Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 22

trendspotting | REBUILDS & CONVERSIONS

Web Tool Helps Mills
Plan Outages
Whether for a rebuild or conversion project, or for scheduled maintenance,
every mill outage requires a tremendous
amount of resources, including skilled
labor. In regions with a high concentration
of manufacturing facilities, high demand
for resources can leave mill managers, contractors, and labor unions scrambling to
meet demand.
For mills in the paper-centric WisconsinMinnesota-Michigan Upper Peninsula
(WI-MN-UP) area, a new website called
OutagePlanner.com provides a collaborative planning tool. Paper360° spoke with
the site's developer and some mill users to
find out how it works.
San Francisco-based web developer Carol
Scott is OutagePlanner.com CEO and general manager. Last year, a group of contractors from the WI-MN-UP area contacted
her about the shortage of highly specialized labor in the region. They proposed an
industry-powered, online platform that
would allow mills and plant managers to
input the estimated dates, safety requirements, and the type of craft workers needed
for upcoming outages well in advance, so
that the contractors and union locals would
be able to foresee any upcoming problems
or conflicts.
"We arranged a meeting in Wausau, WI,
in April of this year with mill mangers, labor
union representatives, and contractors. I
presented the site and did a walk-through-
and people immediately began using it. The
site creates a connection between these
three groups: the mills, the contractors,
and labor," Scott explains.
Mills can join the site for free; contractors
and union locals pay a fee to participate.
Mills can add the dates, labor requirements,
safety requirements, and other information
about their planned outages. Email updates
alert all users when information is added
or edited.
"Typically, pulp and paper outages and
rebuilds draw upon considerable construction
22

Paper360º

and technical resources to execute," says
Lorin E. Martin, director, engineering and
capital at Verso Corporation. "We all want
the very best resources possible for our outages, but if we are sharing them across two or
three outages taking place at the same time,
chances are someone will end up short. The
ability to review currently scheduled pulp
and paper outages in OutagePlanner.com
may allow owners to position their outages
to possibly avoid resource constraints."
Labor shortages can also create big problems for contractors, Scott says. "If there are
two big outages in the same area, that jeopardizes the budget and the project deadlines-it
can be a very costly situation."
We also spoke with a maintenance manager at a Wisconsin mill who has used the site.
"Let's say I need a 15-day outage for a total
rebuild on a paper machine, and I need 100
welders, 100 pipefitters, whatever the craft
required-in the past, we'd just choose our
date," he says. "This gives us an opportunity
to preplan. In our region, if there's a major
outage at another paper mill-or even in
another industry-that is going to draw from

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

the same union halls, use of technical support, or key industry vendors, we can make an
educated decision on the exact dates knowing
those resources will have already been committed elsewhere. It helps us know ahead
of time what we're going to be up against.
If you plan way in advance, you can be first
at the table."
Scott is excited to see how the pilot site
grows. "There's a lot of energy around collaboration. What's really cool about it is that
all three parties-mills, contractors, and
labor-are connecting and communicating
in a way that they may not have been doing
before," she says.
Mills can register for no cost at
OutagePlanner.com; contractors, union
locals, trade groups, and vendors can find
information about becoming "member sponsors." Right now, the site is most useful to
facilities and companies in the WI-MN-UP
region, but Scott sees potential for outageplanner.com to spread to other regions with
"a critical mass" of mills, contractors, and
labor. Those interested can contact her at
cscott@outageplanner.com.
www.tappi.org


http://www.OutagePlanner.com http://www.OutagePlanner.com http://www.OutagePlanner.com http://www.OutagePlanner.com http://www.outageplanner.com http://www.outageplanner.com http://www.tappi.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - November/December 2017

Setpoint
Over the Wire
Rebuilds and Conversions
Proud to be a Papermaker
The New Cascades
Operational Data Helps Mills Meet Challenges
Papermaking Best Practices with Vacuum-Dewatering Systems: Part 2
TAPPI Library is an Industry Resource
Managing the Decline of Graphic Paper Demand
TAPPI Journal Summaries
2017 PPI Awards Finalists
TAPPI News
ASPI News
Index of Advertisers
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Intro
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - cover1
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - cover2
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 3
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 4
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 5
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Setpoint
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 7
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Over the Wire
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 9
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 10
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 11
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Rebuilds and Conversions
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 13
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 14
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 15
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 16
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 17
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 18
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 19
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 20
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 21
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 22
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 23
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Proud to be a Papermaker
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 25
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 26
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 27
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 28
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 29
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - The New Cascades
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 31
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 32
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 33
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Operational Data Helps Mills Meet Challenges
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 35
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 36
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 37
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Papermaking Best Practices with Vacuum-Dewatering Systems: Part 2
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 39
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Managing the Decline of Graphic Paper Demand
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 41
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - TAPPI Journal Summaries
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 43
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 44
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 45
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 2017 PPI Awards Finalists
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - 47
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - TAPPI News
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - ASPI News
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - cover3
Paper360 - November/December 2017 - cover4
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