Connections, Connections, Connections
- by Jeff Emmett -
OnLine Plus Version 29 adds a whole host of connections between entities, which facilitates load transfer and hanger design.  In previous versions, OnLine Plus created connections when roof trusses tie into other roof trusses in layout.  These connections are then sent to Engineering for load transfer and hanger design.  Version 29 greatly enhances that functionality by adding in connections for floor trusses, beams, and I-Joists.  Now, users can have loads automatically generated and transferred from beams to roof trusses, I-Joists to beams, etc. 
To start, go to “General Defaults” and select the “Connections” tab.  This lists each connection type available.  Checking a connection type (such as “Beam to Beam”) means that the program automatically creates a connection at this intersection, and sends loading/hanger design information to engineering.  Unchecking a connection type means that Layout ignores these connections, unless the user specifically creates a connection via the hanger tool. 

Example:  Truss Company LMNOP does not supply hangers for beams.  So they turn off all the “Beam to X” connections.  Then layout will not automatically add connections when a beam ties into an object.  However, the user can use the hanger tool to create a beam to truss connection if needed.

- Employee Spotlight - 
Phil Zwart

Phil Zwart received a B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Parks College and was a design engineer at McDonnell Douglas.  He worked on fuel systems and control systems for the F-4H Phantom Jet.
After returning to school part-time and then full time, Phil received a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis.  His dissertation was in Differential Geometry.  Afterwards, he worked as a senior systems analyst at Monsanto Co. developing software for optimization of chemical plants.
Phil returned to the academic life as an Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at Washington University.  His research papers were focused on mathematical methods of optimization and multi-variable splines.  One of his part-time consulting activities involved development of software for Wood Tech, a truss plant in Kirkwood, Missouri.
In 1973, Phil joined On-Line Data as vice-president in charge of software development and remained in that position until the company became part of Robbins Manufacturing.  In 1995, Phil was co-recipient with Dan and Camilla Hurwitz of the Automated Builder Achievement in Housing Award.
Phil continues to enjoy participation in software development and associated problem solving at MiTek, specifically on the OnLine Plus software.

Phil and Barbara Zwart now reside in Estes Park, Colorado.  A few years ago, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by cruising the Alaskan inside passages.  One of their five children, Phyllis, has Down syndrome and lives with them.  Over the years, Phil has done volunteer work helping individuals who are developmentally disabled.  This included being co-founder and first president of the Florissant Valley Sheltered Workshop in Florissant, Missouri.



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