Our Des Moines, Iowa plant did a large amount of custom homes. About 90% of our production was custom. It was not unusual for a job to have 60-70 different set ups so we needed to automate our set up procedures. As a company we like to remain on the cutting edge of automation and technology so we felt that an automated jigging system was what we needed.
We looked at three different vendors. One vendor did not offer a retro-fit option and we wanted to be able to use our existing tables. Of the other two vendors we liked the MiTek/Koskovich retro-fit option the best because we felt like they knew what they were doing. MiTek was able to put together multiple options, with detailed drawings for us with various on-center spacing of the pucks. We were able to work hand-in-hand with their customer service department and weigh what we wanted versus the costs and benefits. By doing this we were able to find a system that suited us.
Once we decided on what on-center spacing we wanted the installation went well. The customer service technicians were very knowledgeable and it went smoothly.
The equipment has performed above our expectations. The system has worked far better than anticipated or expected. You go in and it just works every day, day in and day out. It does what it is supposed to do. We have had no hiccups. We even use the PLANX system to pre-set other tables where we have longer runs. We jig and press the truss on the PLANX tables and then move the truss onto another table and set the jigging. There are days where we see a 5x increase in board foot production per man hour. A doubling of the increase is more common and I would say we average at least triple the board foot production per man hour with the PLANX system. It has reduced our set up time from 30 -45 minutes down to a couple of minutes. The PLANX system helps you overcome the skilled labor issues and can reduce the number of employees on the shop floor. The PLANX system integrated easily with the Virtek laser projection system. To date we have had no maintenance issues with the PLANX.
Overall I’ve been extremely happy with the entire system. I would definitely recommend it to all of our production facilities and to any other component manufacturer.
Roberts & Dybdahl
Tom Lambertz – Director of Truss Operations
Des Moines, IA 50313