On 1 April, I (Jim) saw an article on the idea of vertical commuter train stations in cities in the future. Judging from the comments, some thought it was an April Fool's joke. I am not so sure.
However, it got me to thinking about the idea of vertical paper machines. I have thought of paper machines in all sorts of forms over the years. If you have followed my writings, you'll perhaps remember the horseshoe shaped paper machine, for instance.
How about vertical? The headbox(es) would be at the very top--you would pump the pulp up to them. And then down you come, through forming (doesn't need to be a crescent former, it is a straight drop), pressing, drying and so forth, with the reel at ground level.
Foundations may actually be simpler, although massive. One large foundation will be supporting the entire machine.
Structure will be more complicated, but not more complicated than a high rise building or a large boiler. With floors and elevators spaced appropriately, maintenance might be easier, or at least a break even as compared to current ways.
Threading systems will definitely be simpler. And so will handling broke.
Although many times, some of you think my ideas are "April Fool's jokes" they are not. I want to challenge us to think beyond the status quo. What do you think about this idea?