Capital Argument$

A trademark of Paperitalo Publications
Published on the 15th of every month
January  2014
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Play "Ready Project Engineer"  

If you have ever played golf on a busy course, you are admonished to play "Ready Golf."  Simply, this means you are ready to take your shot when it is time to do so.  You have selected your club, you have a fresh ball (if your last ball was unfortunately lost in the woods or water) and you have generally studied the terrain.  With a minimum amount of time, you will be swinging away.

Excellent Project Engineers approach their game the same way.  They are anticipatory.  They think ahead. 

For instance, when dealing with the significant suppliers to a project (and "significant" means vital, not financial necessarily), they check up with them constantly to see if progress is being made.  They don't wait to hear bad news--they are ahead of the game.

For instance, when I was a project engineer and had many projects under way, one of my Monday morning activities was to call all the significant suppliers to all my projects and obtain a fresh status update on their progress.  I wanted to know now what was going on.

Likewise, I grilled my suppliers early and often for an understanding of what I needed to do to be prepared for their deliveries and installations.  This included obtaining drawings, documents and so forth from them as early as possible.

Then, we are not building museums here, so I want instruction manuals, training materials and so forth as early as possible, too.  And I turn right around and manage operations to ensure they are ready for the handover when I am ready to give them the completed project.

My wild guess is a project engineer practicing the "Ready" concept can handle twice as much work and sleep better at nights than those who are always behind. 

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


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Master Series Coating


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