Cross-Platform Initiative Aims for 'Plug and Play' Equipment

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineFebruary 4, 2019
by TJ Jerke

  

At the Truss Industry Business Council (TIBC) meeting that took place at the 2018 BCMC show, the Truss Plate Institute (TPI) introduced a new project they call their “cross platform initiative,” which is intended to  focus on the interoperability of component manufacturing software and machinery.

After initial conversations among the TPI members regarding this initiative, TPI hopes to bring in more stakeholders and voices into the discussion.

TPI member company representatives met on January 18, 2019, to begin the process of gaining a common understanding of project methodology, scope, timeline, and potential deliverables. A subsequent conference call on January 25 with TPI and SBCA members provided additional dialogue between supplier and user.

Another TPI conference call is planned for February 12 to further discuss and refine the initiative’s scope, bringing in more stakeholders to gather additional input and find agreement amongst one another.

Software providers have expressed both concern and support for the initiative. TPI is hopeful more voices will provide additional input and advance the discussion further during the February 12th conference call.

It is clear, from conversations between suppliers, vendors and CMs, that TPI is committed to making interoperability a thing of the past. Their concern, is making sure everyone is heard and the process is done well, without compromising any proprietary value or undermining intellectual property.

Ultimately, they believe that if a CM buys a piece of equipment, it should be able to work easily with other machinery. If any CM is unhappy with the product or service being provided, they should be able to more easily switch companies and products.

In the long-term, one idea that may be considered is a sticker of some kind that equipment providers can place on their saws that says it is compliant with various standards. As a consequence, software providers, CMs and plate suppliers will not have to guess whether the machine will or won’t work with other machinery and software.

Cross-Platform Interoperability will remain an agenda item for the Truss Industry Business Council, a collaborative group of CM and truss plate/software executives. 

The TIBC will meet again in conjunction with the SBCA Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM) in San Diego, California on February 26, 2019.  To remain engaged and aware of Cross-Platform Interoperability and other industry issues, please register to attend the February OQM, follow SBC Industry News or visit any of the following online resources: