PART ONE The Z-Span Odyssey

Chapter I Z-Span Development
Chapter II Z-Span Theory
Chapter III Tackling Z-Span as an Empirical Science
Chapter IV Reel Paper – Couch Pulp
Chapter V Mill Profiles – the FS Number
Chapter VI Mill Profiles – L & B Numbers
Chapter VII Refining of Fibers
PART TWO Down to Earth Science

Chapter VIII Defining Moments
Chapter IX Chemical Pulping
Chapter X Mechanical Pulping
Chapter XI Stock Preparation
Chapter XII Papermachine Wet End
Chapter XIII Presses & Dryers
Chapter XIV The Customer
Chapter XV Loose Ends
Chapter XVI Conclusion


I was trained as a research scientist at the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin. My first job thereafter was as technical director of a small specialty paper mill in Scotland. As such, and knowing no better, I had the freedom to apply basic scientific research concepts as the means to resolve the many practical mill and customer related problems I encountered – with, I should add, considerable success. In my subsequent career as a consultant and development specialist I continued this practice, again with considerable success. However, I found that typical mill technical departments employed a far more trial-and-error approach to their problem-solving efforts, with a premium on seeking quick answers. Such efforts can at times prove helpful, but they can best be described as “combatting” problems, never “solving” them. I have found the scientific approach is, in this respect, superior to the technical approach. This book reviews my life as a research scientist who has spent a professional lifetime using a basic scientific approach in tackling practical problems in the messy environment of actual pulp and paper mills.

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