The Evolution of Engineering Drawings

When Baisch opened in 1958, engineering drawings were completed manually on paper, vellum, mylar or another substance. They were drawn using pencils, pens, rulers, T-squares, erasers and a host of other tools. Drawings were done on drafting boards or tables. Imagine the amount of office space required for every engineer to have a drafting table and all their tools. Drafting machines were used to combine manual drawing boards, pantographs etc. into an integrated drawing.


With the invention of CAD (Computer-Aided Design), the need for manual drawings drastically declined. CAD drawings were printed on plotters, a machine that produced vector drawings. These printers often jumped from one area to another, drawing lines and adding dots. In the 1980s, laser printers eliminated the use of plotters. Today, large format inkjet printers are used most often when printing is required.


With current technology, drawings are produced and saved as electronic documents to be shared without printing. What an incredible change over the last 65 years!

Team Spirit

As Baisch continues our 65th anniversary celebration this year, it was only fitting we enjoyed a night at the Timber Rattlers stadium. While this is an annual event for Baisch, this year we provided 65th anniversary t-shirts for everyone! This event also includes our team member’s families. It is a fun event filled with food and a baseball game and shows appreciation to the family members who support the, at times, long hours and travel the Baisch team members put in.

The Timber Rattlers had a significant historical milestone in 1958 as well; professional baseball returns to Appleton for the fifth and final time. The Fox Cities Foxes (now known as the Timber Rattlers) became a member for the Three I League and drew over 58,000 fans in the first year.

Whether it is a baseball team or a company team, success happens through good communication, individual talent in a team, a sense of belonging, strong leadership, structure, achievable goals, positive attitudes and accountability. These are all attributes Baisch strives to live with our clients and our team members.

There is plenty of time to get out to a baseball game yet this year so make your plans! See  how the team spirit can impact your work life as well.


The Progression of Pay Day

The world has changed drastically in the last 65 years. Items such as Cocoa Krispies, Diet Rite, Goldfish, the Hula Hoop, JIF Peanut Butter and Mr. Clean were introduced in 1958, the same year Baisch Engineering opened.

Some practices from years ago seem crazy in today’s world. Smoking in the office was permitted and no one thought twice about it. Some offices had alcoholic beverages to enjoy at the end of the day with coworkers. Open workspaces were the norm; cubicle walls emerged in the last 65 years. No one worked at home and if you wanted to get paid, there was no computer system to put your time in.

While going through files, we found a previous employee’s time sheets from 1984 and an expense report from 1996. Employees recorded their time by hand, on a sheet of paper created on a typewriter, and turned it in monthly to be paid. By 1996, forms were printed on carbonless copy paper but were still filled out by hand. Taxes were figured out by a chart.

Today, time sheets are completed through a program found on computers at our desk, or even through an app on our phones. Receipts are attached to our expense report by taking a picture with our phones. Pay day is no longer monthly and line items such as taxes are automatically figured by the payroll program. What a time saver!

Many things get better with time and Baisch is definitely one of them. For more history of Baisch, check out our online timeline.


If you’ve been following along, you know this year we are celebrating our 65th anniversary. This is certainly a momentous occasion. We came together as a team at the historic Lambeau Field’s Hall of Fame to commemorate the event. The Packers franchise began in 1919, so while it is 39 years older than Baisch, it’s not really THAT much older so it was the perfect location.

There is no doubt Baisch is a leader in the pulp and paper engineering field – we could say we are better than all the rest. But what makes us better? The answer is easy; it’s our people. Baisch provides a relationship with our clients and teammates that make projects succeed.

The celebration in the Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field was an opportunity to come together as a team, celebrate our successes, look forward to a bright future for Baisch and show our team appreciation for their time, dedication and can-do attitudes.

Way to go Team Baisch! Here’s to the next 65!

Calculators, Angles and Coordinates, Oh My!

The tools used daily by engineers have certainly changed over time.

At one time, engineers used “Addiator” type calculators, a mechanical add/subtract personal calculator, to add feet, inches and fractions to documents. Versions of the Addiator were produced between 1920 and 1982 and were composed of metal sliders inside a metal envelope, manipulated by a stylus with the capability to carry such as subtract ten, carry one.

In 1967, Texas Instruments developed a handheld electronic calculator that replaced the Addiator type calculators and slide rules. In the 1970s and 1980s, scientific and graphing calculators were introduced. By 1993, calculators appeared on cell phones, conveniently accessible at all times.

C.K. Smoley produced books for Engineers, Architects and Students. The books were Combined Tables Books focused on Logarithms and Squares, Slopes and Rises, Logarithmic Trigonometric Tables and Segmental Functions – essentially, they were used to calculate angles and lengths and understand sins, co-sins, and tangents. Today, engineers use GPS coordinates, Google search, laser scans and 3D modeling to assist in determining information like this.

What will change in the next 65 years to improve our capabilities, effectiveness, and precision?


Evolution of Engineering in My Career

Kurt Kloehn – Retired Baisch President


What changed the most in my career at Baisch is the execution, production and distribution of engineering documents, and the related design systems.

When I worked during high school and summers during college (1974-1979), all engineering documents were hand drawn and blueprints were made one by one on the print machine in the basement. I was first hired as a “print boy”, the accepted title of the day, and ran prints or helped with modest drawing updates.

When we had a big “issue” or “drawing release”, we’d spend days making drawing sets to ship to the contractors. They were rolled, wrapped in brown paper, and shipped, sometimes by the pickup truck load, for really big jobs or bid package releases.

In the 1980s we began using computer-based drawings. By 1988, I was on a project for a company in Green Bay where we had a blend of CAD drawings and hand drawings.

Around 1994, Baisch made the commitment to transition to fully computer based CAD drawings and our designers cycled through training sessions. At this point, everyone got their own CAD station, which was a change from having a central “CAD Room”.

It’s hard to imagine how we completed complex projects, compared to today’s 3D modeling, interference checking, smart P&IDs and document control that Baisch has in place.

Checkout was accomplished by using colored highlighters on a master P&ID hung in the control room and updated each shift. This seems amazingly backward compared to our current checkout and startup website system which tracks real time status and percent complete by discipline.

Baisch’s culture of attention to detail has deep roots. Baisch continues to be recognized in the engineering industry as a quality design leader.


Sharpen Your Pencils

According to, the modern pencil was first mass-produced in 1662. The history of the pencil spans centuries of improvements including the move to graphite, encasing the lead in wood and more. While Baisch’s 65th anniversary certainly doesn’t date back THAT far, pencils were (and still are) an important part of the engineering world.

The drawing tools for engineers have certainly changed from mechanical lead inserted pencils which you had to resharpen continuously, to mechanical pencils with a specific lead diameter. From there, the change went to ink pens of different diameters to produce thin, medium and fat lines to the CAD imaginary lines defined by various colors which our printers decoded to produce drawings on printers.

Today you will see our engineers, designers and drafters in front of their computer screens more often than not. But their desks are full of papers, pens and pencils as they review drawings and plans and embrace the challenge of every project.


How Do We Measure?

Our 65th anniversary celebration continues with more fun facts about the changes in the industry of engineering.

A tape measure was a must have on a job site. Jobs required a crew to visit a job site (field work) to measure, survey and document the existing conditions of the project. Measurements obviously had to be precise in order to create the drawings required.

Technology has evolved tremendously and while our team still carries tape measures on job sites, we have the capability to use a laser scanner to assist us in the field. Our laser scanner, the X7 Scanner has an average accuracy of under 2mm, which allows us to create accurate 3D images of an existing facility which we integrate into our models.

This is a great example of how Baisch continues to evolve and provide Service Beyond Solutions.


Happy 65th Anniversary to Baisch!

2023 is a significant year for Baisch Engineering. Sixty-five years ago, in 1958, Stephen Baisch started S.J. Baisch Associates Inc. to provide engineering knowledge and experience to the entire pulp and paper industry.

Many things have changes over the course of the last 65 years. Throughout the year, we will share some industry changes not only on our blog but on our social media outlets (if you haven’t, like us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!).

Drafting began on paper, using T-squares and straight edges. Over the years, the industry has seen an evolution to mechanical arms to CAD to 3D Revit to Smart P&IDs. Drafting on paper changed to velum to the electronic format we use today.

Baisch started in a rented building in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. Very shortly, a new building was built at our current location.

Baisch continues to follow the principles it was based on 65 years ago. We provide our clients with strong personal relationships, technical expertise and ethical business dealings, known simply as “the Baisch Tradition”.

New 2022 Baisch Shareholders

Baisch Engineering is excited to announce two new shareholders in 2022. Baisch Engineering is a privately-held, multi-disciplined, full integration engineering firm serving process-related industries.


Ronald A. Clarke, Jr., P.E. is a Project Manager and Process Engineer and has over 23 years of experience, six of which have been at Baisch. Ron works closely with project owners, equipment vendors and contractors to manage projects from inception through installation, checkout and startup.


Joel W. Berg, P.E. is a Structural Resource Lead and Civil/Structural Engineer Project Manager at Baisch. Joel has over 18 years of engineering experience, over 15 of which have been at Baisch. Joel has a broad range of industrial structural experience. His responsibilities include analysis and design of building structures and machine equipment support elements, field verification and more.


“Ron and Joel are valuable members of the Baisch team,” said Todd Van Gompel, P.E., Baisch Engineering President. “They both bring technical expertise, the ability to build strong client relationships and strong leadership to their teams.”


Show Your Appreciation

As we approach the holiday season, it is an easy time to show our appreciation to others. We buy the perfect gifts for loved ones, look for unique items for teachers, coaches and coworkers and in the business world we take a moment to thank our clients and partners for their past and future collaborations with us.

Employers may host a holiday party, give Christmas gifts to employees or there may even be an end of year bonus. Baisch is similar in many ways; we host a Christmas party, we have a week’s worth of fun activities for team members, and we collect donations for local charities.

However, Baisch has some things we do a little different. The fun events mentioned above are not only during this season but year-round (check out our social media pages to keep up to date!). Employees used their volunteer time off to give back to the community throughout the year. Team leads and coworkers are quick to say, “Thank you” and “Great job”. Sometimes team members find a personalized note in their mailbox or on their desk. Todd Van Gompel, President of Baisch, recently sent a company-wide email that started with “Thank you for being great at your jobs” and “Thank you for always having our client’s best interest at heart.”

The holiday season is a great reminder to say thank you to family, coworkers, clients – everyone in your life. Baisch challenges you to take it a step farther. Show your appreciation and thanks to people in your life ALL YEAR. Here are some ideas and tips to get you started:

  1. A personalized notecard mailed to a client to thank them for a new project or congratulating them on a recent completed project.
  2. A note on LinkedIn offering congratulations on a new job.
  3. When a coworker or employee does something nice or goes above and beyond, a quick email, note or candy bar on their desk to say thank you is much appreciated.
  4. Mark your calendar with a reminder to reach out with that appreciation method.

There is never a wrong time to show your appreciation, and with that we say, thank you for following Baisch on social media, and reading our blog! We appreciate you!

Baisch Engineering

Our Team at Baisch

Obviously the first thought people have when they hear a company with the name “Engineering” in it, is that mostly engineers work there. While Baisch certainly employs engineers, we wouldn’t be able to successfully serve our clients without a more extensive team.

Engineers make up about 39% of our staff. Although, you may be surprised to learn that about 47% of our team are drafters and designers.

This Fall, Baisch attended Fox Cities Days at UW-Platteville and the Career Fair at MSOE. In addition, we spent a half day at NWTC (Northeast Wisconsin Technical College) and we plan to attend a career fair at FVTC (Fox Valley Technical College) in November. We strongly believe it is necessary to find the best candidates to become Baisch team members.



Brian Olmsted, Civil/Structural Designer, has been at Baisch for over 15 years. Take a moment to listen to his journey to becoming a designer at Baisch.

Baisch is proud of the team we have gathered to provide our clients with the best service and experience possible. As we continue to grow, we look for individuals to join our team in ALL roles. If you are interested in working at Baisch, keep an eye on our career page.

Announcements and Fun at Baisch

It has been an exciting month at Baisch. We were excited to be part of the ground-breaking ceremony at Georgia-Pacific for their project Team Cinco in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This Georgia-Pacific expansion includes building a new paper machine using through-air-dried (TAD) technology and associated converting equipment and infrastructure. Baisch will work hand in hand with vendors, Boldt and Georgia-Pacific throughout the project. We are proud to be part of Team Cinco.

While our team has been busy, we also have taken time for fun. We were proud to be sponsors at the Lake States TAPPI/North Central PIMA Art Rankin Memorial Golf Outing as well as the Heart of the Valley Chamber Golf Outing. Baisch hosted a cake/cupcake Bakeoff where all team members were able to taste-test and vote for their favorite. Company-wide, we enjoyed a Timber Rattler baseball game and a cookout to celebrate upcoming Labor Day. In addition, we have welcomed several new team members recently.


At Baisch, we live our value of “Committed, Connected Relationships” whether it is how we work with our clients or the fun we share with our team members. We look forward to additional exciting projects, fun activities and adding to the Baisch team!

Life-long learner: Todd Van Gompel

Earlier this year, Baisch was awarded as one of the best firms to work for by Zweig Group. Our president, Todd Van Gompel was interviewed for our accomplishment which you can read at the link below! Go check it out!

Volunteering at Feeding America


While this statement is certainly true, Baisch Engineering ensures our team members also have the time!

As part of our benefit package, all employees get Volunteer Time Off. These hours are available annually to allow our team members to volunteer for not-for-profit organizations.

This month, some Baisch team members took time on a Friday morning to volunteer at Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. After a short training session, we got to work! Alongside volunteers from other organizations, we sorted and packaged over 7,500 lbs of donated food which resulted in approximately 6,200 meals in two hours. What a great way to spend a few hours on a Friday morning.

Collin Osenroth, Civil/Structural Engineer, shares, “I knew it was a good opportunity to give back to the community and help those less fortunate.” The time at Feeding America was enlightening to many team members. Corey Wiedemann, Civil/Structural Drafter, comments, “Seeing what was all involved in separating the incoming food and placing them into boxes for distribution was interesting to me.” While Peggy Heling, Process Control Drafter, said, “I was amazed at how many places they service. I did enjoy the hands-on work.”

Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin works with pantries and meal sites to serve more than half a million people in Wisconsin a year. Currently, one in eight people do not know where their next meal is coming from. For more information, please see Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.


Did Someone Say Retirement Picnic?

Baisch recently celebrated 14 individuals who have retired from Baisch since 2020 with a picnic. Baisch team members, retirees and families of retirees came together to recognize the almost 400 years of Baisch employment between these 14 individuals. Baisch is well known for taking the opportunity to come together to make great memories. This event was no exception with good food, great memories shared, and new memories made (there was a little storm and we needed to evacuate the park.)

Some retirees started with Baisch when we used T Squares rather than 3D Revit and saw the transition from paper to velum to electronic formats. The wealth of knowledge these individuals have shared with our clients and other Baisch team members is invaluable.

Congratulations to:

  • Jim Jilek
  • Jerry Kerkhoff
  • Jim Goymerac
  • Gregg Handler
  • Jim Thunes
  • Mark Hooyman
  • Kevin Ingenthron
  • John Forster
  • Mike Van de Hey
  • Dave Urbaniak
  • Carl Rossal
  • Martin Olson
  • Paul Hannemann
  • Kurt Kloehn

We wish the best to these retired Baisch team members and look forward to seeing them at future Baisch events. Until then…

“Go travel the world, have big fun, lay on the beach, soak up the sun.
Play 18 holes of golf or watch tv,
Sleep in late, then go to the mall.
Spoil the grandkids and send them back home,
Just let yourself be free.
If anyone asks you why you’re smiling so,
Don’t hesitate to set them straight and let them know,
Today is your retirement day…”

“Retirement Day” by Sergeant H

(22) Sergeant H “Retirement Day” WINNER Of the Las Vegas Silver ACE AWARD – YouTube





Sam Knoke’s Journey Through Baisch

Sam Knoke started with Baisch Engineering as a Civil/Structural intern. Throughout his schooling, Sam would return to Baisch during his breaks which helped develop not only his knowledge and expertise in the field but also his relationships with fellow coworkers. Learn more about Sam’s journey and how he became a full time Civil/Structural Engineer.

Fun at Baisch

In March, we had some fun celebrations occur in the Baisch office!

We participated in Pi Day with a pie baking contest. Baisch employees brought in homemade pies and voted for their favorite. The top three winners were Corey Wiedemann with his Key Lime Pie, Kaylin Rieckmann with her Carmel Apple Pie and the winner, Hannah Pulda, with her Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.





Baisch was thrilled to celebrate our team members who celebrated a significant work anniversary in 2020, 2021 or the 1st quarter of 2022 this week. We know how valuable our team members are and were happy to recognize anyone who had 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 year anniversary with catered breakfast from Sticky Fingers Cafe & Catering in our home town Kaukauna and gifts!



National Engineers Week

February 20 – 26, 2022 marks National Engineers Week. Baisch is proud of the service and skills we bring to our customers on large and small projects.

Baisch would like to share a little bit about why some of our team members got into engineering, how they decided what area to specialize in and why they feel their jobs are exciting.

The reasons our team members got into engineering range from liking math and science, wanting to know how things worked, and more personal reasons.

Darin Riggleman shares, “My father was a Civil Engineer and I watched him and wanted to do what he did.”

Pat Radish wanted to make a difference by solving complex problems in our complex world. Don Lee’s introduction to building competition robots helped steer him to a career in electrical engineering.

Choosing a discipline may seem like a daunting task, but not to some team members! Todd Hengel chose Process Controls when, as a co-op student, he was assigned to a team that was designing a factory with every function completed by a robot.

“I enjoy the larger scale projects.” says Sam Kacena, Civil Engineer. “Having the opportunity to work on projects designing large buildings, roads, and bridges is motivating and it is rewarding to see projects through, from start to finish.”

What keeps our Baisch team members coming back to work in their chosen engineering role every day? Most indicated working through a problem or learning something and teaching someone else that skill rate high on why they love their jobs. Some are more specific like Myshelle Roesken who shared, “I love learning about all of the different components involved in making paper products.”

Mike Vandermuss enjoys working with our teams to solve our clients’ problems. Vandermuss says, “There is a ton of satisfaction in taking ownership of a problem and providing a solution that ensures our clients’ future success.”

It’s clear our engineering staff have found careers they enjoy. “Our team has a love of problem solving and working with clients in a very interactive way.”  states Todd Van Gompel, President of Baisch.  “I love working with our incredibly talented team on projects that make our clients a Raging Success.  Thank you, Baisch Engineering team, for making our culture so GREAT!

Located in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, Baisch employs over 80 team members. We are proud to provide SERVICE BEYOND SOLUTIONS to our clients.

Baisch Becomes Gold-Certified Fox Cities Employee Friendly Workplace

Baisch Engineering has been certified as a 2022 gold-level Employee Friendly Workplace in the Fox Cities by the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce. Gold-certified employers are community leaders in promoting work/life integration by making significant investments in employee-friendly policies and practices.


Baisch Engineering is proud to offer generous benefits and perks to our employees. A few standout benefits include:

  • 100% Employer paid family insurance premiums option
  • Flexible work environment including in office, hybrid or remote options
  • Matching charitable contributions
  • Volunteer Time Off


“Being Gold Certified as an Employee Friendly Workplace confirms what our existing employees already know; Baisch is a great place to work!” says Eric Eisenhauer, Corporate Director. “Baisch understands our staff is who makes Baisch a success and while we work hard, we also have a family atmosphere that provides an enjoyable work experience.”


Employee friendly workplace policies and practices foster a supportive work environment that improves employee engagement and encourages employee loyalty. A commitment to employee friendliness creates an environment in the Fox Cities that attracts and retains the best employees for the region. To learn more about the Fox Cities Employee Friendly Workplace certification and initiative, please visit


Happy Holidays!

As we enter the Holiday Season, I want to share how much we enjoy the work we do and the people that we work with at Baisch Engineering.  Like a snowflake, each project is unique and special to us.  Our talented team, creative industry partners and great clients are what makes Baisch Engineering special.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


– Todd Van Gompel, President




Baisch Engineering is proud to be part of the community and support local, not-for-profit organizations. This holiday season, employees have donated items for Saving Paws Animal Rescue and Harbor House to help make a difference.


Baisch Employees of the Month

Baisch likes to recognize our hard-working employees and reward them with gift cards and other perks throughout the month. Here is a list of employees of the month from throughout the year.


Jordan Smith- Process Designer


What It’s Like Working At Baisch

What is it like to work at Baisch Engineering?


New In-House Laser Scanning Capabilities



Baisch Engineering is excited to announce a new in-house capability! We now provide scanning services with our very own X7 Scanner. This allows us to integrate existing condition documentation into our projects for enhanced model coordination.

The X7 Scanner has an average accuracy of under 2mm, allowing us to create an accurate, as-built 3D image of an existing facility. We then integrate that data directly into our models.

Providing this service to our clients streamlines the process and makes laser scanning a more economical option. The increased efficiency allows Baisch to offer scanning services on smaller projects and supports our field work to help reduce our time on-site. Additionally, we will be able to offer stand-alone scanning services, outside of our typical project-related work.

Please contact us today to learn more about how our Laser Scanning capabilities will benefit you.

Baisch Engineering – providing service beyond a solution.


From Intern to Lead: Phil Gocker’s Journey Through Baisch

At Baisch Engineering, we recognize the value our team members bring at all levels. Watch Phil Gocker’s journey beginning as an intern and through his transition to a Principal and Process Department Lead. This series explores how Baisch fosters employee growth and family culture.


International Women in Engineering Day

June 23, 2021 marks International Women in Engineering Day. This day brings attention to amazing career opportunities available for women in the industry and celebrates the achievements of women engineers throughout the world.

Baisch Engineering is fortunate to have women engineers on staff and in leadership roles.

Why did these women choose engineering as their career choice? What would they say to encourage other women to become engineers?

A common theme when asked why they became engineers is because they love math, science, drawing and building things. As Jeannine Powell said, “I always loved building things – blocks, Lincoln logs, sandcastles, Legos – there are lots of memories and pictures of me as a little kid building.”

Judy Overton combined a love of math and art, which led her to attend Fox Valley Technical College where she became the first woman to graduate from the program with an Associate Degree in Mechanical Design. Kaylin Van Stappen originally planned on becoming an Architect and was offered a position as a Structural Designer. That led to a love of modeling and data. Kaylin says, “When I get the opportunity to work on 3D concept models and presentation renderings, it doesn’t even feel like work!”

How did these women decide what discipline of engineering to focus on? Some didn’t have to choose just one. Peggy Heling has mostly been an Electrical Drafter but loves drafting in general and has done Process Control, Structural and GIS Drafting. Jeannine was asked by a friend whether she liked Mechanics of Materials or Thermo more; the answer was easy and she focused on Civil Engineering.

These women have sound advice for other women looking to join the engineering world. All agreed that being an engineer is interesting, challenging and offers the opportunity to be in a field where design is constantly evolving. Peggy encourages women to follow their passion, while Judy is proud to say engineering is not just a man’s world any longer. Some of the best advice came from Jeannine and applies not only to engineering, but to life in general. She says, “Don’t be intimidated and don’t let people hold you back.  Do not hold yourself back either!  Learn from your mistakes.  You will make them, but they are only failures if you don’t learn how to do better the next time!”

Thank you to these women in engineering for your continuing contributions to Baisch Engineering and our clients!


Jeannine M. Powell, P.E., Principal, Structural Department Lead and Civil/Structural Engineer

Kaylin L. Van Stappen, BIM Lead and Civil/Structural Engineer

Peggy S. Heling, Process Control Drafter

Judith A. Overton, Process Specialist

Jordan A. Smith, Process Designer

Kelsey M. Ponsegrau, Electrical Designer


Announcing our new brand identity and website!

We are proud to announce the launch of the updated logo and brand identity as part of the ongoing development of Baisch. While we have grown over the years, we wanted to keep true to who we were so the logo changes reflect a refresh of our logo but maintain our “Baisch B” to represent the pulp and paper industry that we originated from. We reviewed our values to create a brand identity that reflects those values.


New Logos



New Colors




New Website

Along with announcing our new brand identity, we have launched our new website featuring a modern design. The new site provides a clean and organized way to provide visitors easy access to learn all about Baisch, what we do, and why we do it. Our new website has “responsive design” which resizes automatically to fit the visitor’s browser, whether that device be a computer, tablet, or phone. This design will enable easy viewing on any platform.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to email Lynn Zima, our Marketing Coordinator, at or send a message via our Contact page.

Embracing a Familiar Challenge: How Baisch Engineering Again Supported Little Rapids Corporation Production Schedule

By: Todd Van Gompel, President of Baisch Engineering

Baisch Engineering has a long history with Little Rapids Corporation. In the late 70’s / early 80’s, we helped Little Rapids Corporation move an existing tissue machine from New Jersey to Shawano, WI. Almost 40 years later, we were fortunate enough to be asked back to replace this same tissue machine with a new tissue machine. Baisch provided the budgeting phases as well as the complete integration engineering, but this project didn’t come without its challenges.

As the project manager for the detailed engineering portion of this project, it was my responsibility to make sure we were on schedule, staying on budget, and that the overall process was moving along smoothly. In the early part of our planning phase, we were faced with a difficult situation. Machines from 40 years ago are a lot different in both configuration and size compared to modern paper machines. We were challenged to replace a smaller, older machine with a much larger, modern machine within the existing infrastructure of the existing building.

After performing a detailed analysis of the machine’s beams and frames, our team placed new loads on those beams. We had to come up with some creative ways to readjust the machine haul in order to accept the new configuration and weight of the new machine.

During the initial planning phase, the team had planned for a 36 day shutdown. For a small, family owned company like Little Rapids Corporation, shutting down one of their machines for 36 days is a big deal. Throughout the project, our team had a great line of communication and when it came time for the shutdown, we worked hard with our partners to find opportunities to shorten the amount of time the machine would be down for. We utilized our proprietary checkout and startup system to help shorten the overall downtime.

In the end, the team took out the old machine, installed the new equipment and machine, and shortened the length of the shutdown to just 30 days from sheet to sheet! It was a big accomplishment for our team and it really meant a lot to Little Rapids Corporation that we were able to speed up the process by almost a week.

One of the individuals from Little Rapids Corporation actually came up to me and thanked our team for being a part of the project. “You guys have our future in your hands and we trust you,” she said. “Thank you for caring about our future.”

With the new machine, Little Rapids Corporation is able to produce more paper at a faster production rate. It’s more efficient and more cost-friendly. Being involved with this project when it was just an idea in someone’s head, working with Little Rapids Corporation through the budgeting phase, and then having the opportunity to be a part of the detailed engineering and the final machine installation made the whole experience really special for Baisch Engineering. We were involved with everything from beginning to the end, cover to cover and we were able to deliver Little Rapids Corporation with the solution they needed to be a raging success.