Last week we asked, "What does it take to convince you to take the plunge and try something new?"
(multiple answers were allowed)
11% Exisiting obsolete and failing equipment
11% Mandate from above
22% Low risk installation and startup
34% Several proven, nearly identical installations elsewhere
45% Extremely high return
We also received comments:
-Doing it before someone else, to take advantage, if the risk can be calculated. Doing things other still doesn't do. Looking out of the box, e.g. look in an other industry why and how they solve there problems, and can we learn from them. How can I turn my connections into a step forward, do trials yourself when you think that constrains can be overcome. To be honest? Don't let yourself be held back by suppliers. One time we wanted something special on our coater, the builder of the coater told us this would not be possible. Our own maintenance made the drawings and we had other manufaturers made the parts for us. Its now four years further and it still works.
-In the current "shareholder value/short-term" decision making in our industry, extremely high return and low risk are the only way changes seem to be made.
-Nearly identical is a bit of a stretch. It may be that it has been used at a smaller scale and is ready for scale up which may be acceptable. There should be a demonstration it works somewhere at some scale before bringing it to the mill.
-Anything that improves people, customer quality, efficiencies, manufacturing cost, has my ear. They always improve the bottom line.
-On a smaller-scale basis, there is some risk in this during day-to-day operations. Six sigma, grade recipes, etc. are driven to produce consistency. However, if you are consistently sub-optimized, you can be leaving a lot of money on the table. You need to make sure there is room and incentive for continuous improvement and not monotonous mediocrity!
-Existing obsolete and failing equipment seems IMHO to be at least a little late. Only when financial constrains are very hight this is a kind of last resort. Try to be ahead and not behind.
-There is a lot of obsolete, worn out and high maintenance equipment in fiber while investments are made in energy, paper machine and environmental areas. Some balance is needed to distribute capital that will increase yield, product quality and productivity.
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