Capital Argument$
A trademark of Paperitalo Publications
Published on the 15th of every month
December 2013
Horizontal PM
Horizontal PL II

Roles in Procurement 

Procurement and the ensuing negotiations are a funny thing.  We talked about the nuts and bolts of negotiations in this space a few years ago.  That is not what I am talking about now.

It is necessary to understand that much of negotiations is similar to playing poker (so I am told, I am not much of a poker player).  By this I mean, a great deal has to do with the posturing and, to wrap it up, the complete act of memorializing what is said in a contract.

If you are the project engineer, you must never forget that the supplier's objective is to minimize what they do, while maximizing the amount of money they receive, minimizing their risk, and not sullying their reputation in the industry. 

Thus, no matter what a supplier tells you verbally or even shows you in a slick presentation, if it is not in black and white in the contract, it is not going to happen.

I tell people this during negotiations: all parties in the room should assume the contract being negotiated will be fulfilled by others that replace each of us individually.  For we don't know who in the room is going to leave their current employer, who may die and so forth.  I have even seen companies hire the supplier's negotiator as their own employee before the contract is completed.

Suddenly, the person sitting on one side of the table is now sitting on the other.  Awkward, to say the least (and dumb on the supplier's part that they did not have in their fine print a prohibition on this).

Procurement is serious.  A poor job of procuring can sink the buyer or the seller.  Be careful. 

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 with "EMOY Nomination" in the subject line. 

Please write when we tickle your brain cells!  Email

Process Labs 8th year

Phila Mixing 2012

2nd Bright Button

Essco 2012


LGMI Design Practices 162
Gizom Plans
Master Series Coating


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