After a truss job has been designed in MiTek Engineering software, many designers provide truss plants with printed shop drawings for cutting purposes.  These drawings provide all the quantity, length, and end-cut angle information for every piece that is assembled into a single truss. 
But, can a significant amount of efficiency be gained by cutting the components for all the trusses in an entire job?  Can cutting information be organized in such a way as to meet the established methods of an existing truss plant?  Can this process be standardized for all users on a network environment?
Yes it Can and Cybersort can do this and more.
 
What is Cybersort?

Cybersort is MiTek’s Standard Production Software which is a filter for Truss and Panel members and will highly organize those component member outputs to many saw types. The great thing about it also is that it will interface with several other MiTek related programs also like MBA, Engineering, and Jigset to name a few. In addition, output can be in the form of paper printout’s or electronic files for ease. Think of Cybersort as working the way a change separating device separates loose coins into specialized slots.  A handful of mixed change goes into the top and passes through a series of filters that separates each denomination by coin size.  Quarters are sorted out first, then nickels, pennies, and then dimes (being the smallest) are grouped last. 
 
Likewise Cybersort can be setup to do just the same.  A group of trusses or panels are loaded into Cybersort and pass through a series of sorts that filter the hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of sub-components into user-specified groups.  For example, roof trusses are commonly sorted by member type in the following manner:  all top chords are sorted and organized together, and then bottom chords, then webs, then all other miscellaneous items such as sliders, wedges, and blocks are grouped at the end.  Output paperwork or electronic saw files for each group sorted can then be directed to the appropriate cutting station for production. 
 
So, Here are some Keys to Understanding Cybersort Out of the Box and Getting it Ready for Use:
 
Knowing Important Core Cybersort Files

SORTS (.SRT file extension) Each group of output is contained and organized within a “Sort File”.  Each sort typically displays all the truss material that is intended to be cut at one cutting station or saw.  Therefore in the roof truss example above, there would be separate sorts for each member type: Top Chords, Bottom Chords, Webs, and Miscellaneous that would only include truss components of that corresponding type. 
All the settings that control how a sort functions are saved in a file with a .SRT file extension (ANGLE-C.SRT, CYBER.SRT, PANOTHER.SRT, etc…).
SCHEMES (.CST file extension) A “Scheme” is a collection of one or more sort files that create savable presets for sorting in a variety of applications.  Once established, separate schemes provide independent settings for roof truss, floor truss, and/or wall panel jobs that can be utilized without modification to any other schemes.
All the settings that control how a scheme functions are saved in a file with a .CST file extension (ANGLE.CST, FLOOR.CST, PANEL.CST, etc…).     
BC2000.INI This file contains all the directory path information that directs Cybersort to the location of the sort and scheme files.  It also contains the destination directory path to where any sort output files are to be saved.
 
Knowing How to Setup the Correct Program Directories for Cybersort
 
Commonly two different ‘Invalid Directories’ error windows may appear if the directory paths are not set correctly when Cybersort opens.  This means that Cybersort is unable to locate necessary information from one or more of the directory paths that are shown in red.  In this example all of the base directories and file output paths are shown in red because the program is actually installed in the folder ‘C:\mitek\’  (the extra ‘70’ in the directory name is not valid).  Once any directory path errors have been corrected, Cybersort will finish loading.
 
 
Knowing Which Build of Cybersort You are on and What it is Capable of Doing
 
Each Build of Cybersort has something new to offer. Being familiar with your build is important and when you receive updates always looking at the release notes will help you determine what new items or fixes that build has to offer. In addition, it is a good idea to know ahead of time the build you are on if you contact MiTek’s Help Desk for Support.
 
Cybersort is slightly different than the other software applications in the MiTek 20/20 suite in that it can be deployed in incremental builds.  The build number is shown at the top left of the header box typically as a four digit number.  (Build 7030 in this case.)  All builds from 6411 and higher are backwards compatible and can be upgraded or downgraded without fear of losing any existing sort or scheme information. Most fixes with the Cybersort are easily distributed with an executable file (.exe).
 
Knowing Customization and Setup

Cybersort settings can be accessed through the SETUP > DEFAULTS menu pull-down at the top left of the application.  Settings are arranged in a tree structure, and sub-level settings can be accessed by clicking on the ‘+’ sign next to each item.  This example shows how to access the ‘ANGLE-C’ sort level settings of the standard ‘ANGLE.CST’ scheme by navigating through:  SCHEMES > ‘SCHEME NAME’ > LUMBER SORT SELECTION > ‘SORT NAME’
 
Knowing Important Sort Level Settings

SORT:  Settings that control the arrangement or order of how truss or wall panel components are displayed are accessed from this menu.  It is separated into a two column arrangement for displaying the sorting ‘keys.’  The column on the left ‘Available Sort Keys’ lists all the sort keys that have not been selected or used in the column on the right: ‘Used Sort Keys'.  This second column displays the active sort keys in top to bottom list of hierarchy.  Component output will be arranged based on the order that the sort keys are positioned in the ‘Used Sort Key’ list.  For example: if the ‘Overall Length’ sort key is above ‘Depth’, all components will first be arranged by length then by depth.  The opposite would be true if the ‘Depth’ sort key was above ‘Overall Length'.
Bolded sort keys have the ability to include or exclude pieces by use of a ‘Minimum / Maximum’ sort sub-qualification.  Components that do not satisfy this criteria fall to the next sort file for evaluation.  For example, if a saw is limited to cutting lumber stock over 3’-0” and less than 20’-0” in length, a Minimum and Maximum for the sort key ‘Overall Length’ can be utilized to exclude pieces that are outside this range.  A far simpler example is the use of one or more the bolded ‘Member Type’ sort keys.  Only top and bottom chords will satisfy the criteria if the sort sub-key ‘MT-Chords’ is included in a sort.  Any other member types (webs, sliders, wedges, etc…) will fall to the next sort.
 
‘Tailender’ is a hidden system sort that cannot be customized in any way and will only appear if components fail to land on any previous sorts.   Its purpose is as an end of the line safety check to insure that every component that is loaded into Cybersort is accounted for.  Typically every scheme contains an ‘Other’ sort that will not exclude components in any way, but unlike tailender, this sort can be customized as to how information is provided.
DEFAULTS:  Settings that control the type of electronic file output to be generated are accessed from this menu.  The ‘Printed Reports Compression’ settings are also adjusted at this level as well.  Compression adjusts how multiple occurrences of the same component are listed.  With compression turned off, the quantity is listed separately per truss. (2 - T01, 5 - T02, 1 - T03)  With compression turned on, the total number of like members for all the trusses in the job is combined and displayed with the first truss in the job that contains that piece. (8 T01).
 
Knowing How to Share Settings over a Network

Cybersort settings can be shared over a network to ensure that all users are working with the same defaults and producing identical output.  To do so, once all the Cybersort defaults have first been setup on a local computer as desired, copy all the core files mentioned above (all the .SRT and .CST files along with the BC2000.INI) from the local data path (typically C:\mitek\data) to a location on the network server that can be accessed by all users.  By default Cybersort will use the BC2000.INI from the local data path unless an exception is included in the ‘Configuration Editor’ to redirect the application to use a file on the server.  To add an exception, open the MiTek Configuration Editor by going to:
START > PROGRAMS > MITEK 20/20 > SUPPORT PROGRAMS > CONFIGURATION EDITOR, select the ADVANCED button on the bottom right.  Select the Add/Edit button and create an exception to the BC2000.INI on the server. (U:\mitek\data in this example). 
 
Select SAVE and close Configuration Editor.  Now the default path to the sort files has to be changed from within Cybersort.  Open the application and select SETUP > DEFAULTS > DIRECTORIES > BASE DIRECTORIES.  Use the BROWSE button and select the same folder on the network where the core Cybersort files were copied to. (U:\mitek\data in this example).  Select OK to save the changes and repeat these ‘Sharing Settings over a Network’ steps again for all remaining computers.  
 
 
Conclusion

Cybersort is a powerful part of MiTek’s suite of software.  It is designed to organize large quantities of truss and wall panel components into a clearer, more manageable grouping for production.  It is a very dynamic application that flexibly fits into existing manufacturing environments.  Furthermore, Cybersort can easily be standardized for all users in a network environment to insure that all production information is presented in clear, concise, and consistent manner.  All important aspects that make Cybersort an essential part any truss or wall panel production environment.
 

 This page last modified on 4/11/2008