Paper Machine Operations Course

Atlanta, Georgia

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.

September 21-23, 2021

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.

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 for a complete list of courses, including Tissue 101 and Tissue 201.

A Past Participant Said:

"I now have a better understanding of what equipment is present, the function and purpose of the equipment, and how to make adjustments."

~ Process Engineer

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.

Ellen Gibbs
Ellen Gibbs has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry and Masters in Education from Boston University. She has been the Technical Director for Americas Press Fabrics for five years. Prior to that, she spent most of her career with Albany in Press Fabric Applications for Publication, Tissue, Board and Pulp Grades. She also spent time in Manufacturing, R&D and was the Manager of the Product Engineering Group in Albany.

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
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 - Day 1

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

8:30 am
Wood Fiber & Paper Structure
Tom Rodencal

10:30 am
Stock Prep Overview
Tom Rodencal

12:00 pm

Session 2 - Day 1

1:00 pm
Stock Approach System Design
Tom Rodencal

2:30 pm
Design and Operation of Headboxes
Tom Rodencal

4:30 pm
Session Ends

Session 3 - Day 2

8:00 am
The Fourdrinier and Sheet Forming
Tom Rodencal

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

12:00 pm

Session 4 - Day 2

1:00 pm
Fundamentals of Pressing
Ellen Gibbs, Albany International

2:30 pm
Pressing Fabric Design for Modern Paper Machines
Ellen Gibbs

4:30 pm
Session Ends

Session 5 - Day 3

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

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

12:00 pm

Session 6 - Day 3

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

2:00 pm
Introduction to Vacuum Systems
John Neun

3:15 pm
Introduction to Calenders and Reels
Tom Rodencal

4:15 pm
Course Ends

# # #

A Past Participant Said:

"This training was well organized. Knowledgeable, well experienced presenters."

Group rates offer the greatest savings for three or more from the same location.


2021 Registration Rates

Aug 20

Aug 20

Individual Meeting Registration

TAPPI Member



Join or Renew and Save



Young Professionals under 30
Join or Renew and Save



Non-Member of TAPPI



Group Meeting Registration, Per Person
(Groups are 3+ people from the same location.) 

TAPPI Member



Join or Renew and Save



Young Professionals under 30
Join or Renew and Save



Non-Member of TAPPI




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 Friday, August 20, 2021.

Please note: A 50-percent refund is issued for all written cancellations made after Friday, August 20, 2021, but no later than five (5) business days prior to the start of the conference, Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Understandably, after Tuesday, September 14, 2021, no refunds can be issued. Substitutions, however, will be accepted any time without a penalty.

100% - Cancellation received by Friday, August 20, 2021
50% - Cancellations received after Friday, August 20, 2021, and no later than Tuesday, September 14, 2021
NO REFUND- Cancellations received after Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Payment Policy
TAPPI requires that all registration fees are paid in full prior to the start of the course.

Attendance Justification Toolkit
We understand it can be challenging to ask for approval to attend TAPPI training events, so we've created an Attendance Justification Toolkit below to assist you with the approval process and in making a strong case for the investment.

We encourage you to review the materials below and let these help you communicate the value of what attending the TAPPI Paper Machine Operations Course can provide when approaching your manager for approval.

Before the Event: Prepare your Justification.
It's important for you to communicate that attending a TAPPI course is a strategic investment in your training and development, and a cost-effective way to help you do your job better. You'll meet others who experience the same day-to-day challenges, meet face to face with technical experts and gain an advantage in the industry from the influx of new ideas, innovations and solutions.

Before the Event: Communicate the value of Your attendance.

After the Event: Summarize your experience and learning outcomes.

Your preparation will help you earn the greatest benefit from TAPPI training!

In many cases, the work you put in beforehand can also help you determine what information that you want or need to learn from the experts who will assemble to lead this instruction. The interaction with your manager or supervisor can be a productive process to go over some of the challenges that your organization would like to tackle.

Ways to Save

TAPPI members enjoy discounted rates for this course. If you're not already a member, Join Us!
Be the early-bird.
Discounts are available for those who register before Sunday, April 12!
Bring the team.
Group rates are offered for three or more people from the same location.

This course will take place in fall 2021.

Hotels near TAPPI in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, USA

475 Technology Parkway NW
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
(1.3 mi. from TAPPI)


Reservation Link: Book your room

Reservation Phone: 1-800-228-9290 or 1-770-441-6519


5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
(0.9 mi. from TAPPI)

Reservation Link:  Book your room

Registration Phone: 1-888-HILTONS OR 1-770-447-4747


HOME2SUITES BY HILTONImage result for home2suites by hilton peachtree
5800 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Norcross, GA 30071
(0.8 mi. from TAPPI) 

Reservation Link: Book your room

Reservation Phone: 1-770-263-2020


5600 Peachtree Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
(1.1 mi. from TAPPI) 

Reservation Link: Book your room

Reservation Phone: 1-888-568-1562


A Past Participant Said:

"I enjoyed the visual learning with the use of pictures, diagrams and videos, which contribute greatly to understanding."

~ Process Engineer

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

The TAPPI Bookstore

Your participation in this course gives you the opportunity to order TAPPI products at a discount with your registration.

Pick up your purchases onsite at the event to save on shipping!

Troubleshooting the Papermaking Process
Product Code: 0101R298
Special Member Price: $90
Special Non-Member Price: $117


Handbook for Pulp & Paper Technologists, Fourth - UPDATED EDITION (The Smook Book)
Product Code: 0202SMOOK
Special Member Price: $81
Special Non-Member Price: $105


Handbook for Pulp & Paper Technologists, Fourth - UPDATED SPANISH EDITION (The Smook Book)
Product Code: 0202SMOOK
Special Member Price: $81
Special Non-Member Price: $105


Handbook for Pulp & Paper Terminology, Fourth - Updated Edition (The Smook Term Book)
Product Code: 0202SMOOKTERM
Special Member Price: $59
Special Non-Member Price: $67


Guidelines for Safe Assessment and Operation of Yankee Dryers
Product Code: 0101R357
Special Member Price: $72
Special Non-Member Price: $94


Guidelines for the Safe Operation of Steam Heated Paper Machine Dryers
Product Code: 0101R250
Special Member Price: $31
Special Non-Member Price: $46


Paper Machines Quality Control Systems, Vol. 1-Measurement
Product Code: 0101R328
Special Member Price: $115
Special Non-Member Price: $174


Paper Machine Wet End (CD)
Product Code: MPP-12
Special Member Price: $50
Special Non-Member Price: $76


Paper Machine Dry End (CD)
Product Code: MPP-13
Special Member Price: $50
Special Non-Member Price: $76


The Headbox (CD) - Discounted 50%
Product Code: PP05CD
Special Member Price: $57
Special Non-Member Price: $87


Training Standard for Paper Machine Tender; Standard Guideline T 1501 sg-11
Product Code: 0104T1501
Member Price: $35
Non-Member Price: $49


Properties of Paper: An Introduction, Second Edition
Product Code: 0102B052
Member Price: $35
Non-Member Price: $53



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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