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Articles related to pulp


Judge rules for Rayonier Advanced Materials
Judge rules for Rayonier Advanced Materials

A ruling issued by Georgia Superior Court Judge Stephen Kelley has reversed a previous decision in state administrative court that required the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to issue a more stringent pollution permit for the Rayonier Advanced Materials mill near Jesup.

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Fibria starts construction on intermodal terminal for pulp shipment in Brazil
Fibria starts construction on intermodal terminal for pulp shipment in Brazil

Fibria announced that it started construction on an intermodal terminal located in Aparecida do Taboado, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, which will ship the pulp produced at its new facility in Três Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul to the Macuco Terminal at the Port of Santos in São Paulo, from where it will be exported to clients in Asia, Europe and the United States.

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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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Canfor gets $13 million for green project
Canfor gets $13 million for green project

Canfor Pulp Products Inc. has been awarded $13 million to continue its funding one of its environmentally-friendly green initiatives.

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Understanding Matrix Management
Understanding Matrix Management

Many older managers and some who are now in retirement operated within a traditional business management structure. This included organization charts, which outlined the company functions and lines of reporting...

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Nordic pulp makers seek new lease of life from by-products
Nordic pulp makers seek new lease of life from by-products

Nordic forestry firms racing to replace paper business lost to the internet are trying to transform their pulp mill by-products into glue, biofuel and carbon fibre for aircraft and wind turbines.

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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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Ilim Group anticipates steady rise for its products in China
Ilim Group anticipates steady rise for its products in China

Ilim Group says that it anticipates a steady rise for its products in China due to increasing hygienic and sanitary paper and pulp production and the expanding packing paper segment in five key regions...

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Fibria signs $636 million ship deal with South Korea's Pan Ocean
Fibria signs $636 million ship deal with South Korea's Pan Ocean

Fibria has signed a $636 million shipping deal with South Korea'sPan Ocean Co Ltd, according to a securities filing.

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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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RAPP Named Authorized Economic Operator by World Customs Organization
RAPP Named Authorized Economic Operator by World Customs Organization

Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper, or RAPP, Indonesian subsidiary of global pulp and paper industry leader Asia Pacific Resources International, APRIL, was named an authorized economic operator by the World Customs Organization.

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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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Suzano announces investment projects
Suzano announces investment projects

Suzano Pulp and Paper announced that it will invest around R$720 million by year-end in a set of projects intended to diversify its operations in Brazil through higher-value products, boost structural competitiveness, cut costs and enhance environmental initiatives.

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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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Uruguay's president says talks with UPM on new pulp plant are proceeding
Uruguay's president says talks with UPM on new pulp plant are proceeding

Talks between Uruguay's government and Finnish pulp and paper maker UPM on a new pulp plant project in the Latin American country are proceeding, Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez said on Monday.

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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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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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Sappi to increase its capital expenditure
Sappi to increase its capital expenditure

Sappi plans to increase dissolving wood pulp capacity by more than 30 percent over the next four years as the world's largest maker of the product pursues growth.

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Indonesia's pulp mill capacity to reach 10 million tons per year
Indonesia's pulp mill capacity to reach 10 million tons per year

The capacity of pulp mills will increase from 7.93 million tons to 10.43 million tons per year in February when PT OKI Pulp & Paper Mills (OKI) starts the production of its new pulp factory with a 2.5 million-ton production capacity, the Industry Ministry has said.

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Sappi marks eight decades listing on JSE
Sappi marks eight decades listing on JSE

SAPPI, the South African pulp and paper company with global operations, is celebrating 80 years of listing in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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J.D. Irving pleads not guilty to pollution charges against Saint John mill
J.D. Irving pleads not guilty to pollution charges against Saint John mill

A lawyer for J.D. Irving, Limited has entered not guilty pleas to each of 15 pollution charges under the federal Fisheries Act related to alleged pollution from the pulp mill in Saint John.

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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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UPM comments market speculations concerning an alleged pulp mill investment in Uruguay
UPM comments market speculations concerning an alleged pulp mill investment in Uruguay

UPM states that it is not engaged in negotiations on a pulp mill investment with the Uruguayan government.

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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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The Australian Corrugated Box Market just got more interesting
The Australian Corrugated Box Market just got more interesting

For many years Australia has had substantially a duopoly of corrugated box suppliers, with Visy Industries (Pratt Group) and Amcor (now Orora) between them supplying more than 85% of the market. A bruising "box war" many years ago saw the demise of the Smorgon Group as Australia's third integrated corrugated box supplier. Visy consolidated its market leading position and now holds well over 50% market share and Orora more than 30%. This orderly state of affairs may be about to change.

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Stora Enso scraps plan to build pulp mill in Beihai, China
Stora Enso scraps plan to build pulp mill in Beihai, China

Stora Enso plans to scrap a plan to build a chemical pulp mill at its Beihai Mill site in China, as pulp supply is expected to increase due to new investments by rivals, it said on Thursday.

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APP Aims to Boost Sales, Expand Business to Central Asia
APP Aims to Boost Sales, Expand Business to Central Asia

Asia Pulp and Paper, the pulp and paper company of conglomerate Sinar Mas Group, aims to boost its sales this year, banking on its expansion in Central Asia and rapid growth in new growing markets, the company said in a statement.

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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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Chinese company to build biggest paper mill in Ethiopia
Chinese company to build biggest paper mill in Ethiopia

China Engineering Corporation (CEC) has signed an agreement with Yekatit Pulp and Paper on Tuesday to construct the biggest Pulp and Paper Mill in Ethiopia.

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Maine pulp and paper trade group dissolves after half a century
Maine pulp and paper trade group dissolves after half a century

In what appears to be a sign of the times, the Maine Pulp and Paper Association has announced that it is disbanding effective immediately.

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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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The Complexity of Workplace Conflict
The Complexity of Workplace Conflict

Early in my career I was told by an Engineer that the only real problems we would face in our careers were people problems. He went on to explain that solutions could be found for all other problems, but not always for those originating from personnel. As time progressed, I began to appreciate his wisdom more and more...

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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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Fire at Domtar facility
Fire at Domtar facility

Fire crews braved the extreme cold and icy conditions Thursday night to put out a fire at the Domtar mill at Mission Flats in British Columbia.

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Nippon Paper Industries to build a demonstration plant for CNF-reinforced resin at Fuji mill in Japan
Nippon Paper Industries to build a demonstration plant for CNF-reinforced resin at Fuji mill in Japan

Nippon Paper Industries to build a demonstration plant at Fuji Mill in Japan to promote practical applications of CNF-reinforced resin.

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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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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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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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Greenpeace, WWF cut ties with Indonesia pulp and paper company
Greenpeace, WWF cut ties with Indonesia pulp and paper company

Greenpeace and WWF have suspended their relationship with one of Indonesia's leading pulp and paper companies, saying it didn't live up to promises to stop clearing virgin forests and peatlands.

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Valmet to supply technology for Sun Paper's new dissolving pulp mill in Laos
Valmet to supply technology for Sun Paper's new dissolving pulp mill in Laos

Valmet will deliver key technology for a new green field dissolving pulp mill to Sun Paper's new investment in Laos.

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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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Evacuation at Georgia-Pacific mill
Evacuation at Georgia-Pacific mill

A loss of power at Georgia-Pacific in Camas led to an "odor incident," at the paper mill on Monday.

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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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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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Fortress Paper Announces Hemicellulose Separation Project at its Dissolving Pulp Mill
Fortress Paper Announces Hemicellulose Separation Project at its Dissolving Pulp Mill

The Hemicellulose Project will allow the Company to advance its research and development in hemicellulose derivative products.

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Important steps leading to a successful start-up
Important steps leading to a successful start-up

A start-up can be extremely challenging, but upon completion, the accomplishment can become a milestone in the careers of those involved. And, the experience obtained from participation in a start-up is invaluable to those involved.

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NIR Technology Now Measures Kappa Number of Kraft Pulp
NIR Technology Now Measures Kappa Number of Kraft Pulp

FPInnovations, in partnership with FITNIR Analyzers Inc., announced the successful commercialization of an innovative new product using near infrared technology (NIR) to quickly and efficiently analyze the kappa number of kraft pulp.

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Georgia-Pacific employee killed in accident
Georgia-Pacific employee killed in accident

An employee killed Wednesday in an industrial accident at the Georgia-Pacific mill in Big Island was identified as Robert C. Dameron, 44, of Natural Bridge.

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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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Sun Paper Permit Application Progressing
Sun Paper Permit Application Progressing

Becky Keogh, director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, said she and her staff had recent meetings with officials at Sun Paper Industry of China on pre-engineering and environmental permitting for the $1.3 billion mega-project in Clark County.

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Worker cheats death after plunging into pulper
Worker cheats death after plunging into pulper

Valmet Ltd, who supplied the machine and carried out maintenance work, has now been fined £120,000

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China's CAMC Engineering plans to invest in a new Finnish pulp mill
China's CAMC Engineering plans to invest in a new Finnish pulp mill

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

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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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When the unexpected becomes the expected!
When the unexpected becomes the expected!

So the Polls got it wrong again - the American people have spoken decisively, if unexpectedly, just as the people in the United Kingdom did at the Brexit vote. Mr. Trump has pledged to make the USA great again. Will he also make the US paper industry great again?

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Finch Paper considering $5 million waste reuse project
Finch Paper considering $5 million waste reuse project

Finch Paper in December will conduct tests and market analysis of two new potential reuses of waste from the pulp-making process at the company's Glens Falls mill.

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Fortress Paper announces $19.7 million investment in Birch Project at its dissolving pulp mill
Fortress Paper announces $19.7 million investment in Birch Project at its dissolving pulp mill

Fortress Paper Ltd. has announced a major investment to advance its strategic project of utilizing birch to manufacture dissolving pulp at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Thurso, Québec.

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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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Asia Pulp & Paper Requests $50 Million Limit on Coated Paper Imports
Asia Pulp & Paper Requests $50 Million Limit on Coated Paper Imports

Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP), the global pulp, paper, packaging and tissue manufacturing company has committed to importing certain coated papers manufactured in Indonesia and no more than $50 million dollars worth annually - only 2.5% of the current $2 billion dollar coated paper U.S. manufacturing market.

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

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

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Evoqua Acquires Environmental Treatment Systems
Evoqua Acquires Environmental Treatment Systems

Evoqua Water Technologies today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Environmental Treatment Systems, Inc., a leading provider of engineered solutions to the industrial wastewater market based in Acworth, GA. Terms were not disclosed.

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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?

Our readers weigh in on the subject...

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Can Improved Quality be Achieved at a Reasonable Cost?
Can Improved Quality be Achieved at a Reasonable Cost?

We must recognize that there are costs associated with achieving good quality, as well as operating with poor quality...

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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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Miami University Paper Science and Engineering Foundation announce scholarship winners
Miami University Paper Science and Engineering Foundation announce scholarship winners

Eight awarded prestigious Williams Leadership Scholarships.

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Twin Rivers issues public apology for gas leaks
Twin Rivers issues public apology for gas leaks

Beginning in June, Twin Rivers plant released chlorine dioxide gas five times. This weekend, the company apologized.

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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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Rayonier Advanced Materials Resumes Operations
Rayonier Advanced Materials Resumes Operations

Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. has provided an update about operations following Hurricane Matthew, which affected the entire US Southeastern coast, passing near the Company's Fernandina Beach, Fla. facility.

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Worker killed in incident at WestRock facility in Covington, Virginia
Worker killed in incident at WestRock facility in Covington, Virginia

An employee was fatally injured while working at a WestRock Co. facility in Covington early Thursday.

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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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Fibria, Praxair sign long-term oxygen supply agreement
Fibria, Praxair sign long-term oxygen supply agreement

Praxair, Inc., through its Brazilian subsidiary White Martins, has signed a long-term agreement expanding its supply of oxygen to Fibria Celulose S/A in Três Lagoas, Brazil.

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Appvion's Roaring Spring Mill to Celebrate its 150th Anniversary
Appvion's Roaring Spring Mill to Celebrate its 150th Anniversary

Appvion's Roaring Spring pulp and paper mill will conduct a celebration event at the mill on Friday, October 7 beginning at 10 a.m. to observe the 150th anniversary of the founding of the mill.

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U.S. trade envoy to meet Canadian lumber execs before softwood deadline
U.S. trade envoy to meet Canadian lumber execs before softwood deadline

Canadian softwood lumber executives will meet this week with America's trade ambassador as they brace for the prospect of U.S. tariffs that they say could result in mill closures and layoffs.

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Södra inaugurates new pulp mill in Sweden
Södra inaugurates new pulp mill in Sweden

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

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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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The Importance of Technical Writing Skills
The Importance of Technical Writing Skills

Instead of dreading the task of report writing, consider the longer term career benefits potentially available. Sharpening this skill can boost your visibility to peers and assist in career advancement.

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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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The Investment Conundrum
The Investment Conundrum

There are only two options for direct investment in paper manufacture in Australasia. If an investor flipped a coin and chose one option the reward for the one would be very different from the other.

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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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Brazilian Judge Permits JBS Executives to Return to Work
Brazilian Judge Permits JBS Executives to Return to Work

Dubbed Operation Greenfield, the probe is aimed at uncovering alleged malfeasance at four state pension funds that allegedly overpaid for stakes in Brazilian-owned companies, including pulp maker Eldorado Brasil Celulose.

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Indonesian pulp firm halts work in Riau over building of 'illegal canals'
Indonesian pulp firm halts work in Riau over building of 'illegal canals'

A major Indonesian pulp and paper firm, Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (Rapp), has temporarily ceased operations in part of a concession in Riau province, as forestry authorities begin to review whether it built canals on peatland in the area illegally.

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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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Brazilian police launch investigation into alleged fraud at pension funds
Brazilian police launch investigation into alleged fraud at pension funds

As part of the same operation, according to a spokeswoman for the prosecutors office, the police raided offices of Eldorado Brasil, a pulp-making unit of J&F Investimentos--the holding company that controls JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker.

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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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Avoiding Corruption in the Workplace
Avoiding Corruption in the Workplace

If one accepts a traditional definition of corruption as "abusing power or taking actions illegally for personal gain," it could be argued that the paper industry is no different from any other business in this regard. However, in spite of many shared organizational features, each business environment has its own unique circumstances, which may make it more appealing for personnel to consider a corrupt practice.

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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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The Brexit Paradigm
The Brexit Paradigm

Much has been written about the probable impacts of Brexit, but for the paper industry the impacts are ostensibly minimal. However, the resulting uncertainty has affected global business confidence with implications for a slowdown in global paper demand.

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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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The Evolution of Procurement in the Paper Industry
The Evolution of Procurement in the Paper Industry

Procurement has evolved through a system of integrating people systems, structures and practices into one process based on the insights of all the linked departments. The goal has been to optimize project results, reduce waste, increase value, and maximize efficiency...

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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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The trend is definitely not your friend
The trend is definitely not your friend

The specifics may differ but the trend is consistent and inevitable. It seems that for print media it is no longer a matter of if, but rather when...

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Current Energy Trends Have Heavy Impact on the Paper Industry
Current Energy Trends Have Heavy Impact on the Paper Industry

Since both the demand and cost of energy are projected to increase, the importance of energy conservation measures will become even more important in the future.

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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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Encouraging Innovation in the Workplace
Encouraging Innovation in the Workplace

Every type of organization should encourage employees to be innovative. To accomplish this, the business must be willing to take risks. Innovation is an on-going process; thus the risks associated with it are also continuous in nature.

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TPP: Partnership or Protectionism
TPP: Partnership or Protectionism

For the forest, pulp and paper industry, net benefits from the TPP are difficult to identify.

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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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Australasian Pulp & Paper in 2015: More pain but perhaps some gain
Australasian Pulp & Paper in 2015: More pain but perhaps some gain

As we do annually, this column reviews how the pulp and paper industry in Australia and New Zealand has fared for the Australasian business fiscal year to 30 June.

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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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Control of Wet End Chemistry -- The
Control of Wet End Chemistry -- The "Holy Grail" of Papermaking

The desire to operate with well-defined and controlled paper machine wet-end chemistry is not new, but the topic seemed to attract increased attention beginning with the large scale conversion to alkaline papers. The conversion brought changes in fiber furnishes, fillers, retention aids, drainage aids, dyes and manufacturing methods, which resulted in the need for a better understanding of the entire wet-end operation.

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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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What's in a name?
What's in a name?

Company names are zealously protected and for many companies the name has substantial value because the company name defines the brand or the product through which the company has become successful. It also defines the value of a company beyond its tangible assets; more than the loyalty of customers to the brand (the goodwill) and includes all that contributes to the success of the brand (such as creative personnel, patents, unique processes and products)...

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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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Paper Machine Production Increases Expose New Bottlenecks
Paper Machine Production Increases Expose New Bottlenecks

If you are in a market situation requiring more production of the current paper grades, it may be tempting to believe that simply speeding up the paper machine will be sufficient to accomplish the goal. After all, aren't all paper machines "over designed," meaning that they have a given amount of excess capacity built in them? This may be the case in some instances, but it does not mean that the machine will operate with the same efficiency in all speed ranges. Failure to understand this will lead to adverse surprises in the form of production upsets later.

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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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What Defines a
What Defines a "Quality" Organization?

Does your company have a high quality reputation? Virtually all companies have the goal of achieving that status. But why do some succeed while others are prone to making manufacturing mistakes, resulting in costly recalls and product rejects? Let's explore several of the facets of quality, and attempt to understand some of the methods which have been used to assure consistent product and operating control.

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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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Is it really the end of the paper world as we know it?
Is it really the end of the paper world as we know it?

Recently, I attended the 2015 Australasian Paper Markets Outlook Forum where one of the keynote speakers was Martin Glass from EMGE & Co. His is one the foremost global consulting companies in the field of graphic and communication papers. His message was powerful. If we think the rate of change over the last decade has been rapid, hold onto your hats for the next decade...

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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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Paper Mill Meetings: Is the Time Consumed Justified?
Paper Mill Meetings: Is the Time Consumed Justified?

During my work career I can think of few activities that were dreaded more than the morning meetings...

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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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Australian Plantations - Profit at any Cost
Australian Plantations - Profit at any Cost

The Roman Statesman Cicero is credited with the expression "as you have sown so shall you reap," and there are biblical variants in the Old and New Testaments. The expression has a powerful literal and figurative relevance to the Australian forestry industry...

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Safety: A Matter of Attitude and Awareness
Safety: A Matter of Attitude and Awareness

Some of the areas affecting safety are traditionally not discussed at length in most paper mill safety training programs. These include behavioral safety, work attitude, and awareness. In spite of the many excellent mill safety programs existing today, accidents still happen. Often, so much time is spent on complex safety matters that the more basic contributors are either completely ignored or fall through the cracks during training sessions.

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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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 Management Ability: A Learned or Inherent Skill?
Management Ability: A Learned or Inherent Skill?

During our careers many of us had the desire to advance into the management ranks, leading us to search for tools which could strengthen our ability to accomplish things through or by others. But having completed, not only graduate study courses in industrial management and participating in other individual programs intended to develop successful managers, I question the effectiveness of many of the techniques.

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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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PaperlinX Unlinks
PaperlinX Unlinks

In many ways PaperlinX is a metaphor for the industry as a whole but it also provides a salutary lesson for companies that embark on a transformation strategy that requires very deep pockets and a compelling business model.

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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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Effectively Troubleshooting Papermaking Problems
Effectively Troubleshooting Papermaking Problems

Troubleshooting can be an exciting and rewarding part of the papermaking experience, but it is a time consuming and costly function. Consequently, the primary objective must be to eliminate as much process variation as possible, in order to minimize defects in the finished product.

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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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Facing the Challenges of New Product Marketing: A Case Study
Facing the Challenges of New Product Marketing: A Case Study

Any company introducing a totally new product must be prepared to react quickly to unexpected problems. Although many traditional methods are available to assist in product marketing, these have to be adapted to the specific situation...

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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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Uncoated Freesheet in Freefall
Uncoated Freesheet in Freefall

Australia manufactures about 0.6% of the world's uncoated freesheet (UFS) paper, an amount almost insignificant in the more than 53 million metric tons globally consumed each year. It was therefore surprising to see Australian Paper (owned by Nippon Paper) named and shamed as one of the companies accused of dumping into the US market.

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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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Maintenance from a Papermaker's Perspective
Maintenance from a Papermaker's Perspective

When I began my career in the paper industry, maintenance time was viewed essentially as a mill cost which should be minimized. After all, the time spent in making repairs reduced the output from the paper machines, and the same jobs often were repeated over and over, due to incorrect procedures or the use of makeshift materials. In fact, some mill superintendents refused to shut down the machines unless absolutely forced to do so by equipment failures.

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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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Product Development Concept Alternatives
Product Development Concept Alternatives

How can smaller companies and others with limited resources develop and supply competitive products? Let's examine a few possibilities to consider in this regard...

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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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Tissue: A Growing but Challenging Australasian Market
Tissue: A Growing but Challenging Australasian Market

The year 2015 is shaping up as a very interesting year for the Australasian tissue sector.

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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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Product Life Cycle Analyses: Are Results Meaningful?
Product Life Cycle Analyses: Are Results Meaningful?

Numerous problems become apparent when relying on various life cycle methods...

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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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Are Traditional Training Methods Obsolete?
Are Traditional Training Methods Obsolete?

It is my opinion that mills should embrace the advantages of technology training, but should not completely abandon all the traditional techniques.

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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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Australasian Pulp & Paper in 2014: Is there any good news?
Australasian Pulp & Paper in 2014: Is there any good news?

Annually at about this time of the year we look back at how the pulp and paper industry in Australia and New Zealand has fared for the business fiscal year, which in Australasia is the year to 30 June.

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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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Rethinking Environmental Concerns Associated with Paper Manufacturing
Rethinking Environmental Concerns Associated with Paper Manufacturing

To illustrate how the North American paper industry's environmental progress can be used to counter many environmental objections, consider the following information...

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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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The Future of Newsprint, Publication and Fine Paper Machines
The Future of Newsprint, Publication and Fine Paper Machines

Actually, the issue should be stated, "Will these paper machine designs as we know them today, survive in the future?" While some may later conclude this discussion borders on fiction or is based on conjecture, hopefully a few thought-provoking "truisms" will be recognized.

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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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Australia - the Lucky Country
Australia - the Lucky Country

Be it by luck or planning, the rivers of wood are again flowing as hardwood plantations in particular mature at a rapid rate and need to find a market.

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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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Roll Cover Evolution
Roll Cover Evolution

In the not too distant past, roll covers were considered a commodity by many papermakers...

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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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Pressing Thoughts
Pressing Thoughts

Let's examine a few wet press related considerations with the goal of identifying water removal opportunities...

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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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The end of an era or a new beginning?
The end of an era or a new beginning?

There was more than a touch of nostalgia, but also a sense of inevitability, when Georgia Tech announced, without fanfare, that the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) would become The Renewable Byproducts Institute (RBI).

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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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The Rising Sun Shines Down Under
The Rising Sun Shines Down Under

Australasia is now inextricably part of the global scene...

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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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Has Australia got too much of its forests
Has Australia got too much of its forests "locked up?"

Recently, the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, threw a grenade into the national political debate by declaring that too many of Australia's forests are “locked up” and vowed to set up a new advisory council to support the timber 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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Orora Group – Back to Basics
Orora Group – Back to Basics

A look at Orora, Amcor, Pact Group ... and a bit of history.

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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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Week of 13 January 14: Flying Packages
Week of 13 January 14: Flying Packages

All the technology exists right now to make this happen. Here is a chance for a paper industry centric company to become a real high tech leader recognized by the general population. How about it?

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Week of 6 January 14: Vetting headhunters
Week of 6 January 14: Vetting headhunters

Great people make great companies.  And like it or not, headhunters often stand between you and great people.  Set high expectations and build a long term relationship with a headhunter that is looking out for you.

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Week of 30 December 13: Get up and get moving
Week of 30 December 13: Get up and get moving

There is an old phrase of indeterminate origin, in which I will substitute one word for our lesson here: “The road to failure is paved with good intentions.” If you are going to do something, for goodness sake, follow through and do it.

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Week of 23 December 13: On the 13th Christmas
Week of 23 December 13: On the 13th Christmas

Nip Impressions is a teenager this Christmas. Let’s go back and look at some of the highlights, shall we?

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Week of 16 December 13: Critical help for Courtland, Alabama (IP) Employees
Week of 16 December 13: Critical help for Courtland, Alabama (IP) Employees

Often, I help people with their resumes and job interview skills individually.  In this case, we are going to have to do it in a mass training forum right here, right now.

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Week of 9 December 13: Galloping Regulations
Week of 9 December 13: Galloping Regulations

I used to use the term “creeping regulations” but no more—they are galloping now.  As I reported in PaperMoney® on Tuesday, the EPA announced last week it is looking at over 130 new regulations.  Other government departments in the US and elsewhere seem to be ramping up their regulation writing machines as well.

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Week of 2 December 13: The continuing personnel shortage
Week of 2 December 13: The continuing personnel shortage

Despite the overall employment rate in developed economies remaining stubbornly high, when it comes to trained technical professionals, especially in the pulp and paper industry, a shortage seems to exist worldwide. How did we get in this situation, which seems especially difficult in the United States?

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Week of 25 November 13: A Fiduciary Crime
Week of 25 November 13: A Fiduciary Crime

It is the responsibility of everyone in a leadership position, all the way through the board of directors, to make sure investments are well thought out.  Many day-to-day decisions can be corrected.  Facility location, design, and specifications are permanent.  They can cripple a site from day one and lead to an early demise.  These mistakes are fiduciary crimes...

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Week of 18 November 13: Beware of Teams
Week of 18 November 13: Beware of Teams

I am not talking about teams with assigned rolls, such as baseball, football, or, papermachine production teams.  I am talking about ad hoc teams put together to accomplish a specific task...

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Week of 11 November 13: Clear Communications
Week of 11 November 13: Clear Communications

We must communicate clearly and effectively, good news or bad, to our subordinates and superiors.  We must listen clearly and with focus to matters told to us.  And we must practice this all the time...

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Week of 4 November 13: Coal Concerns
Week of 4 November 13: Coal Concerns

If you have not been following closely, it is apparent upon examination that the current US administration is solidly focused on shutting down coal-powered boilers used for any purpose.  Your mill likely does not have a coal-fired boiler, but if it does, it is in the cross-hairs of the EPA.  Yet, even if your mill does not have a coal-fired boiler, it is likely your mill’s electrical supply has at least some portion supplied by coal-fired generating capabilities...

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Week of 28 October 13: Contracting
Week of 28 October 13: Contracting

The area which I have often thought would make the most sense to contract, yet is done only rarely, is maintenance stores.  There are several companies which do at least a partial job of providing these services, but I am not aware of any company that provides a full-service maintenance stores solution...

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Week of 21 October 13: Preparation
Week of 21 October 13: Preparation

There are many things that are a surprise, the seasonal change is not one of them.  It happens every three months and the September and March ones bring the most changes...

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Week of 14 October 13: Why LinkedIn is important to you
Week of 14 October 13: Why LinkedIn is important to you

Add a little insurance to your family’s livelihood.  Invest some time in becoming fluent in LinkedIn...

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Week of 7 October 13: Race and Gender
Week of 7 October 13: Race and Gender

It amazes me today to see what little adoption of certain principles regarding race and gender has occurred in the nearly forty years since I was introduced to them. I am especially surprised how far behind major companies who have obviously hired many people of color and many women are as compared to my own experience...

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Week of 30 September 13: Treat your suppliers with respect
Week of 30 September 13: Treat your suppliers with respect

Bottom line, suppliers and their representatives likely need more attention than you are giving them if you want to take advantage of what they have to offer you.  And it is a two way street—they will move mountains for you if you are in trouble, if you have treated them with respect. If you haven’t, you will not have that phone number you need at two in the morning...

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Week of 23 September 13: Advice for students?
Week of 23 September 13: Advice for students?

Will a pulp and paper science student in the United States today interested in pulping processes (not papermaking) be able to complete a normal, 40-year career in the pulping sector in the United States? I think the answer is a resounding, “No.”

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Week of 16 September 13: Maintenance Progress?
Week of 16 September 13: Maintenance Progress?

While we have developed and acquired all sorts of gadgets and techniques to improve maintenance, primarily by reducing downtime, especially emergency downtime, we still haven’t done all that well...

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Week of 9 September 13: Terminating with dignity
Week of 9 September 13: Terminating with dignity

With the annual termination season, December, less than 90 days away, it is time to talk about this...

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Week of 2 September 13: The folly of the Life Balance Concept
Week of 2 September 13: The folly of the Life Balance Concept

No one striving for life balance will ever reach the top of their profession.  No one striving for life balance will ever rise to a high level in any company...

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Week of 26 August 13: Phony Professional Phriends
Week of 26 August 13: Phony Professional Phriends

During your career, you will (and I have) run into many professional phonies.  Sales people are near the top, but you’ll find internal candidates in your business, too.  These are people who feint interest in your personal life to gain some sort of favored intention with you...

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Week of 19 August 13: Perspective
Week of 19 August 13: Perspective

For all of us, how we perceive ourselves and how the viewing public, i.e., anyone looking at us, perceives us is often quite different.  I suspect I am not even telling you something you don’t know, but it is something you forget daily...

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Week of 12 August 13: Action, not words
Week of 12 August 13: Action, not words

Words inspire and are a call to action.  However, at some point action must be taken...

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Week of 5 August 13: Impossible until inevitable
Week of 5 August 13: Impossible until inevitable

For some reason, no one thinks their employer can shut down, no one thinks they can lose their job.  I have speculated before that it is apparently some sort of human mental defense mechanism that creates this denial.  It truly is impossible until it is inevitable...

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Week of 29 July 13: Thank you for spreading the word...
Week of 29 July 13: Thank you for spreading the word...

Over the years, Paperitalo Publications has had many firsts, both in ideas and in delivery, and like football teams, we have been gearing up for the season of our lives this year. If you like what you see, if you like to hear about innovations up to three years before the legacy organizations have a clue as to what is going on, we ask for your help...

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Week of 22 July 13: Where is the passion?
Week of 22 July 13: Where is the passion?

I have to admit, I miss the good old days when people screamed, yelled and threw things when activities or production were not proceeding according to plan...

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A week is a long time in politics
A week is a long time in politics

It is said that a week is a long time in politics, and the weeks since my last column have comprehensively demonstrated just that. The interval also demonstrated that economists are not much better at identifying the future than the rest of us...

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It’s déjà vu all over again
It’s déjà vu all over again

The shape of the Australian industry by year end will indeed look very different than it started the year, but the new son of Amcor will look much more like Amcor of 20 years ago and just might be the catalyst for a revived industry, especially if the economy shows renewed confidence as a result of the election outcome...

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Australasian Pulp & Paper - 2013 In Review
Australasian Pulp & Paper - 2013 In Review

It is again that time of the year when we look back at how the pulp and paper industry in Australia and New Zealand has fared for the business fiscal year, which in this part of the world is the year to June 30, 2013...

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Week of 15 July 13: What is your responsibility for know how?
Week of 15 July 13: What is your responsibility for know how?

The whole idea of employees lacking the curiosity to explore ways others are doing things or seeking new ways of doing things is just so foreign to me that it leaves me flabbergasted...

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Week of 8 July 13: Work Thugs
Week of 8 July 13: Work Thugs

A good friend recently related problems their spouse is having at work.  Two slackers who work in the same department have apparently decided to attack this spouse for actually being productive and doing a proper job.  The slackers have been there over ten years and this newbie of two years’ experience in the company is making them look bad.  So, in today’s climate, where it is hard to find another job, what do you do?

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Week of 1 July 13: Technological Advancement Roars On
Week of 1 July 13: Technological Advancement Roars On

Resting on the same old curricula, slightly updated, is not going to suffice to prepare leaders for our industry in the mid 21st century.  And face it—the graduates of today will likely be running the industry in 2045-2060.   We need more specialized paths to create a crop of graduates that will be out in front of the roar of technology marching on... 

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Week of 24 June 13: The danger in believing your own press…
Week of 24 June 13: The danger in believing your own press…

Sometimes it is called, “drinking your own bathwater.”  In general, it is about thinking you are great, important and all knowing.  It always blows up. 

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Week of 17 June 13: Two Sides must be doing cartwheels
Week of 17 June 13: Two Sides must be doing cartwheels

If you are not familiar with Two Sides and its President and COO, Phil Riebel, you should be.  Phil and this group are doing yeoman’s work to educate the public on their choices between electronic and paper information delivery.  Thanks to someone we never heard of before this month, we think it just got a lot easier for Phil to make his arguments when it comes to bank statements, credit card statements and bills... 

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Week of 10 June 13: Destroying a brand
Week of 10 June 13: Destroying a brand

Recent events seem to suggest we can, in real time, watch a retail brand being destroyed right now... 

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Innovation or Desperation
Innovation or Desperation
The paper industry in Australia continues to face a number of challenges...
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Week of 27 May 13: Over and Over and Over
Week of 27 May 13: Over and Over and Over

The curse of all businesses is killing problems and killing them dead.

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Week of 3 June 13: What are you afraid of?
Week of 3 June 13: What are you afraid of?

Over the years, it has been interesting to watch the fear level of employees... 

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Week of 20 May 13: Fiduciary Malfeasance
Week of 20 May 13: Fiduciary Malfeasance

I have seen many a good mill killed by poor maintenance...

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Week of 13 May 13: MAT
Week of 13 May 13: MAT

We have covered some other acronyms in this column before.  LOC stands for Lean, Orderly and Clean. LME stands for Legal, Moral and Ethical. This week, we want to introduce a third and state (hopefully) that if you follow all three acronyms, life will be good indeed. MAT stands for Maintained, Accountable and Trained...

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Week of 6 May 13: The Dreams of professional sales people
Week of 6 May 13: The Dreams of professional sales people

…and why complying with them can serve you well.

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Week of 29 April 13: Earplugs
Week of 29 April 13: Earplugs

I believe strongly that it is our dealing with the little things, like earplugs, that sets the tone for dealing with the big ones...

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Week of 22 April 13: Their schedule, not yours
Week of 22 April 13: Their schedule, not yours

Effective managers understand being effective.  Big surprise, eh?  More importantly, being effective does not necessarily mean wiping your to do list clean as fast as possible, especially when it comes to managing other people, superiors or subordinates. 

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Week of 15 April 13: Do sports teach us to cheat as managers?
Week of 15 April 13: Do sports teach us to cheat as managers?

Taking a condition, the foul in basketball, and using it as an offensive weapon sends a very wrong message to society. That message is this: If you can’t make it a legitimate way, in this case by making baskets, it is OK to cheat, up to a point, to gain an advantage. In my lifetime, I have seen this played out over and over again in business. Can’t make it legitimately? Cheat. 

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Week of 8 April 13: Are we overly sensitive about confidentiality?
Week of 8 April 13: Are we overly sensitive about confidentiality?

Are we incurring costs but gaining little in our quest to be confidential?

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Week of 1 April 13: History repeats itself
Week of 1 April 13: History repeats itself

Look around, are you working in a facility that meets the standards you would expect in a doctor’s office? 

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Week of 25 March 13: Going and Coming—implications for the pulp and paper industry
Week of 25 March 13: Going and Coming—implications for the pulp and paper industry

The world of tomorrow is not the world of today or yesterday.  If you are going to stay on top of your game, you will embrace it and be a leader, no matter your paper grade...

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An obituary for two icons
An obituary for two icons
This is not quite the column that I had intended to write. Recent events, one expected and one unexpected, call instead for an obituary for two icons of the Australian industry.
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Week of 18 March 13: Decline of Western Civilization?
Week of 18 March 13: Decline of Western Civilization?

Probably not, but an interesting thesis I have for you this week.  As we reported on Pulp & Paper Radio International this past Monday morning, there were two announcements of tissue and towel converting plants shutting down this past week.  One was a Clearwater facility in Thomaston, Georgia.  The other is Kimberly-Clark’s Delyn Plant in Wales which converts paper towels. It is somewhat rare, anywhere in the world, and especially in the western world, for tissue and towel facilities to completely shut.  However, here we have two examples...

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Week of 11 March 13: Water, water everywhere...
Week of 11 March 13: Water, water everywhere...

Our theme for the month of March at Paperitalo Publications is water usage. So, I thought I would start off with the wild and theoretical and then here, and in our other publications during the month (do you know we now have nine other publication issues during the month besides Nip Impressions and PaperMoney?) we would move towards the practical as the month goes along.

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