Nip Impressions logo
Mon, Jan 17, 2022 13:57
Visitor
Home
Click here for Pulp & Paper Radio International
Subscription Central
Must reads for pulp and paper industry professionals
Search
My Profile
Login
Logout
Management Side
Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 193
Prev - Next
Week of 17 January 2022: What is acceptable risk in a capital project?
Week of 17 January 2022: What is acceptable risk in a capital project?

I have written assessments on lots of projects. Every one of them follows the same pattern in the same order. Three questions: 1. What are the markets? 2. What are the raw materials? 3. What are the assets (including tangible assets and human assets) that you place between (1) and (2) to have a successful project? If you don't start here, your chances of success are very low.

More ...
Week of 10 January 2022: Upside down thinking when it comes to capital planning
Week of 10 January 2022: Upside down thinking when it comes to capital planning

Have you ever had a conversation like this? "I was going to by a car from Brand X because it is cheaper and has more features than Brand Y." "Well, you obviously bought Brand Y. Why?" "Brand X didn't have any in stock and didn't know when they would get any." So, really, in the end, Brand X didn't mean anything because you could not get Brand X. Their price could have been twice the price or half the price of Brand Y, it just didn't make any difference. You may find yourself in this place with certain pieces of capital equipment now. You may have to become a "satisfier" instead of an "optimizer."

More ...
Week of 3 January 2022: How to manage your capital budget this year
Week of 3 January 2022: How to manage your capital budget this year

Most of the people I talk to today have not prepared or managed capital budgets under the conditions we find ourselves in now. Well, I saw my first capital budget in an industrial setting in March of 1970. Perhaps I can help you a bit--we had similar issues back then as those we are facing today--the administration in the White House in those days thought they could control inflation with price controls which caused me to miss two planned 25 cent raises as a co-op student, from $2.75 per hour, to $3.00 per hour to $3.25/hour, over a period of 18 months. Glad I could do my part to help tame inflation; as a student operating on the pay as you go plan (no loans), one makes too much money anyway.

More ...
Week of 27 December 2021: Is there a magic elixir for an energy marketing advantage?
Week of 27 December 2021: Is there a magic elixir for an energy marketing advantage?

I don't think this is a one size fits all question as you look at your marketing going forward. Some customers will be interested in your energy usage, others will be interested in what your products can do to save them costs in their manufacturing and logistics schemes. Please note that in all scenarios in this column, I will be talking primarily about business-to-business sales, not business to consumers.

More ...
Week of 20 December 2021: Changing ROI in Power & Energy
Week of 20 December 2021: Changing ROI in Power & Energy

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal which was discussing the write down coming in some energy assets, such as coal reserves, as the economy switches to "greener" energy sources. Like it or not, agree with it or not, there seems to be a move afoot to completely change our acceptable energy sources. You can interpret this as follows: energy is going to get more expensive, a lot more expensive, in this new world.

More ...
Week of 13 December 2021: Identity Energy
Week of 13 December 2021: Identity Energy

What concerns me today is that we seem to be more interested in the form of energy rather than its efficiency or cost. Energy has taken on somewhat of an "identity politics" persona. In earlier days, it was security of supply and efficiency. Today it is products of combustion that seems to garner the attention.

More ...
Week of 6 December 2021: Now more than ever
Week of 6 December 2021: Now more than ever

If you have read this column for any length of time, you know that old Jim has told you countless times to carefully mothball energy assets that are out of favor, for sooner or later, they will come back into fashion again. This statement is a corollary to my principle, all energy decisions are political. This calendar year has seen a sudden swing to an overwhelming global opinion that climate change is "settled science" and we can't decarbonize fast enough. Couple this with ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) principles and boards of directors worldwide are moving at warp speed towards these extremely popular ideas.

More ...
Week of 29 November 2021: Innovation in the near future
Week of 29 November 2021: Innovation in the near future

The components and devices to do what I will describe here exists now. Someone just needs to assemble the bits and pieces.

More ...
Week of 22 November 2021: Innovation is possible for anyone
Week of 22 November 2021: Innovation is possible for anyone

If you think you can't innovate, the problem is purely mental. Creativity can be learned and you can use it in many ways to make your work environment more productive and safer.

More ...
Week of 15 November 2021: Innovation speed
Week of 15 November 2021: Innovation speed

Getting innovation right is crucial to optimizing profitability. Too soon, and the equipment may not be able to deliver as promised. Too late and your competition may have already eclipsed you.

More ...
Week of 8 November 2021: Innovation as you go
Week of 8 November 2021: Innovation as you go

There have been many attempts to institutionalize innovation. Sometimes the domiciles of higher education seem to think they have a lock on innovation capabilities. Likely, in some areas, they do. The innovation with near term payoff, however, often takes place at the millsite. It is an activity in which everyone can participate and can be made into a fun (and profitable) activity if structured correctly.

More ...
Week of 1 November 2021: Innovation Month
Week of 1 November 2021: Innovation Month

We are in the process of revitalizing and restarting the Light Green Machine Institute, a 501c3 educational institute we created back around 2008. The Light Green Machine Institute's mission statement is "Holistically reducing the environmental impact of pulp and paper processing."

More ...
Week of 25 October 2021: The fourth step in Quality
Week of 25 October 2021: The fourth step in Quality

The fourth step in quality is the training and morale of your personnel. All your employees need to be thoroughly trained for the job at hand and not only trained but taught to think so that they can take action when they see something occur that can affect quality.

More ...
Week of 18 October 2021: The third step in Quality
Week of 18 October 2021: The third step in Quality

The third step in Quality is the quality of your raw materials. Some might have thought this is the second step. No, it's the third, for you don't know the quality of raw materials required until you know the quality you are promising your customers.

More ...
Week of 11 October 2021: The second step in Quality
Week of 11 October 2021: The second step in Quality

The second step in Quality is a solid standard of product performance. If you are in the tissue and towel business, these are likely internal standards. If you are in the containerboard or other paper products businesses, these are likely recognized industry standards. You don't know what quality is if you can't define it.

More ...
Week of 4 October 2021: The first step in Quality
Week of 4 October 2021: The first step in Quality

The first step in the path to producing a quality product is the housekeeping in your facility. I know I sound like a broken record, but in truth, housekeeping is the first step in many actions in your mill or converting facility. I have never seen quality products consistently produced in dirty or sloppy facilities. It is just not possible.

More ...
Week of 27 September 2021: Get out of your office
Week of 27 September 2021: Get out of your office

If you are the top person on your site, get out of your office and visit your people regularly. I recommend 6 a.m. rounds, with flashlight and small notepad in hand to take notes on what you find (or put them on your phone). Shake hands, get to know your people. If you are over a large facility, don't do it all in a day, but make sure you visit every department at least once per week.

More ...
Week of 20 September 2021: Human/Machine Interface today
Week of 20 September 2021: Human/Machine Interface today

Where human/machine interface is going in our paper mills is hard to guess, it seems to be just at the cusp of arriving as we implement Industry 4.0. On one hand, it will make us better papermakers, but on the other, like my automobile experiences, we will likely have many of the unconscious dependencies...

More ...
Week of 13 September 2021: Video Games and Paper Machine Operation
Week of 13 September 2021: Video Games and Paper Machine Operation

I was assistant project manager in the engineering department at a mill back in the early 1980's. I have referenced this experience a number of times in this column over the years. One of the upgrades we made at the time was to go from pneumatic controls to digital computer control. This means that the machine, which only a few days ago was operated from benchboard on the floor was now operated from a control room. Now a mere month later, the bench boards are gone. Keep in mind, the crews on this machine had been running it from benchboards for about 14 years...

More ...
Week of 6 September 2021: Management Today
Week of 6 September 2021: Management Today

This is my 52nd September in the workforce. I think management is tougher than ever. Think about it--when I started even OSHA did not exist. People were glad to have jobs and they put up with all sorts of things at work that simply aren't tolerated today, both from the standpoint of society's mores and from a labor regulatory perspective.

More ...
Week of 30 August 2021: Fos wraps up for 2021
Week of 30 August 2021: Fos wraps up for 2021

Silas, the CEO of REO, wasn't finished last week. He had another story he wanted to relate.

More ...
Week of 23 August 2021: Fos continues...
Week of 23 August 2021: Fos continues...

After a few lights of recreation, the Great Mother convened us once again. "Rats," she announced, "Let me introduce the Rat 'Em Out Detective Agency. You can just call them "REO" for short." Six wizened looking old rats came to the front of the room.

More ...
Week of 16 August 2021: Fos continues...
Week of 16 August 2021: Fos continues...

The Great Mother called the meeting to order after a short break. "Who has a case for us?" Dis came up the side aisle. There were a lot of rats at the meeting. They had been attracted by the thoughts of a trip to the Big Things capital city and to their building where the biggest rats of all congregated. The Great Mother seemed to be in a benevolent mood, "And what is your story, my child?" "In the mill where I work, there is this female Big Thing. I should say, 'there was.' She is in jail now."

More ...
Week of 9 August 2021: Fos continues...
Week of 9 August 2021: Fos continues...

The Rats arrived at the big building with the big half ball on top. What we didn't count on is how bad it stinks inside! Don't know how the Big Things stand it, but after a day or two, we pretty much got used to it. I guess because it has been here a long time and gotten saturated with the residuals of Big Thing's activities causes it to stink so. The Great Mother called us to order. "Thank you for coming. As usual, the Big Things have been working overtime again creating havoc and committing crimes throughout the land. What's on the docket today?"

More ...
Week of 2 August 2021: Already, it is corruption month again!
Week of 2 August 2021: Already, it is corruption month again!

By Jim Thompson interpreting for Fos the Rat: You Big Things may think we rats are in the dark about your activities. Of course, if you have been reading this column for any length of time, you know that is not true. I (Fos) have been reporting on your misdeeds and malfeasance since August of 2015. Yes, this makes the seventh year Mr. Jim has yielded his column to me for the month of August.

More ...
Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 193
Prev - Next

Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: