Capital Argument$
A trademark of Paperitalo Publications
Published on the 15th of every month
December 2012
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Keep your personal standards of professionalism at a high level, don't accept "gifts."

Work Safely,

Jim Thompson
Executive Editor

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'Tis the season

...for bottles of booze, fresh turkeys, and so forth. Yes, I remember my days as a project engineer and the piles of booty that would show up in the mill engineering department this time of year. In a mill I worked in long ago, our fearless leader was the worst. We used to joke that if he fell on the way to his car at the end of some days this time of year, he might bleed to death from the glass cuts, but it was highly unlikely he would get an infection, for all the alcohol would assure the germs were killed.


Don't do it. Don't take the stuff. It has nothing to do with your company's policy on accepting gifts--it has to do with your personal standards of professionalism. Do you think they give you this stuff because they personally like you? I have news for you--if you leave your current employer and go somewhere else, I can assure you not one supplier lathering on the goodies will search you down next year and make sure you get your bottle of Jack Daniels.


So, it is not about you, it is about the position. And what does the position have? The position hands out contracts. So, no matter what they say, it is a quid pro quo, even if it is a small one.  


Yet, the small ones lead to the big ones. There is a mill I have anonymously mentioned before in our publications that has a terrible graft problem. Headquarters keeps sending in good, honest professionals and in two or three years they fire them for excessive graft. What doesn't change in this scenario? The local vendors. And they do the same thing over and over again. They start with donuts and end up with bass boats, or shotguns, or whatever... Careers are ruined, stockholders are cheated, and the cycle continues.  


Donuts lead to Jack Daniels, leads to bass boats, leads to termination (if you are lucky and don't go to jail).


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Current Patent Activity is available here.

Capital Arguments Engineering Manager of the Year
Hall of Fame

CA LogoSince its inception, Capital Arguments has believed extraordinary projects are possible.  They can be done safely, responsibly and offer a great advantage to their mills with lower capital costs and saved downtime. We established this award in 2008 to recognize those people and companies that follow this philosophy. This award is given once per year somewhere in the world.  We honor our inductees permanently here.


Ed Kersey--Engineering Manager of the Year 2011

Jim presents Ed with the Engineering Manager of the Year for 2011.  (L - R) Matt Nilsen, Jim Thompson, Ed Kersey and Wayne South.  Nilsen is Account Manager and South is Business Development Manager for Kadant Black Clawson, underwriter of this year's award.

Peter Flynn and Steve Roush

Kadant Black Clawson was a major sponsor of the 2011 Award.  Here, on the left,  Peter Flynn, President of Kadant Black Clawson, receives the  company's duplicate of Ed's Award from Steve Roush, Publisher and Editor, Paperitalo Publications. 

Not Awarded 2010

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualified nominees in 2010.


Dean Abrams--Engineering Manager of the Year 2009

Now retired, Dean was an engineer at Corrugated Services, Forney, Texas, USA in the summer of 2009 when he completed his award winning project.  Dean managed a team that installed a secondary headbox in 11 hours, 30 minutes, paper-to-paper.  The experts had said it would take at least 3 days.  In April 2010, we presented the award to Dean in the presence of a number of his colleagues.

Dean Abrams Award 
Here is the award we presented to Dean:

Deans Plaque


Mike Ahcan--Engineering Manager of the Year 2008

Mike works at the UPM Blandin Mill in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA. In 2008, the mill's sole effluent pipe, running outside a building, almost in the Mississippi River, was determined to be in a state of imminent collapse.  The experts said it would take a week of total mill downtime to replace it.  Additionally, there was a danger of leakage into the river.  Mike and his team went to work and replaced the pipe without any downtime and with no spillage.  We had a banquet in Grand Rapids for him in July 2009.

OpTest Official Solid Background

And here is Mike's award:

OpTest Official Solid Background

We normally accept nominations in the November-December time frame.  They can be sent to with "EMOY Nomination" in the subject line. 


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