Hands-On Courses


Course Descriptions

These two-day courses offer a unique learning experience on paper machine operations. All attendees actually operate the pilot paper machine in the UWSP Paper Science and Chemical Engineering laboratory. Through carefully planned exercises that allow the participants to observe, manipulate and understand the operations of papermaking, each exercise introduces attendees to more complicated and sophisticated aspects of paper machine operations. 

Participants spend the two mornings learning in a classroom environment, and the two afternoons working with the pilot-scale paper machine. This combination has proven to be a highly effective and enjoyable way to gain fundamental knowledge of the commercial papermaking process. 

With class size always limited to 16 or fewer participants, there is ample opportunity for questions and discussion during classroom sessions and hands-on opportunities on the paper machine. The courses normally meet from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily with lunch and break refreshments included.

A link to more information about upcoming courses and registration is included at the beginning of each description below.

Hands-On Papermaking Course

This introductory class features morning classroom sessions followed by afternoon sessions of guided exercises operating the UW-Stevens Point Fourdrinier pilot paper machine. 

This course is designed for anyone who needs the basics, transferred from another industry, is new to operations, does maintenance, or supervises employees. Topics covered in this course included pulp and papermaking operations, with more information about papermaking processes and equipment.

Advanced Hands-On Papermaking: Formation

This two-day advanced class features morning classroom sessions followed by afternoon sessions of guided exercises using the UW-Stevens Point Fourdrinier pilot paper machine and testing the resulting paper. This course is best suited for those with a basic knowledge of papermaking processes. Learning outcomes for this course include:

  • Understand the relationship between sheet structure and paper qualities
  • Understand why paper making fibers floc
  • Understand manufacturing techniques that minimize fiber floccing
  • Understand the relationship between sheet structure, formation and paper properties
  • Understand both visual and instrumental measurement of formation
  • Understand the difficulties associated with the correlation of visual formation assessment and the instrument measurement

Advanced Hands-On Papermaking: Additives

This two-day advanced class provides an overview of the common paper making additives used in the industry today. Clear descriptions of how and why these additives work are presented in classroom discussions. Attendees will participate in discussions focused on where additives are introduced into the paper making process, potential interactions with both equipment and other additives, and the relationship between additives and enhanced performance of paper. This course is best suited for those with a basic knowledge of papermaking processesLearning outcomes for this course include:

  • Understand the difference between acid and alkaline papermaking.
  • Understand the difference between process additives and product improving additives.
  • Understand the basics of retention aid functionality.
  • Understand the difference between wet and dry strength additives.
  • Understand foam control, pitch control and biocides.
  • Understand the purpose and use of fillers.

This course features exercises on the UW-Stevens Point pilot paper machine where attendees will produce paper with different additives. Group exercises will follow that evaluate the properties of this paper using typical laboratory tests.

Who Should Attend 

You should attend if you are seeking a better understanding of the paper industry in order to improve your on-the-job performance. Particularly appropriate for newcomers, machine operators, operating managers, financial managers, sales representatives, maintenance workers, training and development staff.

What to Expect

The attendees divide into teams to perform tasks on the machine. The teams will rotate between the machine and the control room. This will provide the team with opportunities to discuss their observations and experiences with the facilitator and plan for the next task to be performed.

Course Provider/Instructors

The Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST) organizes these courses. UWSP Paper Science and Chemical Engineering Faculty serve as instructors.


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