Using the Right Plates in the Right Place

You may have heard that some of the changes in the newly revised TPI 1-2007 may cause the trusses you’re currently building to require larger plates. Since larger plates mean less profit for you, MiTek has searched for ways to reduce plate sizes where possible. We’ve incorporated certain settings into our software that give you more control over how your trusses are plated, while still ensuring every truss meets applicable standards. These features aren’t necessarily new, but many people are not aware they exist. They’re also not aware of the issues it can cause on your shop floor.

The problem with using these features is, if your truss assembly crew isn’t used to plating this way, they may overlook the orientation of the plate on a drawing and end up plating a truss incorrectly. An improperly placed plate can be devastating for an entire roof. One way to avoid misplaced plates is to project a full-size picture of the truss directly onto the table. Naturally, the setup time will also be reduced by using this full-size picture as a pattern, so your profits go up while mistakes and setup time goes down.


A Virtek TrussLine® projection system uses laser lights to show exactly where each truss joint should be, including the size and orientation of each plate. Nobody needs to search for the paper drawing or try to read those 8 pt fonts. As soon as a truss is removed from the table, with the press of a button, an image of the next truss is shown on your tables, at full size. Operators immediately begin placing truss members and plates by following the image. They don’t have to think twice about the orientation of the plate.


The setting adjustments listed below, when paired with a Virtek Trussline system, will prove invaluable. Not only will you reduce plate sizes, but you’ll set up the truss faster and avoid costly mistakes. These settings, and others, are described in more detail in other articles in this edition of CMR.
  • Adjust the “ saved before using non-centered plate” on the Plating Options screen.
  • Run the vertical web through a corner joint by editing the heel options.
  • Add 45-degree plating angles to your plate options.
  • Turn off “Plate parallel to lumber, cuts, horiz, vert.” on the Plating Options screen.
  • Turn off “Use plumb plate for symmetric peak first”.


You can read more about Virtek products from this previous CMR article: Improve Production With Virtek.


Tired of all the paperwork? Learn about Virtek TrussView®.


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St. Charles, MO 63301 
(314) 298-8088
(800) 523-3380

 This page last modified on 3/13/2009