Capital Argument$

A trademark of Paperitalo Publications
Published on the 15th of every month
February  2014
Horizontal PM
Horizontal PL II

You may be a team, but...

We have talked before about poor estimating, budgeting and planning.  There are mistakes compounded on top of this.

I have seen project engineers try to appeal to the "team spirit" of the suppliers and contractors brought into a project, expecting them to help solve a problem these entities did not create.  Further, in the meetings, the words are good, kind and supportive.

But don't forget, all those suppliers and contractors in your meeting have bosses, too.  Bosses to which they report as soon as they leave your big rah-rah meeting.

And should any of those team members be too caught up in your appeal, it is their boss' job to remind them who they work for.

Years ago, I worked at a mill where the projects were always in trouble, and the project engineers routinely dragged in the suppliers and such to give them a pep talk. The line was always the same, "Help us out on this project for the good of your long term relationship with the mill."

The problem was that this line was told to every team on every project.  Hence, it never came true. There was never a big payoff.  After a while, the best suppliers and contractors stopped bidding.  The mill was left with those who were desperate for work, the ones who did not do quality work.

Just remember, this is not like a ball team, that is gathered together from the four corners of the earth.  All of your team players are there to make money for their own company.

No, you really don't have a team.

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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2nd Bright Button

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