Technical Program

October 1 - 22, 2020 | Virtual Event

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October 22 – 11 am-1 pm EDT

Forklift / Pedestrian Segregation and Risk Reduction at the Glass Mat Shipping Docks

with Pedro Romero Murciano

Although the glass mat plants have a lot of rolls moving at high speed, the major risk for the operators are still the forklift traffic. At the wet end the floor can be wet and slippery, while at the dry end and warehouse the big rolls block the visibility of the drivers. The true segregation of the pedestrian and forklift path is critical to keep the operators safe. On the other hand moving glass mat rolls it always a challenge due its big diameter blocking the vision of the forklift driver. Although the best practice is to drive backwards in the warehouse, at the moment to load the truck the drives have to move forward. If to that particular task we add that the operators have to get inside the trailer of the truck to inspect for potential damage, and a  hectic morning with a lot of trucks to load, we have a dangerous cocktail that raise the risk of the operations.


Completed all Regulatory Requirements and Still Getting Injuries?  What are the Next Steps to Improve Safety in your Operation?

with Dennis Helka

Have you completed all the regulatory requirements for your facility, but employees are still getting injured both on and off the job?  Have you ever looked at an incident and thought if the employee would have made this decision, they could have avoided the incident all together or at least minimized the consequences? In this session, we will look at methods you can use to provide employees with skills they can use to make better decisions to protect themselves both on and off the job.  We hear a lot about behavior-based safety training but what does that really mean, and does it make a difference?  A wholistic approach needs to be taken to ensure that a job is completed safely.  Step 1 is to perform a self-assessment, how am I doing as a person today?   Step 2 is to assess the situation, identifying hazards in the area I am working in?  Step 3 is the observation of others, how are others performing and do they present a risk to themselves or others?  This session will focus on these steps in more detail and provide the framework for you to get started on your own improvement plan.  Be sure to stay until the end for a bonus topic.



About the speakers

Pedro is the Senior Plant Manager for the CertainTeed Glass Mat plants in the USA. He is a Mechanical Engineer from Spain that started his career as Project Engineer in GEA Tuchenhagen developing turn-key project in yoghurt plants around the globe.

After several years as Sr. Project and Process Engineer, Pedro joined Saint Gobain Placo Spain as a Project Manager for the gypsum plants, growing later in the company as a Product Manager and Export Manager. In 2016 received the opportunity to move to the USA as a Plant Manager for the Russellville Glass Mat plant. Pedro is a problem solver, entrepreneur with a strong customer focus and results oriented.

Before moving to the USA Pedro was a professional rugby player in Madrid, playing in the first National division. At this moment he enjoys travelling and hiking with his wife Sara, and found in Alabama a great place to unleash his passion for the outdoors activities, rock climbing, mountain and road biking, and kayaking.


Dennis Helka, a graduate of Eastern Illinois University, is an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist who works with FIBERTEQ, LLC, in Danville, Illinois. In this role, he is responsible for environmental compliance and the health and safety of all employees. Employee safety has always been a passion for Dennis, who with the help of a team, focused attention on achieving a VPP Star certification for the FIBERTEQ site. Dennis has a wide range of experience, with over 20 years working in both the paper industry making organic roofing felt and the non-woven glassmat industry making fiberglass mat. He has participated in two separate company startups, one of them a greenfield site. In addition to his EH&S experience, Dennis also has experience working in manufacturing, capital projects, and computer systems. This experience has enabled Dennis to grow his knowledge of the manufacturing process, policy & procedure development, team building, project management, and continuous improvement processes.

In Case You Missed It...

Archived presentations below are available for paying customers only. If you would like to receive a presentation and are not a paying customer, please contact Portia Aofiyebi at [email protected].


October 15 11 am-1 pm EDT

Becoming a Visionary of Untapped Talent: Highlighting Community College Partnerships and Their Impact on Talent Development Resolution

with Ed Injaychock and Mia Mallory

Prior to the economic impact of Covid-19, many industries struggled with aspects of recruiting and maintaining quality talent. As the pandemic continues to impact the structure of companies, industries, economics and our society in unimaginable ways, businesses must envision forward thinking opportunities that can be structured during this crisis* ( Paraphrased: Fernandez-Araoz, Claudio). Opportunities can include hiring work-based learning (Co-op) and apprenticeship students at the community college level. Partnerships like this require a vision for short- and long-term talent development solutions. What better way to develop qualified talent than from the ground up through your local community college partnerships!

In this session, you will gain insight into how industry and local community college interactions can help improve employee recruitment efforts and employee development. The presentation will provide strategies and examples of Central Piedmont’s Workplace Learning department’s approach to employer partnerships and solutions to improving talent pipeline challenges with maintaining, training, and hiring skilled employees.

Topics of Discussion

  • Community College Work-based Learning (Co-op) Model
  • Community College Apprenticeship Model
  • Partnership Benefits to Your Company, Local Community and Students

* Reference: Fernandez-Araoz, Claudio. Developing Employees. Now Is an Unprecedented Opportunity to Hire Great Talent, 2020,


Answering the Call - How the Pulp & Paper Industry Has Responded to a Changing Workforce

with Jay Stockard

The pulp and paper industry has faced many challenges over the past decade, both external and internal.  After the Great Recession, shifts in the global industry resulted in the US segment seeing drastic changes in product demand, undergoing globalization, asset rationalization, expansion into affiliated and new industries, and consolidations to create a leaner and more focused composition of companies today. This strengthened US industry was achieved by the dedication, ingenuity, and know-how of America’s workforce. 

As a defensive measure to cut costs and to ride out these changes, companies also had to scale back expenses on several fronts, including employee recruitment, training, and development initiatives. A side effect of the industry rationalization and consolidation resulted in an experienced workforce being available to fill companies’ needs in the short-term. However, the increasing wave of retirements, knowledge loss, and the need for new workforce entrants have once more pushed the importance of employee retention and development to the forefront.

In this session, Jay Stockard will reflect on the various strategies mills have undertaken to shore up the knowledge gap in their organizations and how they are adapting to a changing workforce. 


About the Speakers

Ed Injaychock is a Director in the Workplace Learning department at Central Piedmont Community College, where he focuses his efforts on workforce training programs, particularly addressing the talent pipeline needs of companies through the Co-op and the Apprenticeship Charlotte programs. Ed is passionate about creating innovative ways of matching student talent to local employer needs. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and Fort Hays State University.

Mia Mallory has acted as a matchmaker for a few family members and friends. She now has the opportunity to do this for a living matching companies and students. Mallory believes that creating, supporting and organizing work-based learning (Co-op) partnerships is a win/win situation because industries are looking for qualified individuals to fill positions and students are seeking new opportunities to develop their careers. With a background in counseling and psychology, work experience as a Vocational Counselor, University Disability Service provider and now Community College Sr. Coordinator, she looks forward to sharing her insights into the benefits of becoming a visionary for community college talent development.

Jay Stockard graduated from Miami University with a B.S. in Paper Science and Engineering. He has been a strategic and technical consultant for over 20 years with experience in a variety of operations. His travels have enabled him to develop a unique viewpoint while assisting clients at over 80 mills in North America and Europe. Jay’s primary work has been in Operations Improvement, Asset Repurposing, New Technology Reviews, Technical & Operational Benchmarking, and Strategic Investment Analyses.

Stockard’s volunteerism with TAPPI began in college and has continued throughout his career. For the past six years, he has aided PIMA’s Workforce Development Committee providing content and developing sessions with other volunteers to address employee selection, onboarding, training, retention, and leadership development.



October 8 11 am-1 pm EDT

Advances in Fiberglass Mat Online Measurement Techniques

Eric J. Reber, Technical Director at Mahlo America, Inc.

The online measurement of fiberglass mat historically has been of total basis weight and with some success binder content (%LOI). These older solutions have been very maintenance-intensive, marginally reliable, and usually required multiple scanning frames, which resulted in prohibitively expensive equipment, installation and maintenance costs with poor measurement performance. A new online system not only provides a measurement of total basis weight, as well as simultaneous measurements of thickness and binder content from a single location with very high accuracy and proven reliability. Further, these measurements are completely non-contacting and are unaffected by mass stratification, flutter or edge curl and tolerate very high web temperatures. Technical details of these unique measurement solutions along with long-term field results will be presented.


Binder and Coating Application on Wetlaid Nonwoven Glass Fiber Mat

Leo Bos, Business Development Manager Wetlaid, Andritz

Many fiber materials are bound mechanically, thermally or chemically without additives. Wet used chopped strand glass fibers, such as those used to produce nonwoven glass fiber mat, cannot be bound without the addition of a binder.

On most glass mat production lines, the binder is applied with a so-called saturator, after the fibers have formed the mat on an inclined wire former. However, there are also lines where a binder is added directly into the sheet forming process.

In addition to this primary binder, which aims to bind the glass fibers together, a second application is sometimes used. This additional application can take place both off-line and in-line and serves to give the product specific properties that are difficult or impossible to obtain with only the composition of glass fibers and a primary binder.

Although this presentation will focus on the most common process, the binder application with the saturator, the other application methods will be presented along with their specific advantages and disadvantages. Particular attention will be paid to defects in the product, which are caused by imperfections in the application process and how the process can be improved.


About the speakers

Eric J. Reber, technical director with Mahlo America, Inc. in Spartanburg, SC, holds advanced degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Marquette University. His web-gauging sensor development work began with Barber-Colman’s purchase of Indev Gauging. He set up a sensor development center for web gauging for Eurotherm International (now Thermo-Fischer Gauging) in Newberry, England, and headed up sensor development for NDC Systems in Irwindale, CA. He was responsible for the development of NDC’s original beta transmission sensor and laser caliper sensor and O-frame scanner. Reber has been published in numerous web-gauging industry publications and holds three sensor patents.

Leo Bos is the Business Development Manager for Wetlaid and the wetlaid glass fiber specialist for the ANDRITZ Nonwoven Division in Krefeld, Germany.

Leo had many years of experience as lead engineer for several capital investment projects in the wetlaid glass mat and paper industry in North America and Europe, before he joined ANDRITZ. Leo was also an entrepreneur and cofounder of a metal workshop specializing in manufacturing and development of instruments and equipment for the nonwoven, paper, food processing and automotive industry in Eastern Germany.

Leo has engineering degrees in System Engineering and Policy Analyses from  the Delft University of Technology and in Marine Engineering from the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Leo is solution oriented, flexible and open-minded. He is always looking for the best fit between ANDRITZ and their customers.

In his spare time, Leo loves outdoor activities. Most likely you will find him on his road bike on the dikes and hills around his hometown in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He enjoys hiking with his wife in nature reserves wherever their travels bring them. He enjoys playing volleyball and visiting his favorite football (soccer) club, NEC Nijmegen.


3M 2020 Annual Economic Forecast

with Tim Worms

The 3M Annual Economic Forecast is the asphalt shingle industry’s definitive annual report. The Forecast aggregates pertinent data that influence the annual shingle demand.  Many things influence demand: demographics, weather, the economy, governmental regulations, housing, and consumer preferences. These influencers, and many more, are analyzed and rolled up into a shingle demand forecast for 2020 and 2021.


PAPERMAKING LECTURE: “Basic and Practical Aspects of Papermaking”

with Makhlouf Laleg and Przem Pruszynski

The purpose of this two-part presentation is to discuss some common fundamental and practical aspects of the papermaking steps, from pulp fiber to paper, with a particular focus on the wet end of the paper machine process and the most typical retention programs and their control. Some attention will be dedicated to the discussion of basic strategies of deposits control. This two-part presentation is designed for those experienced in the fiberglass mat manufacturing process to learn more about the papermaking process.

Part 1: Fundamentals

The paper industry uses extensive automated processes to transform wood chips into individual pulp fibers, which are dispersed in water to low consistency pulp stocks and then transferred to a paper machine where various paper grades with self-bonded fibers are produced. These grades are often made with numerous wet end additives for improving the operation of the wet end process (process additives) and tailoring final paper properties (functional additives). Further modifications in paper properties are sometimes obtained by surface sizing or coating the sheet.

The paper machine speed varies, from a few hundred to above 2,000 m/min, and comprises several continuous sections, including the headbox, forming & drainage, pressing, drying, and calendaring, where each has a significant contributing effect on web runnability and the properties of the paper. It is a challenge for papermakers to build a sheet from components of different sizes on a high-speed machine and produce a uniform basis weight papers with sufficient strength needed for converting and end-use performance. Uniformity in x-y plane called formation, distribution of various components in the z-direction, called two-sidedness, are typical challenges facing papermakers. The use of recycled fibers, increasing degree of water system closure, and the manufacture of lighter sheets on machines running at ever-higher speeds have all caused a significant increase in the manufacturing challenge.

The wet end of the paper machine (headbox, forming & drainage section, and press section), where the web quality is first established from a low consistency pulp furnish, is highly interactive and dynamic. For instance, an unexpected change in the retention polymer flow will immediately affect drainage, whitewater consistency, web solid content, and the basis weight of the paper. Wet-end stability and the runnability of the paper machine are influenced by wet-end variables, which are related to the properties of the pulp furnish and whitewater, introduced additives and their flows as well as the chemistry. Offline and online measurements, such as the consistency of the pulp furnish and whitewater, ash content, temperature, zeta-potential (charge) and cationic demand, pH, conductivity, turbidity, and web solids content, are commonly used to control wet-end stability and paper quality. The information on the wet-end measurements is required for carrying out material balance computations: control, troubleshooting, and the optimization of the process.

Part 2: Retention and Deposit Control

Retention is a critical application for the operation of any paper machine, and its importance increases with the lower basis weight of the paper grade. The level of retention of individual components of the furnish during web formation depends on their size and basis weight of the paper. The fibers are typically retained in the web through a filtration mechanism, and the smaller particles (fines, filler and colloidal particles) rely on chemically induced retention provided by retention programs. These programs are sensitive to several furnish and wet-end chemistry-related factors, such as pH, cationic demand, and conductivity. Stable operation of a retention program, the ability to respond to ever-changing furnish, and chemical conditions are critical to process efficiency, yield, economics, and product quality. There are many different strategies for controlling the level of retention and whitewater consistency that utilize online monitoring equipment. The biggest challenge for any program is reaching the right level of retention and drainage without over-flocculation of the sheet that affects important end-use paper properties. An additional aspect of wet end applications is controlling the deposition of undesirable components of wood extractives and recycled fiber residuals.


About the speakers

Tim Worms is National Accounts Manager for 3M’s Industrial Mineral Products Division, the world’s leading manufacturer of roofing granules for 88 years. Over his career, Tim has worked as a Business Unit Controller, Marketing, Business Development, Strategic Planning and Sales. Tim and his wife reside in Florida, but spend their summers in Minnesota. They enjoy travel, family and golf.  After 40 years at 3M, Tim will be retiring on September 30, 2020. Tim wishes to thank TAPPI for welcoming him back year after year.  Tim is honored to have been invited for all these years.

Makhlouf Laleg received his Doctorat d’État-es-Sciences (Ph.D.)" in 1983 (Ionomers) from the Université de Claude Bernard (UCB) and Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) in Lyon, France. Makhlouf has over 36 years of R&D & industrial experience, first as a Principal Scientist and Research Leader at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (now part of FPInnovations, FPI) and subsequently, after retiring from FPI, as a consultant to BASF Germany (Ludwigshafen) and USA (Charlotte NC) working on R&D and developing application solutions with chemical additives. He is now an independent consultant in the fields of papermaking & additives and wood biomaterials. 

Makhlouf has extensive expertise in the fields of papermaking chemistry – process and development and application of additives, fiber modification, cellulose fibrils, lignin modifications, mineral fillers, polymers, binders, and resins, process and quality improvements, product development, and cost reduction. He has also been very active in implementing biomaterials (lignins and cellulose filaments) in packaging and composite materials (thermoplastic and thermosetting). He holds 13 patents. He has published more than 40 papers and conference proceedings and more than 47 FPI internal publications related to chemical additives and product development.

He has done extensive work and has had numerous interactions with pulp and paper mills and major chemical suppliers. In 2015, he received the Jasper Mardon Award for best paper “The impact of machine whitewater on the brightness of mechanical grades”. He is the founder and director of ML Papchem Solutions Inc., a consultant company specializing in the development and application of bio-based (forestry) materials and in paper chemistry. Makhlouf was a member of TAPPI (and member of the TAPPI additives committee) for over 26 years and PAPTAC (and member of fine paper and board committee) for over 28 years and was a founding member of the Société Québécoise sur les Polymères (SQSP). Presently, he is an invited Scholar working in collaboration with Pr. Theo van de Ven of McGill University on a R&D grant from Alberta Innovate to develop carbon fiber from Asphaltenes.

Dr. Przem Pruszynski received his Ph.D. from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, in Physical Organic Chemistry. His academic research continued at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the University of Toronto and focused on the isotope effect in acid-base reactions. Przem started his pulp and paper part of his career at the DOW Chemical Forest Products Research group in Sarnia. In 1992 Przem joined Nalco where he worked for 25 years as group leader R&D, Technical Director of Corporate Pulp and Paper Research and finally, Principal Consultant in Paper Group. Przem retired in October 2017. Presently in addition to enjoying his retirement with his family, Przem operates his consulting services company, Pruszynski Paper Chemistry Consulting, LLC. 

Przem established himself as a leading expert in the wet end chemistry, especially as pertains to mechanical grades and other contaminated furnishes. His expertise spans from pulping and bleaching to such paper machine applications as retention, drainage, sizing and pitch and stickies control. Przem offers a unique blend of academic background and practical experience from his projects on 150+ paper machines in all corners of the world. Przem was involved in the development of new chemistry of polymeric additives and developing their new application strategies.

Przem has been a member of TAPPI since 1992. In 2008 Przem received the Jasper Mordon Award for Contributions to the Science and Technology of Papermaking. He published over 100 papers and conference contributions and was granted six U.S. patents. Przem co-authored the chapter on chemical interactions in TAPPI Press’s Advances in Papermaking Wet End Chemistry Application Technologies. Przem delivered keynote lectures at several large conferences in Europe and China.In 2020, Przem was inducted as a TAPPI Fellow.

Przem’s academic background, practical experience, and deeply rooted interest in teaching resulted in teaching TAPPI Wet End Chemistry Courses for close to ten years and delivering a series of wet end chemistry webinars. Przem also taught numerous courses for CPPA and PAPTAC.