Update on TPI's Cross-Platform Equipment Initiative

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineJanuary 28, 2019
by Jess Lohse with contributions from SBCA Staff

   

The Truss Plate Institute (TPI) introduced a new communications channel this week to keep software providers, machinery manufacturers, component manufacturers (CMs) and other interested parties abreast of their progress on their Cross-Platform Initiative: https://www.tpinst.org/crossplatform-initiative-blog/.

In an effort to broaden its scope beyond sound engineering to include technology and machinery, TPI announced late last year it would undertake an initiative to address the interoperability of component manufacturing software and machinery CMs use to manufacture components.  Based on the progress of SBCA’s IT Committee, TPI’s goal with its Cross-Platform Initiative is to address the need for more efficient and timely communication between new manufacturing equipment and truss design software. 

According to the latest blog entry, 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 primary focus of the meeting was to define a draft scope for the project, with the goal of achieving a “plug-n-play” capability for component manufacturing equipment and software while meeting the business needs and protecting the intellectual property of all participants.  Another conference call is planned for February 12 to further discuss and refine the initiative’s scope. 

Previous to TPI’s efforts, SBCA’s IT Committee highlighted the need for better communication between software and machinery when it embarked on its effort to provide a ‘Unified Data Standard’ for the component industry.  Committee member Jason Hikel of Shelter Systems stated, “what we need is a universal file format that all of our software equipment can read so that we can move further ahead technologically.”

Cross-Platform Interoperability remains a consistent agenda item for the recently formed Truss Industry Business Council, a collaborative group of CM and truss plate/software executives.  This group has a meeting scheduled 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, register to attend the February OQM, follow SBC Industry News or visit any of the following online resources:

https://www.tpinst.org/initiative-crossplatform/

https://www.tpinst.org/crossplatform-initiative-blog/

https://www.sbcindustry.com/webinars/2018/presidents-roundtable-sbca-update-0