I had the opportunity last fall to visit the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Of the original seven wonders of the ancient world, they are the only one remaining.
Your safety awareness radar
Whenever I see an actor on television or movies at the wheel of a car talking with a front seat passenger I cringe when the driver isn’t paying attention to the road in front of him.
Speaking up for forest products
If you're working in the forest products industry you've probably had a similar experience to this.
Industry 4.0 – a fancy label for continuous improvement
Marketers are always coming up with new names for improved products, but it seems they don't expect their customers to be able to count higher than five.
Opening the door to innovation
Patents are supposed to spread knowledge by making those filing for a patent describe the innovation in detail.
Poka Yoke for easier and safer work
If you've had any exposure to Lean Manufacturing, you'll be familiar with the term Poka Yoke, invented by lean guru Shigeo Shingo in the 1960s.
Reduce, Recycle, and Rethink
According to the OECD, Germany recycles or composts 65% of its waste. The remainder is incinerated, since there are no landfills in the country.
The Evolution of Maintenance Philosophies
Maintenance philosophies have come a long way in the last few decades.
Data Mining 101
I heard it said recently that in the last ten minutes, more data have been generated than since the prehistoric era until 2003.
A History Lesson on Paper Tariffs
In January 2018, the US Department of Commerce slapped a tariff ranging from 0.65% to 9.93% on Canadian producers of uncoated groundwood paper.
Four Seasons of Papermaking
Unless you live near the equator, you are aware of seasonal changes and how to react to them. But did you know that papermaking can also be affected by season?
Using Consultants in the “Gig Economy”
One of my first summer jobs as a teenager was playing the organ for weddings at various churches. It was my first experience as a freelance employee, or what musicians call playing "gigs".
The Business of Handmade Paper
According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans still send 6.5 billion greeting cards every year, about 1.6 billion of which are for the Christmas season.
Ikea and the forest products industry
A few years ago, I visited a major department store to purchase a sofa, but the item I wanted was out of stock and had to be back-ordered.
A Tale of Two Cities and their Newspapers
If you don't live in one of Canada's two largest cities, Toronto and Montreal, you might have missed the latest skirmishes in the battle between paper and electronic formats for newspaper readers.
Getting high on problem-solving
One of my favourite activities is hiking to mountain-tops. I start out with a clear objective to get to the top, and when I arrive there I'm rewarded by great views!
How to use paper mill downtime profitably
At one period in my career, I was working at a paper mill where I had a lot of projects that depended on the mill running.
The rise and fall of recycled content in newsprint
In March 2017 the newsprint mill in Thorold, Ontario was indefinitely idled. Ontario Paper Company started up this mill in 1913 and was a pioneer in the field of recycled furnish, having experimented with it briefly during World War II to extend its pulp supply.
Trials and errors in the paper industry
I have participated in some paper machine trials that failed badly but taught some valuable lessons.
A Brief History of Lint
I remember the first time I saw a colour picture in a newspaper in the 1960s. I also remember the last time I saw newsprint being made on a fourdrinier machine, in the 1990s. Newsprint and printing technologies have come a long way since then.
An Unexpected Cold Shower
You have probably all had this experience at some time. I got up one morning for my morning shower, and the water turned cold on me!
Does Your Mill Have a Data Strategy?
Many years ago at a paper mill I was working with, superintendents read the values of their key performance indicators (KPIs) off circle charts and transferred them manually to a whiteboard every morning, and most of the morning meeting was spent discussing those values and what had happened over the past 24 hours.