Speaker: Wes McConnell


Wes was born and raised in Seattle.  He attended the University of Washington where he earned a dual BS Degree in Forestry & Chemical Engineering.  He then went on to earn a Masters Degree studying fiber physics and nonwovens.  He then spent two more years earning a Ph.D. by developing controlled release insecticides to successfully protect Mahogany trees from the Mahogany Shoot borer in Costa Rica.

In 1975, Wes joined the Absorbent Technology Group at Johnson and Johnson where he worked three years on diverse absorbent and nonwoven technologies.  During this time he developed and patented the Gravimetric Absorbency Tester, now a worldwide standard for quantifying absorbency (Flow in as well as out).

In 1979, he joined the Scott Paper Company in R&D in charge of the newly formed chemicals, binders and bonding group. He then held numerous positions in process and product development over the next 17 years. He was able to patent and implement several new tissue processes and products including the Scott version of UCTAD. Hew was also a development leader for Spry Re-Crepe Implementation.

In 1996, Wes joined Kimberly-Clark in the Scott/KC merger.  He was in charge of  AFH R&D where he managed the AFH Market Research Group, Sensory Evaluation Group and the Advanced Tissue Making Group. He also patented 'Smart Dispenser' Technology to quantify AFH Towel and Bath tissue usage.  He holds 14 US patents.

In 2001, he joined Buckman Laboratories as a technical advisor to International Tissue Group.  In this group, Wes was able to travel the world extensively providing technical training, auditing, planning to execute and to analyse many trials.  He also spent time in the Buckman Labs developing new chemical additives and crepe adhesives.

His travels eventually lead him to Asia where, in 2005, he joined the Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) group in Suzhou, China as R&D Global Director. In 2007, Wes relocated to Indonesia as QC and R&D Division Head.  Over the next few years(8) he was involved with implementing ISO9001, building an R&D program, establishing cross-site operating specifications, developing softness standards,  creating super-soft tissues, commercialising 17 machines, providing training and implementing TSA testing.

In 2016 Wes moved back to Seattle with his family where he is now semi-retired.  He is now the founder and CEO of Frameworxs Analytics providing consulting to the Global Tissue business.

He has four children and three grandchildren.

Senior Management Symposium

Softness: the holy grail of tissue products and why it can help you

10 April 2017,  15:25 – 15:50


As the tissue business continues to grow globally, companies are finding that tissue softness is perceived differently across the globe. Also, emerging economies are evolving as newer and softer tissues come into their markets. What was considered soft yesterday is no longer soft today. Of course, this is a good thing. However, tissue makers must continuously monitor their local and export markets for these emerging trends so they can react competitively. However, how do we monitor softness when it is judged differently across the globe?

In the past, market research firms designed and executed these trials. Unfortunately, these tests were extremely costly and often overdesigned for the task at hand. Some companies developed ad-hoc internal panels. These panel methods rated from somewhat useful to totally misleading. 
Over the last 20 years, panel methodology has significantly improved so that even with panels with less than 30 people can provide accurate and precise measures of what’s happening in the marketplace.

In this paper, I also discuss one of these methods called OASIS (Optimal Attribute Scaling and Information System). I also describe how the OASIS panel method can be used to fine tune and adjust the Emtec TSA, which is now rapidly becoming a worldwide standard for measuring softness.

Technical Session 1: Industry 4.0 - Computerisation of Smart Manufacturing for the Future of Today 

Introducing an auto-adaptive process control system that almost no one wanted

11 April 2017, 12:40 - 13:00

The speaker introduces DaVinxi, a cloud-based, auto-adaptive process control strategy designed to allow tissue machines to produce consistent quality at the lowest cost, even under varying operating environments. Results can also be combined with quality and financial data to create actionable information. The author explains how this technical approach works, discusses the difficulties of implementing the system and how the team overcame these challenges.

Finally, the author describes why almost no-one wanted this technology. However, over time, they all wanted it.

DaVinxi is now in its next level of development.