Nip Impressions logo
Tue, Jul 14, 2020 04:41
Click here for Pulp & Paper Radio International
Subscription Central
Must reads for pulp and paper industry professionals
My Profile
Management Side
Week of 9 March 2020: What to maintain?

Email Jim at

Listen to this column in your favorite format

iTunes or MP3

Seems like a simple question, but it is often missed. How do you determine what to maintain?

It starts with what you intend to keep. How do you determine what to keep? You start with old Jim's mantra: "Spinnin' the invoice printer." Everything that you keep must pass the test that it "spins the invoice printer," in other words, it is valuable to pushing whatever you do out the door with an invoice attached to it. There are a few things that violate this principle (we have guard rails to protect our people and to comply with safety regulations, for instance).

So, there are regulation compliance matters, but everything else must pass the invoice test.

In some facilities, you will see abandoned equipment. It may be scattered about or still bolted to its foundations. This is foolishness. Find the ways to get rid of it and its foundations. It is in the way and is sooner or later going to cause problems.

One southeastern US mill, at least the last time I was there, had a long driveway, probably a half mile long. Running along side the driveway was a short (in elevation) pipe bridge, with bents made of wood. The bents were rotten and so was the pipe. Obviously abandoned, the whole thing should have been site cleared.

The unenlightened might say, "it's not hurting anything, leave it there." Wrong! First, it is a morale problem for everyone coming to work every day. It is glaring statement that the company does not care about the image of the site. Second, it could actually slow the invoice printer, should a customer visit the mill and relate this eyesore to the mill's overall view of quality. Finally, should an environmental or safety regulator come on site, their drive in could inspire them to really take an in depth look at a place that is run in such a slipshod manner. Face it, the cost to clean up this mess is probably no more than the maintenance department's inefficiencies for a week.

You may have other idle equipment sitting around that, for one reason or another, has not been removed. Give it the invoice printer test and yank it out if it fails.

When you get all this junk out of the way, then you can see what is important and spend the resources necessary to maintain it.

First, after the obvious examples like that mentioned above, on the list of items to remove: dead pipes, tanks, and electrical equipment, including cabling. Not only is this stuff in your way, in most places it is illegal to keep dead pipes and cables in place. They are dangerous, because they can be connected to live sources of energy and cause great harm to assets and people.

Next on the list of items to clean up are those nooks and crannies in the maintenance shop and stores (set an example before you send your demolition crew out into the mill proper). This will make maintenance more efficient because they will be able to find the tools they need, not trip over all sorts of junk that is in their way.

Now you can get to those "spare" pumps, idled starch systems, calender stacks abandoned in place and so forth--I've seen them all.

Next week we'll remind you of the idled items that make sense to keep. There are a couple.

For safety this week, accidents caused by the failure to remove obsolesced equipment are inexcusable. Get rid of the stuff--now.

Be safe and we will talk next week.


Maintenance Month Platinum Sponsor: RMR Mechanical: We perform as planned! Visit us at!


Other interesting stories:

Printer-friendly format


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: