The Machineman Development Program is owned by Tim Watts Associates and administered by PaperClassroom

It is a 4-week residential course, spread over four months, and is aimed at engineers, and process workers upto and including Machineman
Each week is accommodated by a different participating mill. An illustrative program is given below

course trainers

MDP Trainers

Delivered by highly qualified, experienced, enthusiastic, professional trainers who train extensively in the UK and overseas, and, where appropriate, augmented by functional specialists from local mills and allied industries.

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To date we have placed 8 delegates on the MDP scheme and the benefits both to those individuals and to the company have been profound. During this period our waste levels have reduced by 30% and our customer complaint levels have reduced by over half. While it is difficult to draw direct benefit relationships between training and business performance, there is no doubt in my mind that providing key operators with high quality technical training that gives them the ability to make critical real time decisions has paid off. In addition to bottom line improvement the sense of individual empowerment and of value to the company that the course engenders can bring significant benefits to the graduates. Two of ours have been promoted to Shift Supervisory roles and another to Production Manager. I expect this trend will continue. - Operations Director

As a Mill Manager a very important part of my job is to ensure that the manufacturing process is as efficient and productive as the process is capable. A large contribution to achieving the desired result are the people involved, none more so than the " machine man". He is the guy who can turn a straight run into a horror story or a very complex order change into a seamless change. He is also the guy who is the first line problem solver, the guy who optimises the furnish and machine conditions to achieve the best possible margin. It is imperative then that he is equipped with the knowledge, skill, confidence and motivation to achieve the best in the challenges he faces. It is without question that my experience of the performance of the machine men who have been on the MDP is elevated to a new level on their return. They have received a degree of training, knowledge and understanding that gives them the motivation and confidence to improve their performance in the desired areas. Another valuable part of the course is the time spent discussing problems, success, experiances with peers from other mills even from another sector. They invariably discover that they have knowledge that they can share and also learn from the other guys on the course. In my opinion every Machine man should get the opportunity to attend the MDP as part of their personal development. I am more than convinced that the investment by the mill will be recovered many times over. - General Manager

The benefits of sending our operators on the MDP have been wide and varied. They come back to the mill after each session fired up and wanting to use the knowledge they have acquired to solve real problems and we see a change in attitude which I believe comes from the realisation that we are investing in them and their future. In addition to this are the benefits of networking - we are in the process of implementing an improvement which has been researched using the contacts of one of our delegates. We expect to reap the rewards of our investment for many years to come. - Production Manager

Download MDP Order form (pdf)

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week 1 - Hosted by Croppers, Kendal

  • Monday - Communications Skills and paper Properties - Tim Watts
  • Tuesday - History of Papermaking & Fibers - Dr Steven Mann
  • Wednesday - Computer Simulations (CAPS) - SM & TW
  • Thursday - Basic Science - Dr Steven Mann
  • Friday - Stock Prep - Dr Steven Mann
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week 2 - Hosted by De La Rue, Overton

  • Monday - Water and Chemical Additives - Dr Steven Mann
  • Tuesday - Approach Flow - Dr Steven Mann
  • Wednesday - Sheet Formation - Dr Steven Mann
  • Thursday - Pressing and Papermaking Calculations - Dr Steven Mann
  • Friday - Safe papermaking - Tim Watts
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week 3 - Hosted by Ahlstrom, Chirnside

  • Monday - Drying - Dr Steven Mann
  • Tuesday - Plant Services and Process Control - Dr Steven Mann
  • Wednesday - Finishing and Converting Processes - Dr Steven Mann
  • Thursday - Energy Optimisation - Kate Leach
  • Friday - Structured Problem Solving - Tim Watts
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week 4 Hosted by The Paper Trail

  • Monday - Rope Feed Systems and Revision - Dr Steven Mann
  • Tuesday - Revision and Assessment - Dr Steven Mann
  • Wednesday - Lab work and Machine Trials - SM/TW
  • Thursday - Lab work and Machine Trials - SM/TW
  • Friday - Course summary and Feedback sessions - TW/SM

Download MDP Order form (pdf)

course Support

All attendees are provided with full colour, full text interactive course notes. Where appropriate these are supplimented by computer simulations, animations, video clips, and practical exercises. In addition there are regular informal tests so that participants can check their own progress and to prepare them for the final exam.

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Next MDP dates and venues

  • Week 1: Apr 13 2015 - James Cropper plc, Kendal
  • Week 2: May 11 2015 - TBA
  • Week 3: Jun 15 2015 - TBA
  • Week 4: Jul 11 2015 - The Paper Trail, Hearts
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    The easiest wy to contact me is via email to
    Skype ID: drzirconium
    Mobile: +44 (0)7780 614148

    Within the UK first consultation visits are free