines.

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Week of 1 February 2016: Transportation--taking your clues from trucks
Week of 1 February 2016: Transportation--taking your clues from trucks

Where will we see automation next? Driverless trucks. They are less than five years away, folks. You can take it to the bank. The question is, will you be ready for them in your mill?

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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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Week of 28 December 2015: Energy and Culture in your Mill
Week of 28 December 2015: Energy and Culture in your Mill

As we wrap up power and energy month here at Paperitalo Publications, remember this: unless energy prices change rapidly and drastically (either up or down), the actual practices of energy consumption in your mill are likely driven by your mill's culture more than any other parameter. Of course, this is true of nearly everything that happens in your mill, but it bears noting in particular as we look at energy consumption.

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Week of 21 December 2015: Understanding the scale of energy generation
Week of 21 December 2015: Understanding the scale of energy generation

Here in the pulp and paper industry, we have a difficult problem explaining our energy needs to the public. The scale of our facilities, the energy needs, just do not compute for the individual who is not regularly exposed to the scale of the business. This works to our detriment when the population puts pressure on the politicians. What to do about this?

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Week of 14 December 2015: Your 2016 Energy Budget
Week of 14 December 2015: Your 2016 Energy Budget

If you want to wring unpredictability out of your energy budget, you will push conservation no matter the price of your energy sources. Energy that you don't have to purchase (at any price) reflects energy costs that cannot destabilize your energy budget. It is as simple as that.

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Week of 7 December 2015: A modest start
Week of 7 December 2015: A modest start

Where can we use the force of gravity to eliminate energy costs?

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Week of 23 November 2015: Innovation can be bought
Week of 23 November 2015: Innovation can be bought

In fact, most of the time, that is exactly what large companies do. Earlier in this series I talked about the inertia of large companies and the inability for them to innovate. So, they do the next best thing--they buy it...

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Week of 16 November 2015: Innovation is not fiction
Week of 16 November 2015: Innovation is not fiction

The problem is, good innovation often looks like fiction on the surface. So, challenge innovation--challenge what will make it work. If it is in contracts, challenge the legality. If it is in products, challenge the science. And if it is in services, challenge the psychology that will cause people to behave in the manner that will result in the outcome predicted...

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Week of 9 November 2015: Innovation vs. politics
Week of 9 November 2015: Innovation vs. politics

In our own industry, we are known for inertia. We are not known for innovation, in fact, innovation is almost discouraged. We are known for politics. If I took off my socks right now, I don't have enough digits on my hands and feet to count all the bad managers I know in positions of power in our industry. Politics wins...

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Week of 2 November 2015: Elusive Innovation
Week of 2 November 2015: Elusive Innovation

Innovation has its problems, both from the practitioner and the manager perspectives...

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Week of 26 October 2015: Quality, like safety, is a 24/7 job
Week of 26 October 2015: Quality, like safety, is a 24/7 job

You probably have heard it said many times, "Quality is an attitude." This is correct. Quality, safety and housekeeping all go together...

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Week of 19 October 2015: The Quality of...your LinkedIn photograph
Week of 19 October 2015: The Quality of...your LinkedIn photograph

Don't let your photo screen you out of a great opportunity...

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Week of 12 October 2015: The most important quality--dimensional
Week of 12 October 2015: The most important quality--dimensional

If you look around, you'll find dimensions are everything. Don't casually dismiss them when you think about quality...

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Week of 5 October 2015: Quality Trouble
Week of 5 October 2015: Quality Trouble

Over the years, I have seen many attempts to obtain an advantage in markets by selling product based on quality. I have also seen many shenanigans as people try to short cut quality...

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Week of 28 September 2015: The most difficult management task is the most rewarding
Week of 28 September 2015: The most difficult management task is the most rewarding

I am often told by managers, "I can't get (fill in the blank) to do what I want done." Sometimes this statement highlights a training deficit. Sometimes it highlights a personality deficit. Sometimes it is a motivational issue. However, most often it is something else--these managers have not bothered to put themselves in the subordinates' shoes and look at the world from their point of view...

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Week of 21 September 2015: Managing the unmanageable
Week of 21 September 2015: Managing the unmanageable

Your subordinates came to you by one of three routes. You were promoted to be their boss, they transferred into your area of responsibility or they were hired in from the outside. How you treat them depends somewhat on how you acquired them...

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Week of 14 September 2015: It's management's fault
Week of 14 September 2015: It's management's fault

It is always management's fault, for by the very definition management is in charge. So whether your facility succeeds or fails, makes the best profit in its history, or is handing out notices that it is closing, it is management's fault...

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Week of 7 September 2015: Management is often the solution
Week of 7 September 2015: Management is often the solution

Unfortunately, management failures happen at all levels. Further, we often think we can solve them by buying something. Sometimes, as an alternative to spending money, we think we need to fire someone, or perhaps promote someone. Often the first thing we should do is simplify what we are doing and see if that is a solution...

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Week of 31 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, fifth week
Week of 31 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, fifth week

We would like your feedback on our first attempt at Corruption Month. We already have plenty of stories for next year. However, if you have any stories or any feedback, just email me at jthompson@taii.com. I'll be sure to keep them confidential.

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Week of 24 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, fourth week
Week of 24 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, fourth week

Any resemblances here to real people, places, institutions or events are purely coincidental. This is a work of fiction. Warning: this episode is quite graphic, especially toward the end. I tried to figure out how to tone it down, but in keeping with the flow of the story, I could not determine a way to do it. My apologies in advance if you are offended. We pick up where we left off last week, still in Chapter 5...

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Week of 17 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, third week
Week of 17 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, third week

Disclaimer: Any resemblances here to real people, places, institutions or events are purely coincidental. This is a work of fiction. We pick up where we left off last week, still in Chapter 4...

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Week of 10 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, second week
Week of 10 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, second week

Disclaimer: Any resemblances here to real people, places, institutions or events are purely coincidental. This is a work of fiction. Let's pick up where we left off last week, continuing in Chapter 4...

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Week of 3 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, first week
Week of 3 August 2015: Corruption Month 2015, first week

Disclaimer: Any resemblances here to real people, places, institutions or events are purely coincidental. This is a work of fiction. Let's pick up where we left off last week...

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Week of 27 July 2015: Getting started on August--Corruption Month
Week of 27 July 2015: Getting started on August--Corruption Month

We often talk about corruption in mills as a thing of the past. I can assure you it is a matter in the present. We have recent correspondence with readers who have told us very interesting stories of things they say are going on right now as you read this. All of this leaves us in a dilemma, for if we tell the stories we know as straight up reporting, we could be sued, called into court and so forth. How to get around this is a problem. Fortunately, I started a book on this subject a while back...

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Week of 20 July 2015: Dimensions
Week of 20 July 2015: Dimensions

Probably once a month or so, I encounter a client who is having problems. Be it the width of paper rolls, the fit of a pipe, you name it, dimensions are a big problem. Many people seem to think that mere dimensions are beneath them, that having conquered calculus, such arithmetic is child's play. Let me tell you, it is not and dimensional mistakes, particularly on a construction site, are probably the largest cause of backcharges and overages. Face it: we live in a three dimensional world and everything has to fit...

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Week of 13 July 2015: The Board is coming--an introduction
Week of 13 July 2015: The Board is coming--an introduction

So, you have been informed that the board of directors, or other high ranking officials from headquarters, are coming to see your facility. The range of emotions at your site will range from snickers and sighs to people who are actually looking forward to this. May I suggest a neutral viewpoint be adopted? This is an occasion as important as any event in the life of any facility. It is somewhat akin to making paper--it is simply part of your duties, an important part.

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Week of 6 July 2015: Changing Cultures
Week of 6 July 2015: Changing Cultures

Whether it is a mill, a supplier or some other entity where a group of people gather to achieve objectives, culture matters. Getting it right is critical and difficult while getting it wrong is easy and disastrous. Fixing a broken culture is extremely difficult and sometimes nearly impossible. How do you know if you have a broken culture?

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Week of 29 June 2015: You ain't seen nothing yet!
Week of 29 June 2015: You ain't seen nothing yet!

I was taught long ago that one should build quality into a product, not inspect it in after it has been made. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? This is why I have always been troubled by the location of gauging systems on paper machines. Look at where they are: at the end of the machine, after the product is made. In the future, we may still have the old stationary gauges in their traditional locations, but I see something totally different right around the corner, perhaps as soon as in five years. What will it be?

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Week of 22 June 2015: I don't believe it
Week of 22 June 2015: I don't believe it

Everything goes on in your mill, from the honest and upright to the scandalous and felonious. It all happens, and if you don't think it does, I have a shiny bridge over the East River in New York I would like to sell you...

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Week of 15 June 2015: The Topic of Cancer
Week of 15 June 2015: The Topic of Cancer

No, not the Tropic of Cancer--the topic of Cancer. This column is off topic---but it is on topic. It's entirely possible that some readers of this column will get the news, within the next couple of weeks, that they or someone they know has cancer. If it jolts them out of denial, it was well worthwhile for all of us to spend a week of column time on it.

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Week of 8 June 2015: Contradiction?
Week of 8 June 2015: Contradiction?

I received such a great comment in response to my past two columns that we'll devote this week's column to answering it.

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Week of 1 June 2015: Integrity First
Week of 1 June 2015: Integrity First

If you are looking for a foundation upon which to build your employment principles, integrity is the place to start. How many actions have you seen in your place of work, mill, supplier or elsewhere, where if people had acted with integrity all would be well? How many disciplinary issues have you seen, which, again, if people had acted with integrity, would not have even been necessary?

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Week of 25 May 2015: Are you going to follow the rules or get something done?
Week of 25 May 2015: Are you going to follow the rules or get something done?

There are people who feel constrained to follow the rules and there are those who see an opportunity for the company and exploit that opportunity for the benefit of the company ... Also, you might want to take our quiz this week, if you are interested in improving your career in your mill.

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Week of 18 May 2015: Report: AUVSI Convention in Atlanta
Week of 18 May 2015: Report: AUVSI Convention in Atlanta

When it comes to robotic and cutting-edge technology, where do we stand in the pulp and paper industry?

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Week of 11 May 2015: Unique vs. Weird
Week of 11 May 2015: Unique vs. Weird

I am often telling anyone who will listen that there is a fine line between being "Unique" and being "Weird." Unique is attractive, weird is repulsive. Rush right over to the unique side, stay away from the weird. Don't be weird unless you are a rock star. It certainly won't work in the pulp and paper industry...

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Week of 4 May 2015: How to innovate
Week of 4 May 2015: How to innovate

The advantage children have over us older folks is they don't know what can't be done. Take a group of 40- to 50-year-old papermakers and put them in a room. Ask them to come up with new ways to make paper. If someone dares raise their hand and proffer a suggestion, it will be batted down by the rest of the crowd before they can complete three sentences. Experience and legacy investments prevent innovation. This industry is certainly loaded with both, but there are ways around these barriers...

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Week of 27 April 15: Where to start
Week of 27 April 15: Where to start

A person new to the industry was recently talking to me about a personal training plan for learning the ins and outs of manufacturing paper. Of course, the plan included a few short courses, reading some training materials and watching some videos. Then the discussion turned to self-designed on-the-job training. I asked where in the process was the starting point. The answer was at the wet end, more precisely at stock prep, and moving through the process. I challenged this...

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Week of 20 April 15: When everyone seems to be against you
Week of 20 April 15: When everyone seems to be against you

First, be absolutely sure you are correct in the path you are taking. Test this several ways. Checking with people you trust who are not directly involved in the outcome of what you are attempting to do is one of the best ways. Hint--these people are usually called mentors. Once you are confident of the path, move to a plan of action...

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Week of 13 April 15: Being Thorough
Week of 13 April 15: Being Thorough

In our mills, how much work, especially in maintenance, is caused by a lack of thoroughness? My wild guess is probably something in neighborhood of 25%. How many accidents are caused in our mills by lack of thoroughness? In the "Safety Show '15" on Pulp & Paper Radio International, I can think of several accidents we described that were the result of not being thorough. So how do we teach thoroughness?

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Week of 6 April 15: Benchmarking
Week of 6 April 15: Benchmarking

The best benchmarking I have ever seen is this: benchmark yourself against running flat out, 24/7. This should always be the goal, nothing else should count. Why benchmark yourself against your competitors? Are you telling me your goal is to become just as good as (not better) than your competitors? Some goal! What if your competitors aren't very good?

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Week of 30 March 15: Stop doing Maintenance!
Week of 30 March 15: Stop doing Maintenance!

Sometimes we get so caught up in doing maintenance on an existing asset that we cannot see that there is a better way. Sometimes we are trapped by the accountants and finance department--the old assets are still on the books at a ridiculously elevated value and cash is too tight to do things right. Nevertheless, you should raise a stink...

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Week of 23 March 15: Do we need ladders and platforms?
Week of 23 March 15: Do we need ladders and platforms?

It is time to stop playing chutes and ladders in our mills. This is not a game--lives have been lost and there is a potential for more lives to be lost on these dangerous structures. Start seriously evaluating every ladder and platform on your site today.

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Week of 16 March 15: Maintenance Malfeasance starts at the Top
Week of 16 March 15: Maintenance Malfeasance starts at the Top

If you are a CEO, I suspect you obey religiously all maintenance and recall notifications you receive for your Mercedes, Jaguar, or Tesla. Why don't you treat your operating assets with such care? Why do you let your mill operators get by with lousy maintenance practices? It couldn't be because you are afraid it will affect your bonus, could it?

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Week of 9 March 15: Do we require Managers or Technicians? Part II
Week of 9 March 15: Do we require Managers or Technicians? Part II

Two weeks ago we talked about the attributes of the person who fills the top job in a large pulp and paper company. This week, we are going to tumble a few rungs down the ladder to the role of the production manager...

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Week of 2 March 15: Maintenance Month
Week of 2 March 15: Maintenance Month

I have seldom ever seen managers, at the top or at the production level, who give enough credit to maintenance. A well-maintained facility is a dream to operate; a poorly maintained facility loses money, has poor morale, and is a safety nightmare...

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Week of 23 February 15: Do we require Managers or Technicians? Part I
Week of 23 February 15: Do we require Managers or Technicians? Part I

I hear lots of discussions these days along the lines of "what is wrong with this industry is it is run by a bunch of MBAs that don't know anything about pulp and paper." I will agree that the industry is run by a bunch of MBAs that don't know anything about pulp and paper but I will not agree that that is what is wrong with this industry...

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Week of 16 February 15: You are surrounded
Week of 16 February 15: You are surrounded

Yes, pulp and paper is alive and well and everywhere...

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Week of 9 February 15: Forty years is long enough
Week of 9 February 15: Forty years is long enough

Four decades ago, I went through some training that affected my view of everyone. I will not presume to be able to distill that intensive training and forty years' application experience into one Nip Impressions column, but I will give you some key introductory points.

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Week of 2 February 15: Two stupid comments and a complaint
Week of 2 February 15: Two stupid comments and a complaint

As we reported on Pulp and Paper Radio International this past Monday morning, last week, Governor Paul LePage of the State of Maine, said "[Verso] get out of the State of Maine." ... I have heard politicians make stupid statements before, but this ranks right up at the top.

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Week of 26 January 15: Get a grip, folks
Week of 26 January 15: Get a grip, folks

We will be going slightly off topic this week, unless your affiliation with the pulp and paper industry requires you to spend a lot of time on airplanes as I do...

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Week of 19 January 15: Resources
Week of 19 January 15: Resources

When I observe employees in mills today casually discussing problems, I see them behaving in much the same way as we did forty years ago. They seem just as lost on where to turn for help, just as confused on the path out of the current dilemma, just as mixed up when seeking a verifiable answer to a question. This astounds me...

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Week of 12 January 15: You need an RPA Policy Now
Week of 12 January 15: You need an RPA Policy Now

RPAs are not in the future any longer. I plan on owning a serious one before the end of the month myself. By serious, I mean one that can carry a payload of one or two cameras. Don't worry, I will not be bringing it to your mill--yet...

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Week of 5 January 15: Confederacy of the Dunces
Week of 5 January 15: Confederacy of the Dunces

There is a book called "Confederacy of the Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. The book was published in 1980, eleven years after Toole committed suicide. It is set in New Orleans, and centers on a coterie of quirky individuals who essentially see the world as they want to see it. Of course, this is cockeyed by a normal metric, hence, the "confederacy of the dunces." I find the overarching theme of this book applicable nearly everywhere...

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Week of 29 December 14: Be Safe
Week of 29 December 14: Be Safe

I think there are more opportunities for accidents in pulp and paper mills this time of year as compared to any other. Why? Despite fewer participating than in the past, this is still the prime season for shutdowns around the world...

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Week of 22 December 14: When you want something...
Week of 22 December 14: When you want something...

In this season of the year, we are often reminded of children, sitting on Santa Claus' (or Father Christmas') lap asking for things. We are amused by this, for it shows a child's greed and a lack of finesse on their part. We enjoy seeing these attributes laid naked for what they are. There are a couple of other places where one can see these same attributes, however, that are quite surprising and show us such tactics are not limited to the infant mind...

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Week of 15 December 14: Christmas Presents for the Geek in your life
Week of 15 December 14: Christmas Presents for the Geek in your life

Here are my recommendations for this year...

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Week of 8 December 14: Real Leadership
Week of 8 December 14: Real Leadership

This is a short but powerful column...

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Week of 1 December 14: What if you are a follower?
Week of 1 December 14: What if you are a follower?

We hear and read many pieces of advice on how to be a leader, how to develop your leadership skills and so forth. Seldom, if ever, have I seen anything on being an excellent follower. Why is this?

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Week of 24 November 14: Your temper can kill your career
Week of 24 November 14: Your temper can kill your career

An ill-tempered disposition is mostly self-defeating unless one aspires to a career as a pirate. Although, they have not been completely eradicated, pirates' numbers are small and their lifespans short. So, we'll assume you have other aspirations, perhaps even as a pulp or paper mill manager. I can almost guarantee that if you exhibit a "short fuse" and an angry temper, you'll not make your goal...

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Week of 17 November 14: Don't single out thought leaders
Week of 17 November 14: Don't single out thought leaders

Instead, make everyone a thought leader, at least part time. So, how do we make everyone a "thought leader?" It is really quite simple...

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Week of 10 November 14: Free paper mill sites?
Week of 10 November 14: Free paper mill sites?

At 432 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York, a new building is under construction. It will be 1,396 feet tall. The top penthouse apartment has already been sold for $95 million. Couple this with idea we promulgated last spring at the Light Green Machine® Institute of the vertical paper machine. The idea is simple, yet revolutionary--build a paper machine standing on its head, forming at the top, winding at the bottom...

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Week of 3 November 14: The Strange Phenomenon of Work Expanding to fit the Time
Week of 3 November 14: The Strange Phenomenon of Work Expanding to fit the Time

If you work in production, as a majority of the readers of this column do, there are parts of your day dictated by the rhythm of production. Yet even in a production setting, there are still portions of your day in which you have some freedom as to pace. You might want to work on these...

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Week of 27 October 14: Messes Part Two--fixing your own mess
Week of 27 October 14: Messes Part Two--fixing your own mess

Last week we talked about inheriting messes. This week we will talk about fixing one you created. This is tougher...

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Week of 20 October 14: Messes Part One--Inheriting a Mess
Week of 20 October 14: Messes Part One--Inheriting a Mess

This is a subject we covered over a decade ago in this column. But we have many newer readers and the rest of us likely have forgotten what I said on the subject. It is worth going over again, and there are some fresh ideas to discuss, as well...

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Week of 13 October 14: Exploiting a trend/providing a service
Week of 13 October 14: Exploiting a trend/providing a service

If you don't think Ebola is going to spread widely and rapidly, I have a bridge to sell you in New York. As long as Ebola remains a contact-transmitted (not airborne) virus, the pulp and paper industry has an opportunity to help contain this disease.

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Week of 6 October 14: Using tools carefully
Week of 6 October 14: Using tools carefully

When I was a child, my dad taught me about guns and fire, and how they could be used for good or they could be misused. He never allowed me to have a BB gun--he thought they were ambiguous--is it a toy or a weapon? Like BB guns, we have some ambiguous tools today, too. And these tools can be used for good or they can be misused. I am speaking of Facebook and LinkedIn. Are they toys, weapons, or something else?

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Week of 29 September 14: Derailed
Week of 29 September 14: Derailed

When you run into vile behavior at work (or anywhere else), don't be intimidated. The person hurling invectives at you is most likely more afraid of something than you should be of them...

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Week of 22 September 14: Be all that you can be
Week of 22 September 14: Be all that you can be

Now, I will admit that everyone is not cut out to "be all that you can be." In the next breath, I'll express my belief that more are cut out to do this than actually do it, however. And I think we should promote this goal more than we do...

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Week of 15 September 14: Quality work
Week of 15 September 14: Quality work

If you will take a simple step with all of your work, your quality will go up, guaranteed. This will work even if you have been doing the same thing for a very long time...

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Week of 8 September 14: A disorder affecting most daily
Week of 8 September 14: A disorder affecting most daily

I know because I have been there--you probably have, too. It's that place where When One Thing Goes Wrong, Everything Goes Wrong (WOTGWEGW).

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Week of 1 September 14: Getting Started
Week of 1 September 14: Getting Started

First impressions matter, so let's examine this important topic from both the newbie's and manager's perspectives.

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Week of 25 Aug 14: New Management Tool
Week of 25 Aug 14: New Management Tool

I predict some companies will soon be using this tool on their company-issued phones despite its being designed for use by parents and teenagers. It may be effective for companies, but it will mask underlying management problems. Let's look at it from both sides...

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Week of 18 Aug 14: Maturity
Week of 18 Aug 14: Maturity

After 64 years of stumbling and bumbling about, I think I am becoming a mature adult in my thinking (and yes, there will be many that disagree). And I don't think this was a gradual thing, it is something that has only hit me in the last few years. The good news is that I am having fun with it. My admonishment to you is don't wait so long...

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Week of 11 Aug 14: Harry's
Week of 11 Aug 14: Harry's

Harry's means business for the packaging industry. If you are not familiar with Harry's just go to harrys.com. Yes, I'll give them a free plug. We also discuss safety this week...

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Week of 4 Aug 14: More on Government Influence
Week of 4 Aug 14: More on Government Influence

You may be very involved in your mill’s business. You may think you understand all the business aspects from raw materials to markets.  Yet, unbeknownst to you, there are always outside forces trying to find a way to influence your business, sometimes for the better, sometimes not...

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Week of 29 Jul 14: The folly of subsidies in a for-profit world
Week of 29 Jul 14: The folly of subsidies in a for-profit world

Government subsidies (as well as tax rates, regulations and so forth) are uncertain because they are not set by markets, but are set by shifting political winds.  Competitive markets as a price setting function are as reliable as gravity.  Government mandates, ones that extract money, ones that provide money are not...

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Week of 21 Jul 14: A competitive advantage for suppliers
Week of 21 Jul 14: A competitive advantage for suppliers

I have been dealing with suppliers for decades, and suppliers keep behaving in the same manner. That manner is this: they simply have a “tin ear” when it comes to being cognizant of paper machine downtime. I saw it happen again last week, but I can tell you stories that are decades old. In fact, I think I will...

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Week of 14 Jul 14: People vs. Science and Engineering
Week of 14 Jul 14: People vs. Science and Engineering

Scientific results and engineering results must be studied carefully and analyzed many ways in order to ascertain their veracity.  I fear in the world of today, we capriciously slap the words “science” or “computer analysis” on endeavors which need much further study.  Sometimes this is done through ignorance, sometimes maliciously. 

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Week of 7 Jul 14: Lying to yourself
Week of 7 Jul 14: Lying to yourself

We all do it, and I think more people are harmed by lying to themselves than are harmed by lies told by others...

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Week of 30 Jun 14: That can't be
Week of 30 Jun 14: That can't be

I have never seen an attitude that has led to so much failure in so many fields as that reflected by the title of our column this week.  Life, love, career, home, you name it — an attitude of refusing to believe a sequence of events that might happen is responsible for a great deal of personal and corporate misery. A few examples may illustrate the issue.

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Week of 23 Jun 14: Attitude
Week of 23 Jun 14: Attitude

I have decided the most important attribute to consider when evaluating employees is to divide them into “givers” and “takers.”

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Week of 16 Jun 14: The future of transportation
Week of 16 Jun 14: The future of transportation

Let's take a brief look at the history of transportation, and examine its future, including driverless trucks...

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Week of 9 Jun 14: Lesson learned again
Week of 9 Jun 14: Lesson learned again

The folks in the state of Maine are once again learning the lesson learned so many times by other communities.  That lesson is this: pulp and paper mills have a useful life, and eventually, that life is over...

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Week of 2 Jun 14: Still, no one prepares...
Week of 2 Jun 14: Still, no one prepares...

I will go out on a limb and say that the first pulp and paper mill attack by a Remotely Piloted Aircraft will be within the next 18 months to two years. You must start to formulate a plan—now...

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Week of 26 May 14: What about ink?
Week of 26 May 14: What about ink?

While our communications paper companies continue to look hard at finding ways to produce their products more economically, perhaps the biggest savings of all has been missed—how to make cheaper inks...

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Week of 19 May 14: A real advantage for paper
Week of 19 May 14: A real advantage for paper

While we at Paperitalo Publications strongly support the printed word, we recognize that electronic publications have certain positive qualities.  It is not lost on you, smart reader, that Paperitalo Publications publishes nothing on paper, except books.  Yes, we like the challenge—exclusively publishing electronically to the pulp and paper industry. However, there is one area that is developing into an area for serious discussion concerning the printed word.  That is in the area of young children, children under 3 or 4 years old. Evidence is building that allowing these young children excessive access to smart phone and tablets may be quite detrimental...

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Week of 12 May 14: Energy is always the question; the problem is discerning the answer
Week of 12 May 14: Energy is always the question; the problem is discerning the answer

In my four plus decades in this business, there has been one constant amongst all the variables.  That constant is: What should be our energy source?  In virgin pulp mills, the recovery boiler has been a steady contributor.  However, for supplemental thermal energy, or for thermal energy in mills without a pulp mill, history shows the answer is the flavor of the month. Let’s step back even further for a moment...

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Week of 5 May 14: I don’t think like you do
Week of 5 May 14: I don’t think like you do

The reality is none of us think alike. In fact, if you are a senior manager, you’ll want people of all kinds of flavors. Just don’t make the mistake of putting them in the wrong position in your organization...

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Week of 28 April 14: I guess we’ll just leave the machine down until morning...
Week of 28 April 14: I guess we’ll just leave the machine down until morning...

The recent news from France is that work emails are banned after 6 p.m.  Left unspecified, apparently this does not apply to some jobs.  Let’s hope the exemptions include the pulp and paper industry, unless you are so competitive you wish to knock off your French competitors by any means possible. This situation is indicative of a problem confronting employers since the beginning of the industrial revolution.  That problem is this—how do we get workers to exhibit and perform as entrepreneurially as they did when they were peasants down on the farm?

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Week of 21 April 14: The Most Valuable Attribute
Week of 21 April 14: The Most Valuable Attribute

Given that you lead a legal, moral, ethical life (I’ll fire you on the spot if you do not), the most valuable attribute I see in employees in any setting is the ability to get things done.  And, yes, we can add all sorts of qualifiers to this—on time, on budget and so forth.  However, stripped to its bare essentials, the most coveted quality in the workplace is the ability to get things done...

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Week of 14 April 14: LGMI Vertical Concept has people up in the air
Week of 14 April 14: LGMI Vertical Concept has people up in the air

A couple of weeks ago, a comment I made on the Light Green Machine Institute Weekly newsletter excited paper makers around the world. I proposed that we flip the paper machine on end, head box at the top, winder on the ground floor. Let's explore this topic in greater detail...

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Week of 7 April 14: The Lessons of Growing Older
Week of 7 April 14: The Lessons of Growing Older

Why do we make life so difficult?  If you think about it, mostly our own inventions complicate our lives. Life is simple.  Why isn’t yours?  

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Week of 31 March 14: Being Competitive in Today's World
Week of 31 March 14: Being Competitive in Today's World

Being competitive starts with the people who work for your firm.  A close second is the culture of your company.  Let’s talk about both of these.

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Week of 24 March 14: The Alpha and Omega
Week of 24 March 14: The Alpha and Omega

What if we can say the luxury goods market is completely bookended by paper products?  What if tissue and newsprint are the Alpha and Omega of luxury goods?  This is a story we should be running with—the luxury goods for everyone, regardless of income, are those made by our wonderful pulp and paper industry.

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Week of 17 March 14: App frugality
Week of 17 March 14: App frugality

Every time I see a new app, I have to try it out.  Yet, even worse than wasting my own time, I have a tendency to forward them to my employees.  If I don’t get this habit under control soon, I’ll have to hire an employee just to make up for the time I and my current employees waste trying to save time with new apps.  All of this is caused by my urge to be efficient. You may have a similar problem.  I’ll share with you the ways I propose to deal with it.

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Week of 10 March 14: Are you where you are?
Week of 10 March 14: Are you where you are?

If you are not where you want to be, I suggest you find a way to get yourself there.  Why be miserable?  I can attest to you, at the age of 63, that a 40-year career goes by in the wink of an eye.  Get yourself to a place you want to be.

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Week of 3 March 14: Outernet
Week of 3 March 14: Outernet

Folks, the innovations are coming fast and furious this year.  I’ll predict they will keep coming fast and furious, too...

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Week of 24 February 14: Barcodes are obsolete
Week of 24 February 14: Barcodes are obsolete

Amazon Flow is a game changer in many ways. What does this do for all packaging? My challenge is for us as an industry to become proactive, not reactive to change.  For instance, now that the Amazon Flow technology is out of the bag, how can we help them exploit it throughout the entire product chain?  

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Week of 17 February 14: More on resumes
Week of 17 February 14: More on resumes

I am a safe place to try out your resume.  I have looked at and worked on enough resumes that it just might be possible that I know what works...

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Week of 10 February 14: A collision of events, once again
Week of 10 February 14: A collision of events, once again

With developments in technology, I believe that retail and office space will to start to disappear in very rapid numbers. What does this mean for the pulp and paper industry?

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Week of 3 February 14: Country Risk
Week of 3 February 14: Country Risk

Should we open our mills to more scrutiny? I think so...

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Week of 27 January 14: Energy, Environment and Human History
Week of 27 January 14: Energy, Environment and Human History

The next time a rabid environmentalist gets in your face and talks about you, as a paper industry professional, destroying the earth, tell them you’ll be happy to follow their example as soon as they strip to their birthday suit, move to the Amazon, and adopt a diet of raw fish...

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Week of 20 January 14: An industry not lacking in surprises
Week of 20 January 14: An industry not lacking in surprises

Having spent the last forty years in pulp and paper, I’ll be the first to tell you the pulp and paper industry has been a surprise a minute. The most recent surprise has been the announcement that Verso is planning to acquire NewPage and what that has done to the PM40...

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