Sixty Years of Machines, Part V
Part V: The Gantry Gains Ground
The roller gantry had two major obstacles to clear in the 1970s, both erected by its inventor, Carroll Sanford. Both were delineated in hard-to-evade U.S. Patents. The first was on the machine itself and the second was on the connector plate that it required....
How Do Your Manufacturing Errors Rank on the List?
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” Apparently, she never worked in a truss plant, where I think everyone will make them all at least once. But humor aside, let’s take a look at the...
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...
Sixty Years of Machines, Part III
Part III: Table Presses
More CMs are “doing it right the first time” via vertical presses, taking advantage of their flexibility and the quality of their production. But few realize that some of the most successful plants in our industry started with table presses. These presses...
The Last Word:
Vertical Presses — The World Record
Forty years ago, a frenetic fray raged over the World Record for truss production. While CMs across the country competed, the two main players, Littfin in Minnesota and Dickie Vail in Louisiana, produced numbers that may never be equaled. The massive trophy, displayed today in the lobby of...
Sixty Years of Machines: Introduction
When do CMs go after new technology? Primarily when they’ve had several good years under their belt. But once new equipment has proven to be much better than what it replaces, it continues to sell even in slower economies. This is illustrated by the apparent inflection point midway through...
Beware of One Size Fits All Solutions
I am often asked about what is the best one-size-size-fits-all equipment solution to fit all the component manufacturing needs. Of course, too many equipment vendors are more than willing to offer their version of a one-size-fits-all solution. Below are three examples of when one size does not...
Roof Truss Gantry Systems
Spring is here and that means we’re nearly half-way through this year’s project to compare available manufacturing equipment for our industry.
Each month as I visit manufacturers’ websites, I learn something. Then, we also send a draft copy of the chart I’ve compiled...
Gantry Production for Wood Trusses: What are Good Production Numbers?
Automated jig setups for gantry tables and linear saws are a couple of the best things to come along in our truss facilities in a long time. Obviously, we know the most time spent to build a truss is setting it up. Now we are setting up difficult trusses in seconds. Across the country, most...
Is There Such Thing as Too Much Pressure?
Too much pressure is not only a problem in our lives, it can also be a problem in our plants. One of the most important issues when manufacturing quality trusses is plate embedment. Without proper embedment, the connector plate cannot adequately transfer load forces through the members down to...