May 15, 2021
Conditions Today

This spring, 2021, is a time where we are seeing shortages and costs rising like they have not in a long time. Materials are going up almost daily it seems, deliveries are being extended and labor is hard to find.

We are seeing this and hearing reports of these matters all over the country (USA). Rising prices remind me of the 1970's. Deliveries are stretched as well.

A place where one might not think to look for schedule impacts are building permit offices. The high level of activity in construction means that building permit approvals are slowing down drastically. This, of course, is affecting schedules for without permits, projects cannot proceed no matter if all the materials are available and labor is standing there, tools in hand.

When will it all end? Take it from this old timer. It will end when the cost of capital catches up with the other inflationary factors. In the summer of 1981, a lifetime ago to you youngsters, everything came to a halt as the prime rate approached 20%. You couldn't give away a capital project at those rates.

For you less seasoned folks, interesting times are ahead, times I don't think you can even imagine when it comes to capital projects.

What is your opinion? Drop me a line at I would like to hear from you.

Young 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. There is an age limit on the manager eligible for this award: they must be under 35 years old when they completed the project.
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) and meets our age requirement, 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 We will seriously consider it.
Current Patent Activity is available here.

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