firm maximizes Koskovich Auto-Omni and OmniMiser: Ellis Truss Plans
Major Expansion into Wall Panel Production"
Builder, Volume 42, Number 5, May 2005, p. 22-24
CA - Ellis Truss, a family operation located in the heart of the
northern part of Southern California is a highly successful roof
truss business on the verge of taking its expertise, and two Koskovich
Co. Omni's, into the wall panel area.
Ellis, founder and president of the company, recalls his start some
22 years ago.
got into the business using Skil saws and did that for two years,
before we got some old, used, machinery," Ellis says.
to getting into truss production, Ellis and his five brothers had
worked in framing and knew what builders needed on site. Today,
the company works out of a 5,600-sq.ft. production facility and
employs 35 people.
first heard about one of Jerry Koskovich's Auto-Omni Component Cutters
in 1995 in Oakland. The company using it invited him to come over
and see it in operation.
watched it for about two minutes," Ellis says, "and then
started to leave. They asked me where was I going. I said I'm going
to buy me an Auto-Omni."
considers it a "fantastic machine," noting that it has
increased his production 500% from the day he bought it. Ellis says
that although other shops talk about cutting back on labor, Ellis
Truss has added personnel.
created more work, so we needed more guys to stack lumber,"
also says that the Auto-Omni has been more than reliable, with only
three down days in over six years, and ordered parts came overnight.
has been wonderful," Ellis says, "when we need parts we
get them overnight. But we do take care of it. We clean it twice
a day, really clean."
observes that Koskovich's Auto-Omni robotic component saw was the
first invented to be controlled by computers. It also was the first
component cutter for the truss industry that was designed for computer
operation rather than a saw remodeled from manual operation for
some major truss operations, the computer-controlled Auto-Omni will
handle as many as 400 to 600 setups in an average eight-hour shift.
And, one of the true beauties of the Auto-Omni saw is the fact that
it is infinitely 'updateable', meaning that every time an improvement
is added it can be added to every Auto-Omni which has gone before.
Now in operation for almost 20 years, more than 300 Auto-Omni component
cutters are in plants in the United States and in many nations around
the basis of his success with the Auto-Omni, Ellis purchased an
OmniMiser, and he also considers it a "great machine,"
which runs all day without problems.
Koskovich OmniMiser, also frequently referred to as a truss and
panel parts processing machine, also was invented by Jerry Koskovich
for robotic, computer control. This machine is probably the only
one in the industry which, quite literally, does its own materials
are two version of this saw called 'Misers.' The first, called simply
the Mini-Miser, was restricted to 90 degree cuts. It was primarily
designed for wall panel parts. The second machine, called the OmniMiser,
will handle both 90 degree and angle cuts and it therefore is suitable
to prepare parts for wall panels and roof and floor trusses.
operation, both machines can be loaded with a full bunk of lumber
at the end. As the computer calls for stock, lumber from the bunk
or from up to six magazines along the conveyor heading toward the
undercut saw can be selected and transported up to the right angle
conveyor leading to the saw.
the OmniMiser and the Mini-Miser will optimize lumber, getting the
most out of specific lengths so waste is reduced to an absolute
minimum. What's more, the pieces are all individually marked on
two sides by an ink jet printer which tells the down-stream operators
where the parts go and prints information about assembly locations
and job numbers.
is understood that work is now being done on conveyor systems which
will move parts from Mini-Miser and the OmniMiser directly to the
locations for truss or wall panel fabrication.
uses both Auto-Omni and the OmniMiser together, depending on the
nature of the cutting work required.
Auto-Omni takes a little time to set up, but then it cuts 23 pieces
a minute. The OmniMiser can be set up instantaneously but it cuts
four pieces a minute. If we're cutting nine or more pieces we use
the Auto-Omni, if it's eight or less we use the Miser. If the cut
is over 16' then we use the Auto-Omni," Ellis explains.
the moment Ellis is doing 100% roof truss work, and finding enough
of it to keep the company busy.
do all custom jobs," Ellis explains, "because the Omni's
are so exact in their cuts. Our competitors have one, two, three
repair crews they send out to the site. We don't have a repair crew
because nothing's wrong with our cuts or our trusses. Our tolerances
are 1/16 of an inch."
of opportunity: Local truss company brings wall paneling technology
by Peter Day, Hesperia
Star, 20 June 2005
the full article
builder Jim Ellis believes he’s got a better mouse trap, and
in the world of homebuilding that means faster construction, happy
customers and more business.
In this case,
the golden goose is the company’s expansion into the production
of wall panels, which will enable his clients to significantly reduce
framing hours. The technology is regularly found in other parts
of the country, but not Southern California, according to Ellis.
There are many
reasons wall paneling should take on quickly. A framing job that
usually takes two or more weeks can be completed in just several
days, according to Ellis.
one-third the time,” he said.
is performed by a crew of workers. First one worker “lays
out the house.” A few days later, a few workers frame the
walls and raise them up. Days later, another worker plumbs the lines
and later workers come to the site to apply sheeting and create
framing drags on for two weeks,” Ellis said. “Now you
should be able to have it done in a day and a half.”
wall paneling industry demonstration showed that a typical framing
job that takes an 11-man crew 96 hours can be completed a six-man
crew using pre-made wall panels just 23 hours.
Workman’s Comp savings
But saving man-hours
is just the start, according to Ellis. Less framing hours equates
into a reduction in related costs, such as ballooning Workman’s
Compensation payments. Ellis estimates that a typical house costs
just over $2,000 in Workman’s Comp, but the same house using
wall panels would cost just $70.
a huge savings there.”
In fact, Ellis
says that the owner of a large framing company believes he will
save $8 million a year in Workman’s Comp insurance.
which entails the construction of entirely framed wall sections,
also is good on the environment. Typically, a newly built home will
generate several tons of scrap materials. Wall paneling reduces
wood debris to a relatively insignificant amount. Ellis was stunned
by how little scrap was generated after one wall paneling job on
a 2,400-square-foot home.
“The scrap was 40 pounds,” he said. “The scrap
of not having lots of wood around the construction site is a reduction
can be stolen.”
create wall panels, Ellis Truss has purchased a state-of-the-art
computerized saw and built a 100-foot-long table to assemble the
wall pieces. The saw’s computer program estimates the most
efficient use of the wood, literally cutting corners to prevent
paneling technology also makes it easier to build a tricky rake
wall that traditional framers prefer not to do. And builders of
housing tracts will be able to make slight design changes on the
go if a plumbing or air conditioning contractor suggests a wall
stud be moved.
Ellis, who founded
the truss company 22 years ago, is literally banking on his new
wall paneling business being a success. A crew, which includes several
members of the Ellis family, will work on the project, which is
officially unveiling this week after a large motor and crane are
assembled at the end of the table.
finally here now,” Ellis said. “It’s going to
be so busy that we wanted to be careful when we got it up and running.”
the equipment investments and the prospect for more business comes
a new realization for Ellis.
a major player now,” Ellis said.
article available at Hesperia Star: