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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 222
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Week of 8 August 2022: The Rats find a new problem
Week of 8 August 2022: The Rats find a new problem

After three lights, the Great Mother called us together again. "We have heard a particularly disturbing story," she began. "It seems as though the Big Things want to be known for protecting this whole place where we live, but some of them take what they call shortcuts at times. The RBI, or Rat Bureau of Investigation, has been looking into this. I'll let them explain." Phineas Kirby came to the front of the room...

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Week of 1 August 2022: Fos takes control of the computer
Week of 1 August 2022: Fos takes control of the computer

By Jim Thompson interpreting for Fos the Rat ... Yes, it is August again and its is corruption month at Paperitalo Publications. We rats have observed in the past year that the human engagement in corruption is not limited to pulp and paper mills. This last statement may sound naïve, but one must understand our methods of communications are rather limited (basically just walking around and talking to each other) so we perhaps don't get all the information Big Things do.

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Week of 25 July 2022: HR and Regulations
Week of 25 July 2022: HR and Regulations

As we wrap up Environmental and Regulations Month here at Paperitalo, we would be remiss if we did not mention the minefield that regulations relating to Human Resources have become.

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Week of 18 July 2022: Don't make this regulatory mistake
Week of 18 July 2022: Don't make this regulatory mistake

Don't think you can turn regulations into a marketing advantage. Thinking that a customer base must buy a certain good or service and hence this will make an automatic market for you is a potential mistake.

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Week of 11 July 2022: When Regulations get Political
Week of 11 July 2022: When Regulations get Political

The general intent of regulations is to keep order in society and keep the population safe. A dictionary definition of regulations is "a rule or directive made and maintained by an authority." My cynical version is this: "those who have power by fiat telling those who own assets what to do." Over the decades, we have seen many actions that follow my definition here in the pulp and paper industry.

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Week of 4 July 2022: Asphyxiation by Regulation
Week of 4 July 2022: Asphyxiation by Regulation

A little regulation is probably good, but a lot of regulation chokes business to death.

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Week of 27 June 2022: We interrupt the Purchasing Series to talk about Energy Again
Week of 27 June 2022: We interrupt the Purchasing Series to talk about Energy Again

Sorry about that, but the energy news is coming thick and fast for all of us these days. I am sure you remember old Jim telling you to carefully preserve your boilers, regardless of what form of energy they consume (I have also said these are the only types of idled assets to save). I hope you have heeded my advice. It appears the rapid transition to "Green Energy" sources appears to have some problems.

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Week of 20 June 2022: Purchasing and Gifts
Week of 20 June 2022: Purchasing and Gifts

A tough subject and one all of us, not matter what side of the negotiating table we sit, should treat with respect, not forgetting our fiduciary duty.

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Week of 13 June 2022: Procurement Today
Week of 13 June 2022: Procurement Today

Today, we need to know the delivery status of items way before their expected delivery date. We even need to know what ship they are on and where that ship is at any given moment. As shortages continue, this becomes even more important.

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Week of 6 June 2022: Procurement Opportunities
Week of 6 June 2022: Procurement Opportunities

The purchasing department is an area of great opportunities. It is also a place where all the profits of the mill can be dribbled away, and a potential source of grossly unimaginable corruption. The purchasing department must be carefully managed.

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Week of 30 May 2022: Always use less
Week of 30 May 2022: Always use less

As we wrap up this month on energy trends, there is one certainty over which you have complete control. That certainty is this...energy you don't use frees you from others' control. If we think of a pulp and paper mill as a "black box" this means that energy we use inside the mill that we generate ourselves frees us from the vagaries of the markets and external suppliers.

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Week of 23 May 2022: Energy Security
Week of 23 May 2022: Energy Security

If you have read this column for any length of time, I am about to repeat something you have heard before. I am always in favor of removing obsolete and unused equipment quickly with one glaring exception. That exception is this: power plants.

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Week of 16 May 2022: It's Electrifying!
Week of 16 May 2022: It's Electrifying!

The answer to dirty energy today seems to be electricity. For mobile transportation, cars and trucks, electricity moves the emissions from many points (tail pipes) to either single points (power stations) or theoretically no points (solar, wind and hydroelectric). The first thing we need to understand is that our choice of energy is cost, ease of use, and emotions. Notice that glaringly absent from this list is science. Energy choices have long since left science out of the equation.

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Week of 9 May 2022: Energy is Important
Week of 9 May 2022: Energy is Important

Of course, it is. You ask how I can write a column about this. What we don't realize is how rapidly and how important energy has become to modern societies. The following is a column I wrote for my hometown newspaper about six months ago. While not about energy, it describes a real scenario, that while current, could have easily been widespread conditions about 70 years ago in the United States. The boiler, an important object in this piece, was manufactured only about sixty years ago.

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Week of 2 May 2022: Energy Trends Month
Week of 2 May 2022: Energy Trends Month

On the Nip Impressions calendar, May is energy trends month. There is hardly a timelier topic, except perhaps food trends, but Nip Impressions does not cover food and my doctor wants me to lose ten pounds, so I try not to think about it. I would guess a good half of the headlines in the popular press today are about energy. These then fall into two categories, security of supply and what to do about, what I will call "dirty" energy.

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Week of 25 April 2022: Bragging about safety records (and more)
Week of 25 April 2022: Bragging about safety records (and more)

I was doing some consulting in a mill a number of years ago that had a sign by their entrance that stated they had won some "safety award of the year" some years before the time I visited. I chided them and asked what they had been doing since the time of the award? Obviously, they had not won it again. Unfortunately, about five years after my visit, they had a triple fatality at that mill--contractors on an outage. There are a couple of issues I would like to unpack from my opening paragraph.

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Week of 18 April 2022: (Legitimate) drug use on outages (and more)
Week of 18 April 2022: (Legitimate) drug use on outages (and more)

Many of us take OTC (Over The Counter) drugs. These can be abused, too. Especially on outages. I'll tell a story on myself...

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Week of 11 April 2022: Without much time to think
Week of 11 April 2022: Without much time to think

There was a fatal automobile accident in our neighborhood lately that can serve as an excellent study on how we think when there is little time to sort out the situation. There are lessons here for all of us.

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Week of 4 April 2022: A Safety Resource
Week of 4 April 2022: A Safety Resource

I like to remind people of the following resource any time I get a chance. It is a good way to start off safety month here at Paperitalo Publications. It is simply this. On our website, PaperMoney (www.globalpapermoney.com), we have been keeping track of the industry's safety performance. In its sixth year now, the department, "Reported Risks" is a current chronicle of "Risks: Fires, Fatalities and Catastrophes." It is a good learning resource and a source of endless safety meeting subjects.

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Week of 28 March 2022: Additive manufacturing of spare parts moves to an essential activity
Week of 28 March 2022: Additive manufacturing of spare parts moves to an essential activity

It has been over a decade ago that I started talking about manufacturing your own spare parts with additive manufacturing. It is now moving from an interesting idea to a vital necessity. Between logistics problems and world turmoil, the spare parts needed for your machine may not be available. Most, except those of the most critical metallurgy, you can make in your own shop with less skills than a first-class welder or machinist.

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Week of 21 March 2022: Importance of Lubrication
Week of 21 March 2022: Importance of Lubrication

Over the years, I have talked about this miserable old mill that I worked at long ago. When I was young, when I had a choice, I always ran towards opportunities that had lots of problems. My philosophy was that situations in trouble were the best way to advance your career. I have never been interested in career safety, it is boring and leads to complacency. So, I end up at this mill, in the prime of my career. It is large, ancient and a mess...

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Week of 14 March 2022: Will vs. Means
Week of 14 March 2022: Will vs. Means

We have more aids for maintenance today than ever before. Detection instruments, storeroom software, built in monitors, training, you name it. Maintenance has never had more help than is available today. So, why do we still have maintenance failures?

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Week of 7 March 2022: Maintenance Month
Week of 7 March 2022: Maintenance Month

Probably after August (Pulp Rats Month), Maintenance Month is my favorite month of the year on the Paperitalo editorial calendar. My dad was notorious for avoiding maintenance. It was an expense he loathed in the same manner as many mill managers and operations executives do. I followed his example for a while, saw the fruits of such policies and became a maintenance fanatic. A couple of old family incidents are in order.

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Week of 28 February 2022: Logistics up close and personal
Week of 28 February 2022: Logistics up close and personal

I don't think most mills realize how close we are to interacting with robots every day. The box plants are ahead of us on this. The new Super Plants require about two thirds the employment for the same level of productivity. They are all 110" corrugators and they have a heavy component of robotics. I am expecting to see a flurry of box plant upgrades between now and 2030. Super plants won't be super then--they will be the norm. Back in the papermill, a couple of ready for here and now human aids are available.

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Week of 21 February 2022: Frequent Flier Miles for your new Refiner
Week of 21 February 2022: Frequent Flier Miles for your new Refiner

In today's world, you may want to think long and hard about how the new or replacement piece of equipment (or other vital supplies) reach your mill. If you can afford to wait 12 - 18 weeks for those special refiner plates to arrive, put them on a ship. If you are losing production or quality every day because you do not have them, fly 'em, the most economical overall cost.

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