Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design Innovation, Part XIV
Part XIV: Whole House Launched
Pacing nervously outside the truss office, our best software “brain” was physically sick. Another failed demo could end his career. He worried because, after 6 frustrating years, our $50 Million OptiFrame program may not be ready for primetime. And...
Interoperability Standardization in the Industrial Automation Space
So, there is an interesting discussion by some in the CM Industry to create a universal truss software standard. In some circles, this “standard” is merely an effort to integrate and simplify. Others worry it is an effort to monetize design software, and to some this...
Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design Innovation, Part XIII
Part XIII: The Unfinished Whole House
By purchasing Alpine, ITW/Truswal strengthened their chances of outflanking MiTek/TrusJoist in building the whole house. At the time of this acquisition in early 2006, we at MiTek had poured many millions into our efforts and had little to show for it....
How High is High Tech?
The question of how much “high tech” is really needed in a situation can be difficult to answer. As Thom mentions in his article, “new-to-you equipment” may meet your needs after it has stopped being enough for someone else’s plant. To make the right decisions, you...
Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design Innovation, Part XII
Part XII: Walls Get in the Way
Just because two CEOs agree to build a computer model of a house in 3 years doesn’t mean it’s feasible. And barely a year into the agreement between TrusJoist and MiTek to merge software, we realized that we couldn’t do it. Meanwhile our...
Linear Saw Optimization to Turn Costs into Benefits
Before buying a linear saw, several common questions will be asked. What is the price? Speed? Accuracy? Most potential customers enquire about support and on-going maintenance. Occasionally, the topic of spare parts and availability is broached, and sporadically someone may throw in a question...
Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design Innovation, Part XI
Part XI: A Whole House in the New Millennium
We truss designers were outfoxed by an unlikely pair of moguls who knew nothing about truss design. Gene Toombs and Tom Denig, CEOs of MiTek and TrusJoist, without our prompting, announced in 2001 that their companies would join forces to design...
Expect Margins and Lead Time to Decrease in Most Markets
Many of us have been in the industry long enough to clearly remember the pain of the ‘08 crash. Before the crash, everyone was very optimistic about their own growth potential because the building economy was on fire, which gave everyone a reason to expand their manufacturing capacity like...
Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design Innovation, Part X
Part X: Windows Works Its Magic
When David McQuinn recommended Windows to MiTek’s management in 1990, few expected that Microsoft could compete with the two giants of the computer industry: Hewlett Packard and IBM. HP was the dominant provider of engineering computers. For a decade, its...
Looking at Your Operation from a Different Perspective
My wife recently saw a book online (direct from the publisher) that she thought I would enjoy reading: “Lean Production for Competitive Advantage,” by John Nichols. There was, though, a funny thing about the book; it was printed upside down compared to the binding. I considered...