Optimization… In general, most plants want to mix up the cutting list, while still controlling the order that the members cut by the saw. This allows some gains in waste/cost to be had by combining members but still allows the cut components to be stacked easily according to truss once...
Solutions for Safer and More Efficient Truss and Frame Stacking
The increased acceleration of city infill and the popularity of apartments is creating the opportunity for frame and truss manufacturing to expand into mid-rise construction, an important growth area for the industry. However, with expansion comes a greater emphasis on quality manufacturing,...
The Power of SMED and 5S
As a follow up to our 9-part “Ready for Change” article series, our next step down the “Lean” path is to introduce other tools and methods to reduce waste and time. The first in this new bi-monthly series focuses on SMED, Single Minute Exchange of Die, and how this...
How Computer Simulation Can Power Innovation
Computer-simulated product testing is being used increasingly in modern engineering and manufacturing because it provides a low-risk, time- and cost-efficient means of modeling system performance using a wide array of variables before a physical prototype has been created. The following article...
Wood Components in Multi-Family Housing, Part Five
Part Five: Monoliths of the Millennium
The movement to taller and broader apartment buildings has impacted every component manufacturer. One such project may occupy estimators and designers for weeks at a time, may overwhelm production, and may confound shipping. It may crowd out smaller...
Wood Components in Multi-Family Housing, Part Four
Part Four: Apartment Trends of the 1990s and Beyond
What was true in the Nineties is just as true today, that large apartment jobs can crowd out single family orders. But with the proper mix of work, a plant can achieve more steady production. Since 1993 was nearly as dire as 2010, most...
Wood Components in Multi-Family Housing, Part Three
Part Three: Apartment Survival Strategies in the 1980s
A few stalwarts “lived to tell” how they survived the Eighties, but none knew magic. What they did then works just as well today—expanded markets, refined quotes, and controlled costs. And in the collapsing...
Technology, Progress, and Owning the Future of our Industry
So far in this series, I’ve talked about how job descriptions have evolved as the industry has matured. Along the way, I’ve emphasized that the objective is not to impress you with the advanced power of the servo—it is to impress upon you the importance of the journey of...
Wood Components in Multi-Family Housing, Part Two
Part Two: The Turbulent 1980s
For CMs to prosper in the 1980s, after surviving the “double-bubble” of apartment building in the 1970s, required great tenacity and innovation. Projects grew in size and complexity. Developers gained momentum and began employing scheduling and...
Why It’s Time to Add Component Manufacturing to Your Lumber Business
We’ve all seen the predictions: Component manufacturing is going to grow ever bigger as labor remains tight and big builders get more efficient. And with component manufacturing gross margins being higher than what you get for selling commodities, it’s a good time to ask:...