Capital Argument $

A trademark of Paperitalo Publications
Published on the 15th of every month
December  2018
Horizontal PM
Horizontal PL II
 
The impossible estimate

 
Some genius at the highest levels in your company decides she needs a "board level" estimate to present for approval before the end of the year.  Only problem--it is the middle of December.
 
What do you do?
 
If your company pulls these stunts every year, the suppliers are not going to bail you out.  They are tired of spending their holidays jumping through hoops for you, only to find out that some slight quirk causes the project approval to fail at the last minute.
 
Seen it many times.
 
Your best choice is to find another similar project, hopefully within your company and completed recently.  With this data, you can carefully assess the situation, pad the estimate where necessary and submit it on time.
 
Your second best choice is to find one elsewhere (outside your company) that is similar.  How do you legally get the data from that project?  Well, you will not be able to get complete data, but building permits and perhaps other permits should be on file with the local regulatory authority.  With any luck, you can examine these permits (or hire a local lawyer to access them and get you copies), thereby getting at least some educated guesses as to what your project may cost.
 
Third, you can use old Jim's very crude rule of thumb: 45/45/10.  45% of the project cost will be equipment.  45% will be construction costs (labor and expendables).  10% will be engineering, permits and so forth. The last number does not apply on small projects, it will be a larger number on small projects.  With these percentages, if you know the equipment costs, you can get close.  Numbers do not include land or an upcharge for fancy architectural structures.

What is your opinion?  Drop me a line at jthompson@taii.com.  I would like to hear from you. 
 
 
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Engineering Manager of the Year, call for nominations

We are looking for an individual who has done an extraordinary project, one that almost defies belief.  Its extraordinary features can be schedule, technology, cost or all three.
 
We have often gotten nominees that go something like this, "I nominate Joe because he has done a great job of running our engineering department for the last fifteen years." Quite frankly, we are not interested in such nominees.
 
However, if you know someone who has led a very exceptional project in the recent past (the last two or three years), we want to know about it.  We want to honor them and hold them up as an example for Engineering Managers in every pulp and paper mill around the world.
 
Just send your nomination, with as much details as you can provide, to jthompson@taii.com.  We will seriously consider it.
 
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Current Patent Activity is available here.
 
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Capital Arguments Engineering Manager of the Year
Hall of Fame

CA Logo
Since 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.



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Mac Switkowski--Engineering Manager of the Year 2015


Mac Switkowski, center, holds his Capital Arguments Engineering Manager of the Year Award that was presented by Paperitalo CEO Jim Thompson, left, as Luis Henao, right, vice president at Pratt Industries applauds.  Mac brought the new mill at Valparaiso in on time and on budget despite a change of paper machine suppliers mid project.
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Not Awarded 2014

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualifying nominations in 2014.

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Not Awarded 2013

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualifying nominations in 2013.

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Not Awarded 2012

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualifying nominations in 2012.

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Ed Kersey--Engineering Manager of the Year 2011


Jim p resents 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 the Pratt Industries mill in Shreveport, Louisiana 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. 
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Not Awarded 2010

You have to be really good to get this award.  We did not receive any qualifying nominations in 2010.

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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























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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 jthompson@taii.com with "EMOY Nomination" in the subject line. 
 
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Please write when we tickle your brain cells!  Email jthompson@taii.com





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Bankers Engineer