Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design, Part III
Part III: In-House Computing (Almost)
In 1971, for the first time, both On-Line Data and Gang-Nail, Inc. put computer software at the fingertips of truss designers. By 1973, our company responded, and so did most of our major competitors. This innovation was wrought out of near desperation on...
Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design, Part II
Part II: Leaps Forward in Computerization
None of us would forget the strange sounds that signaled a new era in truss design: the pounding of the keypunch, the whirring of the card reader, and the ratcheting of the line printer that emanated from the 10x10 room in front of our drafting...
The Last Word:
on Computer Evolution...The Transition from Hardware to Software
Struggling mightily to hand-design enough trusses, we suppliers aggressively pursued computer solutions. When mainframe hardware was introduced in the 1960s, our then-competitor, Gang Nail Systems, installed a Control Data “Cyber 70” in a customized, climate controlled computer room,...
Celebrating 50 Years of Truss Design
Part I: Computerization Begins
The arrival of the first computers 50 years ago signaled that truss design had come of age. And they came just in time. We urgently needed them to meet the growing demand for truss designs. But they didn’t come with experienced operators – in the...
The Last Word:
The Last Word on Computerization
“When will our computer project(s) be finished?”, we are often asked. Even after 50 years of trying, there is no easy way to explain what it takes to get “done.” However, one of our industry’s finest leaders offered the best advice 40 years ago. “We’ve...
Automated Saw Key to Frame and Truss Productivity and Profitability
A continuing strong house construction scene means that the North American frame and truss industry and supporting supply chain are busy. Frame and truss manufacturing remains highly competitive, and top performing companies are paying even closer attention to automation, quality, precision,...
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...
Remembering the “I” in BIM
Building Information Modeling (BIM) has started to become a common practice in the architectural, engineering, construction, and facilities management industries. The benefits of BIM have been recognized in commercial and industrial development, but the potential of BIM technology to facilitate...
Technology, Progress, and Human Interaction
Last month, I talked about how things were “back in the day” as compared to now. The Servo Revolution is upon us, and we must all work to keep up with technology. Modern technology drives our businesses, both literally and figuratively. Even so, technology is not the sole element in...
Technology, Progress, and Our Evolving Businesses
Technology certainly has changed the way I do my job. In fact, in many ways, it’s changed the entire industry I’ve chosen to build a career in. When I graduated with a Construction Management Degree, the construction industry was wide open. But selling production saws for the Wood...