Trusses & Frames featured us in an article about a visit to our plant.
On 23 August we visited a local timber company, Sauter Timber in Rockwood, TN. Although Sauter specializes in cuts and joinery for heavy timber construction, similar machinery can be used to cut light wood members ready for installation. We spoke with Reinhard Sauter and inquired specifically about the possibilities for and limits to light wood precut packages.
While Sauter has at times experimented with the production of light wood framing components at his facility and occasionally produces some light wood components as infill for the heavy timber packages he provides, the expense and complexity of his robotic saw and lack of significant demand make this market segment unattractive for him. He did note, however, that the same company that manufactures his robotic saw, Hundegger, also makes a simpler version, known as a Speed Cut, that is well suited to the production of light wood members. Using HSBCad software (other options include SEMA and Cadwork) allows manufacturers to translate designer’s 3D files directly into manufacturing data ready for production. The software recognizes the need for additional framing members at wall openings, adjusts its output to the requested member spacing, and includes parameters for building codes. It currently cannot rationalize organic forms, but Sauter believes that the technology is coming soon. Sauter is confident that this technology could (and should) alter light wood construction standards, but he has seen little willingness from contractors and framers to make the change.