The Light Green Machine Institute

4 May 16: Make the building smaller
We have hit a nerve with reader/contributor Bryan Creagan over the last few weeks, as you regular readers know.  After last week's column he wrote that he thinks 36 stack dryers could fit in the horizontal space that 12 consume in a conventional configuration and would fit in a building about 48 feet tall--the typical height of a modern paper machine building from floor to roof.
Now, in the old days, the stack dryers I remember swayed like the bridge of the Titanic, but I suspect today we could deal with those problems, as well as the problems of lubrication. With modern ropeless systems, the threading issue should be a simple one, too.
But the overarching idea is to make the building smaller.  We build paper machine halls with abandon, as if they are free.  However, if you look at the costs of a new paper mill, the machine itself ranges somewhere between 15% and 20% of the Total Installed Cost of the project.  Sure, there is a fair amount of construction labor and there are many ancillaries, but we tend to build paper machine buildings as if they cost nothing, when instead, 80 - 85% of the cost is for everything but the paper machine.
So, we will continue to strive for better ways, ways to reduce the building footprint and overall volume of the building.  There is no good reason why we need to design these the same way they have been designed for the last 200 years.
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As always, your comments will be appreciated.

Think light!

Brian Brogdon, Ph.D.
Executive Director


Jim Thompson

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