Automatic controllers have been subjected to fairly intensive theoretical study and some attempts have been made to establish human transfer functions for certain manual control actions. The paper industry is fairly specialised, however, in that the response of the system is very slow. This paper is an attempt to study the human operators’ characteristics in the control of basis weight. The paper is in two parts: the first is an ergonomic study of the process of papermaking and the second is a detailed study of basis weight control. A simulator for basis weight can described that matches the actual operation of the papermachine and has proved extremely useful for training purposes.