Paper Machine Operations Course

Jacobs - Greenville, SC
Tuesday, May 21, 2024 to Thursday, May 23, 2024

This introductory course is designed to help you build confidence and knowledge of overall paper machine operations. Gain an understanding of the mechanical components and operations of the paper machine that affect the structure and quality of paper, learn to identify design and operation features, and discover methods to improve paper machine efficiency and product quality.

May 21st - May 23rd

Sharpen your knowledge in the overall operation of the complex paper machine.

The TAPPI Paper Machine Operations Course offers unbiased, peer-reviewed content delivered by top-level faculty with exceptional credentials. Instructors emphasize that you'll find the cost of this training delivers far more value in paper machine efficiency and performance.

Paper machines throughout the industry are undergoing conversions to new products. Operators and engineers may find they have new duties. You may just want to gain a greater perspective of the processes to discover what the paper machine is capable of doing and what new products can be achieved.

This introductory to intermediate-level content will help you build confidence and knowledge, gain skills needed to troubleshoot operational problems, improve operations and influence product outcomes.

You will learn:

  • How the mechanical components and operations of the paper machine affect the structure of paper and quality
  • The design and operating features of the paper machine that affect performance
  • Ways to improve paper machine efficiency and product quality based on a new understanding of the overall operation

You'll get to take back with you copies of the slide presentations, diagrams and other visuals from this course so that you can reference all of the comprehensive content back at your facility.

This course is ideal for:

  • Paper Machine Operators
  • Technicians
  • Process Engineers
  • Product Development Engineers
  • Service Technicians
  • Engineers from Clothing, Chemical and Suppliers
  • Suppliers and Consultants
  • Young Professionals
  • Sales Representatives

This introductory to intermediate-level content is applicable to individuals with minimal experience around a paper machine, as well as operators who have considerable hands-on operational experience.

Course Location

Jacobs: Greenville, SC
1041 East Butler Road
Greenville, SC 29607

logoEarn 2.0 CEUs
The Education Project Center of TAPPI has been reviewed and approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 11130 Sunrise Valley Dr, #350, Reston, VA 20191. TAPPI will award 2.0 CEUs to participants who attend at least 80% of the educational sessions and complete a final program evaluation.

Looking for a Tissue course?
TAPPI offers courses specifically for the tissue industry. Please visit the TAPPI Course Calendar

Meet the instructors who have been described as "excellent" in course evaluations.

Tom Rodencal
Course Chair, Tom Rodencal & Associates

Tom Rodencal is a graduate of the SUNY College of Forestry and Environmental Science with a BS degree in Paper Engineering. He first worked for Hammermill Paper Company as a process engineer. In 1978, he joined International Paper at their research center in Tuxedo Park, NY in the Process Diagnostics Group. In 1983, he transferred to the Manufacturing Services group in Mobile, AL. He then managed the diagnostics group when the group was transferred to Mobile.

After working at the Georgetown, SC mill in both a technical and production role, he was assigned to work on the project team for a 1200 tpd fine paper machine at IP Selma, AL. He continued his career with Georgia Pacific, and later Domtar Paper in Atlanta, GA where he worked in various corporate roles. He completed his corporate career working for Nalco Chemical as a senior consultant.

Tom is a product expert on high ash chemistry with implementations in North America, Mexico, and Brazil. Since 2016, he has been president of Tom Rodencal & Associates, a consulting company to the paper and allied industries. In this role, he has provided operator training, troubleshooting, paper machine auditing, and due diligence to various companies. Tom is a TAPPI Fellow, past chairman of the TAPPI Paper & Board Division, and past TAPPI Board director. In 2017, he was awarded the TAPPI Distinguished Service Award. He is a past speaker for the TAPPI Wet End Operations and TAPPI Pressing and Drying seminars. He is also a past member of the advisory board for the Specialty Papers Conference.

Michael Kaegbein
Michael Kaegbein graduated in 2002 from the Munich University of Applied Sciences and holds a graduate engineering degree in Paper Manufacturing. He works as an Application Manager Press at Albany International for the last 10 years with customers in the US and Canada. In his job he helps his customers with optimizing the press section regarding clothing, dewatering strategies and trouble shooting.

Prior to this, he was Production Manager and Assistant Production Manager at LEIPA mill in Schwedt, one of the largest mill in Europe running on 100% recycled fibers. Beside the day to day business, his  work included project engineering, planning and major startups, process and product optimization, work safety, employee education and development, maintenance planning and coordination.  


Kevin Kroon
Kevin Kroon has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1997. During his first 11 years in the paper industry, he held various positions at the Kimberly Mill in Kimberly, WI from Process Engineer, Shift Supervision, Coating/Calender Superintendent, and Paper Machine Superintendent. He has experience with commissioning of a multi-million dollar rebuild with a dilution headbox, shoe press, and pre-coating.

Most recently, he has been with Albany International for the past 4.5 years in Applications covering all product grades primarily in Publication grades. His current position is Product Manager in Fine Paper Publication Grades.

John Lucius
John has been involved with the Pulp and Paper industry for more than 30 years now. He is currently the Director of Dryer Fabric Applications for Albany International’s Americas Corridor, which includes a land mass stretching from Canada to the Southern Tip of South America. Prior to that he was responsible for Dryer Fabric Applications for the Southern United States.

John has been responsible for Forming, Press, & Dryer Fabric sales and service for many years, and provided Vibration and Pulsation Analysis Support as part of a larger Audit Team Capacity for 2 different PMC Suppliers since 1994. Time spent in the Field of Predictive Preventative Maintenance provided an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with every form of equipment involved in the paper making process.

John's travels have afforded the opportunity to view hundreds of differently configured machines, producing a wide array of paper grades.

John A. Neun representing Kadant
John Neun is an engineering consultant who spent a substantial part of his career with Albany International and Kadant. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in New York State. He has surveyed and analyzed hundreds of paper and tissue machines to find means of improving their efficiency.

In addition to overall engineering analysis, John has demonstrated particular expertise in vacuum systems, water systems, fabric cleaning systems, forming systems, and presses. He has worked in the paper industry since 1979, first as a Research Engineer with Albany Felt Company, studying and developing wet felt performance and felt dewatering devices. He spent several years as a Service Engineer for Albany Felt, performing vibration analyses on most of the high-speed machines in the United States and many more throughout the world. John also had a long tenure at Kadant - AES, where he was Cleaning and Conditioning Product Manager and Design and Development Manager.

Before AES, John spent five years working for Mechanical Technology Incorporated, an engineering consulting firm, where he gained a wide range of vibration analysis experience in rotating machinery, structures, and acoustics, instructed in a course on FFT spectrum analysis, and led a number of multi-million dollar projects.

John holds six U.S. patents and has published many technical papers (for TAPPI, ASME, SME, and the U.S. National Bureau of Standards). John is a Tappi Fellow and is past Chairman of the Papermaker's Committee and Water Removal Committee, as well as the Paper and Board Division. He has received the Leadership and Service Awards from both the TAPPI Engineering Division and Paper and Board Division, and the TAPPI Engineering Division Technical Award.

A Past Participant Said:

"This course was great for me as a new engineer in the machine room. Learning the best practices for optimal operations so that I can compare our operation to look for low-hanging fruit."  

Machine Operations Engineer

Earn 2.0 in three efficiently planned days of instruction.

Course Schedule

Session 1

8:00am Introduction to Paper Machine Operations
Tom Rodencal, Rodencal, Inc.

9:000am Wood Fiber & Paper Structure 
Tom Rodencal

10:00am Stock Prep Overview
Tom Rodencal

12:00pm Lunch

Session 2

1:00pm Stock Approach System Design 
Tom Rodencal

2:30pm Design and Operation of Headboxes 
Tom Rodencal

4:30pm Session Ends

Session 3

8:00am The Fourdrinier and Sheet Forming 
Tom Rodencal

9:45am Forming Fabric Design and Forming Section Operation
Kevin Kroon, Albany International

12:00pm Lunch

Session 4

1:00pm Fundamentals of Pressing and Press Fabric Design
Michael Kaegbein, Albany International

4:30pm Session Ends

Session 5 

8:00am Principles of Drying and Dryer Section Design
Tom Rodencal 

9:45am Dryer Fabric Design and Dryer Section Operation
John Lucius, Albany International

12:00pm Lunch

Session 6

1:00pm Clothing Cleaning and Conditioning 
John Neun – John Neun LLC

2:15 pm Introduction to Vacuum Systems 
John Neun

3:30 pm Introduction to Calenders and Reels 
Tom Rodencal

4:15pm Course Ends


On or Before April 23  

After April 23

Meeting Registration






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Group Meeting Registration, per person (3+ people from the same location)






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Cancellation Policy:
If you find that you have to cancel, your full registration fee will be refunded if TAPPI’s Registration Department receives written notification (fax acceptable at  +1.770.209.7206 by  (April 23, 2024).  Please note:  There will be a 50% refund for all written cancellations made after (April 23, 2024) but no later than 5 business days prior to the start of the course (May 16 2024).  Understandably, after May 16 2024, no refunds can be issued.  Substitutions, however, will be accepted any time without a penalty.
100% - Cancellation received by (April 23, 2024)
50% -  Cancellations received after (April 23, 2024)and no later than (May 16, 2024).  
NO REFUND- Cancellations received after (May 16, 2024).  


1041 E Butler Rd
Greenville, SC 29607  

Upon entry to lobby, every guest will need to sign in at front reception/TAPPI registration for building security.

The conference room area is on the second floor.

Order publications with your course registration and pick them up at the event!

Special discounted on Press products when purchased with your registration.

Pick-Up Onsite and SAVE ON SHIPPING!


Troubleshooting the Papermaking Process
Product Code:  0101R298
Special Member Price:  $97
Special Non-Member Price:  $127

Handbook for Pulp & Paper Technologists, Fourth - Updated Edition (The Smook Book)
Product Code: 0202SMOOK4
Special Member Price:  $88
Special Non-Member Price:  $113

Handbook for Pulp & Paper Terminology, Fourth - Updated Edition (The Smook Term Book)
Product Code: 0202SMOOKTERM
Special Member Price:  $64
Special Non-Member Price:  $72

Paper Machines Quality Control Systems, Vol. 1-Measurement
Product Code:  0101R328
Special Member Price:  $124
Special Non-Member Price:  $188

Advances in Papermaking Wet End Chemistry Application Technologies       
Product Code:  0101R349
Special Member Price:  $110
Special Non-Member Price:  $143

Process Chemicals for Papermaking                                      Product Code:  0101R364
Special Member Price:  $110
Special Non-Member Price:  $143

Cost Saving Strategies in Papermaking Chemistry
Product Code:  0101R325
Special Member Price:  $128
Special Non-Member Price:  $166

The Mechanics of Rollers
Product Code:  0101R255  
Special Member Price:  $69
Special Non-Member Price:  $111

Winding Machines:  Mechanics and Measurements
Product Code:  0102B068
Special Member Price:  $161
Special Non-Member Price:  $210

Papermaking Part 1:  Stock Prep and Wet End, 2nd Edition
Product Code:  0202FIN08-2
Member Price:  $170
Non-Member Price:  $170

Papermaking Part 2:  Drying
Product Code:  0202FIN09-2
Member Price:  $170
Non-Member Price:  $170

A Past Participant Said:

"I can now review machine supplier bids and evaluate the scope of rebuilds and upgrades to achieve project goals."

~ Process Engineer

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