Capital Argument$
A trademark of Paperitalo Publications
Published on the 15th of every month
November 2013
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F.O.B. Considerations

F.O.B. means Freight On Board (but you knew that already). The full description, however, would follow as freight on board a transportation unit (truck, boat, airplane and so forth). The rest of the question is the geographical location.


I have seen engineering managers purchase major machinery F.O.B. supplier's dock. MISTAKE!


This is usually done because the engineering manager thinks he or she can get a better price on freight than the supplier can. This is fool's logic. Suppliers ship goods all the time and have more experience in this area than you will ever gather as an engineering manager.


Even if you think it is more expensive, always buy equipment F.O.B. millsite. Also, do it with a date certain penalty. As in, please ship the new framascram F.O.B. to your millsite for delivery NLT (Not Later Than) January 31, 2014. Penalty for late or incomplete delivery shall be $5,000 per day. This puts the responsibility for a timely and safe delivery squarely on the supplier. You have enough things to be executed for (without volunteering for any).


I learned this lesson three decades ago during a rebuild. My boss, the project manager, made everything F.O.B. millsite and on the major equipment required all components, even spares to be delivered by a certain date or the penalty was $10,000 per day (it was a very large order). The first time this paid off was when a truck carrying a granite press roll got within two miles of our millsite and broke down. I wanted to take a crane and truck to go get the freight. He absolutely forbade me from doing this. And he had good rationale-what if you drop it? What if there is a wreck while you are out in the middle of the road with it? What if you damage the road? All good points.


The supplier did get in a pinch on a spare granite roll and was over the deadline. Their solution? They charted a 747 freighter and air freighted this forty-five ton roll to us. It beat putting it on a ship at $10,000 a day penalty.


Don't ruin your career just because you thought you could save a dollar on freight costs. You are playing with fire.


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.  Ed Managed the construction of Pratt Industries Mill in Shreveport, Lousiana which took 13 months from piling to paper on the reel.  His reward?  they made him mill manager!

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 [email protected] with "EMOY Nomination" in the subject line. 

Please write when we tickle your brain cells!  Email [email protected]

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Currently in 3rd printing. Almost 500 copies in the field since 2006!