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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 324
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Week of 22 July 2024: Standards--the other side of regulations
Week of 22 July 2024: Standards--the other side of regulations

We've talked about policy and regulations for three weeks, let's finish out the month with two columns on standards. Standards are so ubiquitous; we don't even notice them.

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Week of 15 July 2024: Regulations if I were King
Week of 15 July 2024: Regulations if I were King

There are many regulations we encounter in our work life that are good. There are others that seem to be a power kick for the regulators. Here is one I would have us adopt a papermakers if I were King.

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Week of 8 July 2024: The most important week in regulations and policy ever
Week of 8 July 2024: The most important week in regulations and policy ever

The last week of June this year may be the most important week in regulations and general policy in the last century.

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Week of 1 July 2024: EUDR
Week of 1 July 2024: EUDR

If you have not heard of EUDR by now, surely others in your company have. This is the European Commission Regulation on Deforestation-free products. Subtitle: EU rules to guarantee that the products EU citizens consume do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation worldwide. The operative word here is "worldwide." Thus, no matter where you make your forest products, if you want to sell it in the EU, you must comply.

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Week of 24 June 2024: Procurement--Knowledge of the Use and Need
Week of 24 June 2024: Procurement--Knowledge of the Use and Need

Quick--what is your image of your purchasing team? I'll bet it is them sitting in their offices with their nose stuck in a computer or a document. Or perhaps on the phone. Back in the days when I worked in a mill, I spent a good deal of time wandering around the mill. It didn't make any difference what my job was, I wandered around the mill in order to understand it from a detailed and overarching perspective. This made me better at my job, whether it be engineering, maintenance, technical, power house manager, whatever.

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Week of 17 June 2024: Procurement--Understanding the Legal Aspects
Week of 17 June 2024: Procurement--Understanding the Legal Aspects

Forty years ago, I was up to my eyeballs in a major rebuild of the paper machine where I worked. One day, a couple of months before the actual commencement of the shutdown for the rebuild, I got a call in my office. It was a truck driver that was in the administration building. He had walked there from where he left his truck, about two miles down the road (no cell phones in those days). I went out to see what I could do for him. He took me to his truck. It was barely off the two-lane highway. One set of the trailer's rear axle tires were gone, and the wheel hubs were worn down to the axle. We are talking about two axles.

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Week of 10 June 2024: Procurement--Honest and Ethical
Week of 10 June 2024: Procurement--Honest and Ethical

These days it often takes a deep dive to understand honest and ethical, the first two attributes I mentioned last week. When it comes to honesty, you can't be selective. You are either honest or you are not--throughout all aspects of your life. Hence, purchasing managers, especially, need to be honest throughout all aspects of their life.

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Week of 3 June 2024: Qualifications for Procurement
Week of 3 June 2024: Qualifications for Procurement

This is simple and in this order...

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Week of 27 May 2024: One more thing...
Week of 27 May 2024: One more thing...

Over fifty years ago, when I first entered the pulp and paper industry, the first energy crisis was underway. As a young person early in my career, I and others in my peer group thought this was new, exciting and solvable. Fifty years later, it is old, boring and never ending. So, let's end this month's energy trends' columns with three truths.

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Week of 20 May 2024: How to impact energy usage within and outside the industry
Week of 20 May 2024: How to impact energy usage within and outside the industry

Worldwide, the overall energy policy in place is derived from ideas one hundred years or more old. For the last century, all we have been doing is putting band aides on this, leaving us with a mishmash of regulations that do nothing to make a consistent, effective policy. We will just focus on highway transportation here and ponder a bit how a sane policy in this corner of the energy world would have a profound impact on energy usage everywhere, even inside our mills.

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Week of 13 May 2024: Energy Stability
Week of 13 May 2024: Energy Stability

When I was a teenager on the farm in southern Ohio, the electric line came across the pasture to our home. It was about 1/3 of a mile from our house to the road where the main electric line was and is. I have an aerial shot of our homestead hanging in my office which was taken about 1970. In it, one can clearly see the electric pole near our house with the bright gray, almost white, transformer near its top. Let me tell you about this transformer...

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Week of 6 May 2024: Energy Follies
Week of 6 May 2024: Energy Follies

"The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power" by Daniel Yergin is the definitive book on the history of oil up until the current energy craziness we have been experiencing for the last fifteen years or so. It is also a great documentary available for free on YouTube. I highly recommend the documentary. Unfortunately, "The Prize" stops where modern energy follies start.

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Week of 29 April 2024: Wash, rinse, repeat
Week of 29 April 2024: Wash, rinse, repeat

This is exactly the same column I delivered up to you for the last week in March. At that time, I was talking about housekeeping and how it relates to maintenance. Housekeeping is strongly tied into safety, too. Read it again, please. This is the column I promised you last week. Your reaction will be either scoffing at it or believing it--there will be no middle of the road reactions. If you decide to believe, contact me and I will help you, at no charge, to get started.

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Week of 22 April 2024: Corporate Induced Safety Distractions
Week of 22 April 2024: Corporate Induced Safety Distractions

The US and European pulp and paper industries are in the throes of two distinct and separate mergers (or takeovers, if you prefer). One is being driven from Europe, the other from the United States. Despite noble efforts from the respective executive suites some employees will be upset. This has happened in similar situations before.

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Week of 15 April 2024: Cell Phone Safety
Week of 15 April 2024: Cell Phone Safety

In most jurisdictions, it is illegal to hold a cell phone while driving a car. Yet in most paper mills, one does not see this sort of restriction, indeed, anything close to it. Should we have similar restrictions in mills? I think so...there is almost no place in a pulp and paper mill where a phone is appropriate.

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Week of 8 April 2024: Macho Nonsense
Week of 8 April 2024: Macho Nonsense

I must admit I did this back in the day, and I recently heard this practice still happens. Hourly workers are usually protected from this, with or without unions, so it is a practice where one needs to focus on the management ranks. I am talking about ridiculously long working periods.

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Week of 1 April 2024: The role of standards in safety
Week of 1 April 2024: The role of standards in safety

Observing mill engineering departments for a few decades, I've noticed a haphazard application of well known nationally and internationally recognized standards in small, mill originated upgrade projects. I'll even admit that, decades ago, I likely participated in this negligence. Standards are created for a reason.

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Week of 25 March 2024: How to fix your maintenance--really
Week of 25 March 2024: How to fix your maintenance--really

This is the column I promised you last week. Your reaction will be either scoffing at it or believing it--there will be no middle of the road reactions. If you decide to believe, contact me and I will help you, at no charge, to get started.

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Week of 18 March 2024: Maintenance as a morale booster
Week of 18 March 2024: Maintenance as a morale booster

I don't think I have ever been around more depressing pulp and paper mills than those experiencing poor maintenance. The only thing that can drive morale down faster is producing a product in a declining market (anyone remember newsprint?). Sadly, many senior managers view maintenance as a cost.

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Week of 11 March 2024: Maintenance on the fringes
Week of 11 March 2024: Maintenance on the fringes

Sometimes I think maintenance suffers from "macho disease." We talk about changing out press rolls, monitoring machine bearings and other sorts of "big deal" maintenance projects. I would hate to think how many times I have been exposed to pump and motor alignment. Yes, it is an important subject, but it is not everything. There are other things that can shut you down, too (or at least cause you to lie).

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Week of 5 March 2024: Maintenance--my favorite month
Week of 5 March 2024: Maintenance--my favorite month

It is my favorite month because maintenance can pay huge dividends. Or maintenance can kill you if you ignore it. I've told many mill related tales of maintenance in this column over the years. For some reason, when I started to think about maintenance for this year's column series, I went back to my youth and some maintenance disasters that took place when I was a teenager at home.

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Week of 26 February 2024: A Possible Answer?
Week of 26 February 2024: A Possible Answer?

We have spent the last three weeks talking about transportation issues and challenges in the pulp and paper industry today. About a year ago, I had an epiphany in the transportation and warehousing area. I went out and got a "patent pending" status on it. Due to all my other activities, I only feebly marketed it. At the time, my idea was to sell the idea. In the meantime, I have now decided to present it here for you to ponder.

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Week of 19 February 2024: Stop moving stuff
Week of 19 February 2024: Stop moving stuff

Jerry Seinfeld has an old joke that goes like this. He is out driving in a rural area. He passes a log truck. Then he meets a log truck coming towards him. He asks, "If the people over here need logs and the people over there have logs, couldn't they just call each other up and avoid driving these logs all over the place?" It got a big laugh. Of course, real life is not this simple.

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Week of 12 February 2024: Watch the terminations in transportation
Week of 12 February 2024: Watch the terminations in transportation

To borrow from last week, I don't care if it is the bar of soap going down the conveyor or the shipment of pulp from Brazil, the costs in transportation is the onloading and the offloading. These termination points are also the points most susceptible to mishandling and accidents. Granted the load must be secured appropriately, depending on the application, but you'll find the problems and the costs are at the ends.

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Week of 5 February 2024: Transportation Thoughts
Week of 5 February 2024: Transportation Thoughts

It is transportation month here at Nip Impressions, and there is a lot to talk about. I almost titled this first column of the month "Transportation Follies" but then thought better of it. There certainly are many transportation follies in the headlines these days. However, I thought I would spend this first column of the month in a cerebral fashion. What do you think of when you think about transportation?

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 324
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