"Smart End Conditions"
- by Jeff Emmett -
Floor Truss end conditions have been a key feature of the Online Plus layout program for many years.  Users may attach them to walls, reference lines and even individual trusses.  Assigning end conditions in layout allows users to do the step once for many trusses, rather than many times if they waited until the trusses are sent to engineering.  Starting with OLP version 26, end conditions, or rather layout’s application of end conditions, got smarter.  Layout now allows users to define default end conditions for the six most common end profile situations on floor trusses.  As trusses are input, these end conditions are automatically applied based on the profile of the truss.  Cantilevered trusses automatically get a cantilevered end condition.  When the bearing is raised above the bottom chord, a top chord bearing end condition is automatically assigned. 
 

 
Additionally, many end conditions require variables to be calculated based on the situation, such as distance from top of bearing to top of top chord or wall width plus a gap dimension.  Smart End Conditions allows users to put standard variables in the value field that will calculate these key dimensions automatically.
Users may still override the standard end conditions by applying specific conditions to walls, reference lines, or trusses.  However, now users input the basic end conditions once and use them on a whole host of trusses rather than inputting them for every layout, and adjusting them for every situation. This saves the user time and energy for more important things-working smarter, not harder.

 
 

 
 

 

- Employee Spotlight - Jeff Elmer
 
 

Jeff Elmer was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. The oldest of five children, he came to Texas to go to college and has remained there ever since. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas in 1982. Shortly after graduating, he was hired by OnLine Data, based in Richardson, Texas.  In those days, truss input information was still sent by teletype to a GE mainframe computer for all the processing. Many changes in computer technology have occurred since then, from smart terminals, to micro computers and finally to the personal computer.  Jeff was there as a part of the OnLine team for all of them.

He was the lead programmer for OnLine Data’s original TrusStar program, developing the original Sketchpad for special trusses. Later he developed a layout program for truss takeoff, all written in FORTRAN, which eventually became the basis for the UniStar program. When UniStar was adapted to run on PCs, he was part of the effort to convert the code from FORTRAN to C. When OnLine Data was acquired by Robbins Engineering, Jeff was one of the lead programmers involved in merging the OnLine and Robbins software into a new product developed in C++ called OnLine Plus. He has continued development of OnLine Plus since Robbins was acquired by MiTek.
One of the benefits of living in Texas is that you can enjoy the outdoors almost year round.  Jeff mostly spends his free time bicycling, hiking or watching movies. He currently rides his bike about 25 miles a week, but in previous years he has averaged over 100 miles per week. Returning to his native state of Arizona a few years ago, he spent three days hiking the Grand Canyon with his brother and nephews.  Next year, they plan to take a hiking trip to Costa Rica!
 
 
6904 Parke East Blvd Tampa Florida 33610
Phone: 813-972-1135  Fax: 813-971-6117  Email: TPA-Information@mii.com