The Light Green Machine Institute

3 Feb 16: Heavy Philosophy

If we are going to make progress on reducing the weight of paper machines, pulp mills and so forth, we must abandon the idea that heavier components equals better performance. Interestingly enough, in many fields of engineering design, this concept was conquered years ago.

In the fields where it has been conquered (and lightweight rules) there has been one overarching factor driving the movement to lightweight: the engineering element in those cases has been one which is portable.

From automobiles to airplanes to trains to chainsaws to electric drills, the models used today perform at a much higher level than their predecessors yet weigh a fraction of these relics of days gone by.

We can conclude that the drive for utility while portable was the catalyst behind this evolution.

Yet, portable has also often meant less costly, too.  Less costly by significant amounts.

I often bring up two items from my childhood to illustrate this point.  Both were tools we had around our home.  One was a 3/4 inch electric drill, must have weighed at least ten pounds and cost $50.00 in 1958.  The other was a 26 inch chainsaw that I have verified weighed over 50 pounds and cost over $200 in 1960.  In both cases, the models of today weigh a fraction of the models of half a century ago, have many more features and cost a fraction, in constant dollars, of their predecessors.

Can you tell the difference between an ANSI pump of 1958 and one today?  What about the comparative cost?

This is the battle we are fighting and the battle that can pay big dividends when we win.

We would like to hear from you. Please send an email to [email protected] 
with "LGMI Frontiers" in the subject line. 

As always, your comments will be appreciated.
Think light!


Brian Brogdon, Ph.D.
Executive Director




Jim Thompson

Send us your comments by emailing Brian Brogdon
or Jim Thompson!

The Light Green Machine Institute is a 501C3 Delaware Registered Corporation. If you are interested in making tax deductible donations to our initiatives, please email [email protected] for information.