This piece was written and provided by FTMA Principal Partner, Multinail Australia.

How Fortruss is revolutionising Timber Prefabrication with Multinail’s PieceGiver

Ashley Young, the owner of Fortruss Frame & Truss, a leading timber prefabrication company in SE Queensland, recently made a strategic decision to enhance his production line by investing in Multinail’s PieceGiver Automated Timber feed system. This case study explores the transformative impact of this innovative machinery on Fortruss’ operations, efficiency, and overall business competitiveness.

Driving Factors Behind the Investment

Ashley’s primary motivation for selecting the PieceGiver was to address inefficiencies in the production process. “I needed a way to keep the PieceMaker working more efficiently,” Ashley explained. “Our staff weren’t feeding it enough timber. The PieceGiver also reduced the number of staff needed in the cutting shed.”

Boost in Production Efficiency and Output

Since integrating the PieceGiver, Fortruss has seen a remarkable improvement in production efficiency. “The cutting output has doubled,” Ashley noted. “Although I’m not a figures man, it has doubled the output we had before. We’ve halved the staff numbers, and now the pressing shed can’t keep up with the saws. Currently, we can run the saws for four days a week and still keep up with the pressing shed.”

Workflow and Process Enhancements

The PieceGiver has streamlined Fortruss’ workflow significantly. “With fewer staff, we are seeing about 20% more production,” Ashley said. “The machine doesn’t call in sick, reducing staffing issues. I love that it’s always ready to work and doesn’t complain.”

Innovative Features Improving Work-Life Balance

The introduction of the bow flipper and stacking device has been particularly beneficial. “While it hasn’t necessarily increased production, the quality has improved,” Ashley remarked. These features have eliminated heavy manual processes, enhancing the work-life balance for the team by reducing physical strain at the end of shifts.

Valuable Day-to-Day Operations

Ashley couldn’t be more enthusiastic about PieceGiver. “The whole machine is bloody incredible!  It’s all valuable, and I love it!  Strong suction, double timber pickup, and lower staff requirements make it indispensable.”

Workplace Safety and Manual Handling Risks

Safety is the top priority at Fortruss Frame & Truss, and the PieceGiver has played a significant role in this area. “Although we didn’t have injuries from the old manual method, the risks were always there. Handling and manually feeding long pieces of timber is one reason the PieceMaker was slow without the PieceGiver; the operator was getting tired and slowing down during a shift. The PieceGiver reduces the OH&S risks and speeds up the PieceMaker,” explained Ashley.

Cost Savings and Return on Investment

While Ashley admits he isn’t a numbers man, the cost savings are evident. “I don’t have any staffing issues in the cutting shed. There’s one wage saved on the saw, so that’s noticeable, and the results show that it’s fast and cheaper to run. I’m getting excited about the next evolution of the PieceGiver that has one PieceGiver feeding two PieceMaker’s because that’ll mean I have one man where there had been four in the past.”

Meeting Production Deadlines and Customer Demands

The PieceGiver and PieceMaker have shifted the production bottleneck from the cutting shed to the pressing shed, enhancing Fortruss’ ability to meet deadlines and customer demands. “This shift has significantly improved our planning and production capabilities.”

Support from Multinail

Ashley couldn’t praise Multinail’s support enough: “Level 10! The support is everything I expect from Multinail. You can’t hope for better. It sounds like I’m overegging the pudding, but my experience with the service of the MN machinery team has always been exceptional.”

Overcoming Challenges

Interestingly, Fortruss has encountered no significant challenges with the PieceGiver. “It sounds strange, but there haven’t been any challenges with the PieceGiver at all. It’s been an amazing experience.,” Ashley confirmed.

Enhanced Competitiveness in the Industry

Overall, the PieceGiver has made Fortruss Frame & Truss more competitive by lowering costs, improving planning, and simplifying staff management. “With fewer staff and less intensive work, we’re better able to plan because sawing is always available for the pressing teams.”

Fortruss’ experience with Multinail’s PieceGiver highlights the profound impact of advanced machinery on production efficiency, workplace safety, and business competitiveness in the timber prefabrication industry. This case study shows how innovative solutions can drive significant operational improvements and business growth.

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