Kannapell: Robotics in Component Manufacturing is Expanding

Industry News,

Originally Published by: SBCA Magazine by Joe Kannapell — February 6, 2024
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Editor’s Note: The content below is entirely researched and created by the author. SBCA is not actively tracking the use or proliferation of advanced fabrication techniques in today’s component manufacturing operations.  

Twenty-two robotic truss lines are now successfully running in North America; 13 Trussmatic, 7 House of Design, and 2 Randek - with at least 7 more to be commissioned in 2024. Twenty are building roof trusses and two building floor trusses. These systems employ three base technologies. Trussmatic presses plates while the truss is jigged on a vertical wall. House of Design pre-plates one face of the truss before jigging, then uses a roller gantry to embed plates on the opposite face while the truss is in a jig. Randek’s Auto-Eye system conveys a stapled-together truss through a plating station that automatically locates joints and presses the plates. All incorporate an automatic plate picker, similar in function to the system demonstrated by House of Design (HoD) at the entrance to 2023 BCMC. 

Component Manufacturers’ enthusiasm for robotics technology has risen considerably, encouraged especially by the May 2022 OQM presentation by Builders FirstSource/HoD and the BCMC 2023 “Unleashing the Potential” panel which included all three developers. And now SBCA has arranged for members to see truss robotics at work on a European tour from April 11-18 (for more information see SBCA's website ).  

This is truly an exciting time for the truss industry and surely even more developments will be on display at October’s BCMC in Milwaukee.