Let me tell you
October 1, 2006 By Pulp & Paper Canada
When a connection is made, when a manager or other official at a mill opens up and lets us know what is new or what is happening at that mill, it’s a bonus not only for us at the magazine but also for…
When a connection is made, when a manager or other official at a mill opens up and lets us know what is new or what is happening at that mill, it’s a bonus not only for us at the magazine but also for our readers. Since articles mentioning mills, mill people or case studies are cited more frequently by readers than any other features, we try to include as many as possible in our editorial line-up.
Inside this issue, the retrofit article (Updating PM’s – retrofits for productivity improvement, page 14) was an exciting project to tackle, with loads of mills to contact and suppliers with whom to speak. Gathering the information required contacting many mills to uncover upgrades and developments; it was quite heartening to find out that there were so many projects underway or recently completed.
Some of the notes of pride I heard were quite potent. It was obvious that the people whose daily lives revolve around a mill feel an attachment to their place of work and the product they produce.
However, it also turned out to be frustrating for us as well. In some cases, personnel and/or job description had changed and there were no updates available. Sources were worried about revealing proprietary knowledge (we don’t) while others were just difficult to reach, despite modern day technology of office phones, cell phones, blackberries, pagers and e-mails.
It was often a case of telephone tag. And, in some cases, I must admit, contact was never established. But we persisted as much as we could, in order to paint as complete a picture as possible for our readers.
What is a magazine’s role after all?
I am a firm believer that the information shared about investments made and production increased or quality improved encourages other mills and companies to do the same.
And that can only help the industry.
In the area of web handling and converting, Dr. David Roisum is a well-known authority, having authored six books, co-authored or edited many others and written more than 100 articles, conference papers and other publications. He’s been the technical editor for Converting Magazine with a monthly column entitled Web Works since 1994 and has been honoured by TAPPI with their Finishing & Converting Division Award, Thomas W. Busch Prize and Finest Faculty awards. In an informal and easy-to-follow article (Troubleshooting baggy webs, page 18) Roisum leads the reader through the process of analyzing and attempting to solve this common problem. As he says, creativity and bravery are needed in order to identify the offending element when analyzing baggy webs. It’s a good thing we have his advice to follow.
Once you have reached the end of the process, those rolls of paper must be delivered to the customer in prime condition and, in order to evaluate the potential of automated roll handling in the mill, it is necessary to study different factors, from conveying to palletizing, to storage and retrieval. A careful study can save companies that handle paper rolls significant time and money, as well as having other benefits. See page 22 (Is paper roll handling automation right for your operation?) for suggestions on how to apply this method to your own mill.
For several days in the middle of September, I had the pleasure of participating in the PAPTAC Joint Meeting of the Executive Council and Committee Chair and Branch Executives in Trois Rivires, QC. Since this is a closed function, my role was not to report on the event but to observe and learn. At the same time, Heather Lynch (PPC assistant editor) and I appreciated the opportunity to meet more of the people who support the industry, whether it is through their job function or the volunteer work they do for the committees.
The opportunity to network, smaller in scope than the larger events organized by PAPTAC, carries a lot of weight through the information that is shared, both formally and informally, through the presentations and roundtable discussions from each committee.
This year, an added bonus was a tour of the CIPP facilities, the Integrated Pulp and Paper Centre, conducted by Dr. Patrice Mangin, the general director, and Professor Sylvain Robert. Even with the sound of welding and construction in the background, the enthusiasm of these visionaries was contagious. It was easy to understand their firm belief that the research and study at the CIPP will be a tremendous benefit to the Canadian pulp and paper industry.
We are also continuing to amass more opinions through our Pulp & Paper People Poll (or, as we prefer to call it in a more familiar way, “3P-poll”). This month the question is in a different format, instead of the usual multiple choice. We wanted to know what products people would suggest as alternative forest products for additional revenue at different mills.
Send us an e-mail about this or any other subject. We know that you have something to say and we are listening. It really is easy to reach us through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) and register your opinion.
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