We’ve all done a fair amount of explaining—after something doesn’t happen as planned, we explain why not. Sometimes, providing the explanation is as simple as that. The when or the how is different than expected, so we set the record straight. But, what about those times when...
Sixty Years of Machines, Part IV
Part IV: Early Roller Gantries
The roller gantry dominates today’s truss production, but it hasn’t always done so, despite the fact that it hasn’t changed much over sixty years. The reason for its relatively slow ascendency is found in its origins and in its adaptations over...
BCMC Planning – The Great Debate on Saws
We’re now starting the daunting but exciting task of planning for the next Building Component Manufacturers Conference, being held September 22–25 in Indianapolis, IN. As we gear up, we ask ourselves – what is the most important piece of equipment to show, what is the message...
Knowing the Ideal Manufacturing Cycle Time
Building components is really great! It was a lot of fun in the 1970s when several plants had competitions on who could build the fastest run of trusses (for example, see Joe Kannapell’s article, Vertical Presses—The World Record). Back then, it was really easy to calculate cycle...
How Important are Construction Tolerances?
Back in the days before Autoset C®, Matchpoint®, and Wizard®, truss set-ups and the truss profile were dependent on the truss builder’s ability to accurately jig the truss being built using cross reference information and data. For example, a heel to peak measurement was taken...
Taking the Plunge
One of the many realities of living in the upper Midwest is dealing with the cold and icy conditions of its sometimes perilous winter. So you can imagine as an Australian native, where the temperature rarely drops below 32° (or 0°C for the rest of the world), this was quite the...
Too Many LBM-Owned CMs are Operating at a Mediocre Rate
An anonymous former lumberyard CEO of 17 lumberyard locations (LBM) explained to me that his two component manufacturing (CM) plants made up only 10% of his sales yet contributed 30% of his net profits. He wished he had given the CM division far more focus and resources.
As a guru for process...
Multi Family Tools for Wall Panel Design
Last month’s article launched our series on the most advanced panel design software in decades: Truebuild® Layout with panel design functionality. Written from the ground up by industry veterans and developed by the best in-house team in the industry, we listened to what you needed,...
Preparing Fast and Accurate Bids with STITCHER
Alpine’s STITCHER software makes a big difference for A-1 Roof Trusses providing rapid turn-around of bids—and much more
The Product / The Speed
STITCHER is a unique software tool developed by Alpine to free component estimators and designers from repetitive tasks and to speed...
A Case for Innovation in the Building Industry
For years, I’ve been interested in why the residential building industry has been so slow to innovate. Other industries constantly innovate. The U.S. automobile industry, arguably pushed along by Japan and European car makers, continues to advance its products and production methods....