Product Compliance – January 2011


Many of us have experienced the disappointment and perhaps anger of finding out that the great bargain we had just purchased didn’t perform as we expected or was just not fit for the purpose it was sold for.

But how much more serious could this situation be when used in a structural application and using those products could result in financial loss and possible long term failure.

Are you putting your customers at this risk

The Australian building code requires that structural connectors such as framing anchors and metal strap for tie down and bracing of timber framed buildings complies with AS1684.2-2010. The standard states, these products must be manufactured from a minimum steel grade of G300. This grade of steel is required as it has a guaranteed performance. Grades below this such as G2 don’t have this guarantee. Products manufactured from this grade maybe cheaper but don’t comply with the code.

The other critical specification for steel quality relates to the corrosion resistance of the products. To comply with the code, products must have a minimum galvanizing coating of Z275 (a minimum of 15.4um of galvanizing per surface.)

Over many months, Pryda has carried out internally or commissioned authorized independent testing companies to test a range of timber connector and strap brace brands being sold to builders around Australia. Tests conducted included salt spray corrosion testing, spectrometer metal analysis, magnetic induction and micro photography coating thickness analysis. The results clearly show that many of the products being sold in hardware and trade outlets do not comply with the AS1684.2-20010.

Using non compliant products on Australian building sites is risking the job not being approved by authorities and possible future problems for the home owners.

Pryda has been developing, testing and manufacturing quality, code compliant structural building products in Australia for over 40 years. Pryda products are supported by design load and application data sheets and an engineering team to assist builders and inspectors with information if required.

If your current supplier can’t provide the proof of compliance and engineering support for their products, don’t risk your reputation or your customers business by supplying these non compliant products.

For peace of mind, talk to your Pryda or ITW Proline representative. You can contact Pryda Australia on 03 9554 7001 or ITW Proline on 1300 721 738.

Structural Design Software Certification – February 2011


The Government of South Australia, Department of Planning and Local Government, has advised that there is a mandatory variation to the Building Code of Australia 2010 (BCA-2010), says the Technical Director for the Pryda Group, Graham Cooper.

Graham explained, “The Minister’s Specification A2.2 Structural engineering software (May 2010) is now a mandatory document applicable to South Australia, and came into effect on 1st May 2010.

This Specification was based on the Australian Building Control Board’s Handbook ˜The Use of Structural Software for Building Design Approvals” (2007).

South Australian Department of Planning and Local Government :- Compliance with the Minister’s Specification will provide building surveyors with greater confidence that the design is compliant with the BCA and as such, an independent structural engineering check will not be required for individual development application.

Pryda is very pleased to advise that its independent structural software certification has been completed and accepted by a number of approval authorities in South Australia. This certification is part of the Pryda Compliance Document.

Graham highlighted, Furthermore, in Pryda’s latest software release, Pryda Build i, additional items of training confirmation are now automatically printed out on the Producer Statement so that separate lists of trained personnel are not required. This is of considerable benefit to approval authorities, and to fabricators using this design software.

Under this regime, fabricators will now not be required to submit computations. Instead the minimum documents required for approval are:
Roof truss layout
Producer statement
Truss detail sheets

Of course, there will also be occasions when more details are requested, but this will be the exception rather than the rule.

Graham was keen to point out that, Pryda Australia gratefully acknowledges the hard work and feedback from a number of people and organisations in order to have brought this process to a successful conclusion. It was not easy, and the construction industry in general is still coming to terms with it.

In South Australia, all Pryda fabricators have been trained in, and are using, Pryda Build V2. The latest generation of Pryda design software Pryda Build i has integrated all data (roof, walls and floor systems) into one package, and will be installed at all South Australian fabrication plants over the next few months.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact Pryda Australia on 03 9554 7001

Pryda Prefabricated Pods Save Time For WA Builders – April 2012

Prefabricated timber Pods, completed in the factory for use as second storeys on homes and transported by semi-trailer for erection by crane on site, is the latest construction concept to take a rapid hold in the Western Australian residential building market.

The Pods have been developed and engineered by Pryda in conjunction with one of its leading West Australian fabricators, W.A. Spantruss.

The first company to trial the concept was Perth project home builder 101 Residential. So far, the company has used 30 Pods with another 60 in the pipeline for its various projects throughout the city.

101 Residential is so impressed with the Pods it is using them on display homes to attract further business, so far with considerable success. Several other builders have also shown keen interest in the concept.

Dave Lewis of W.A. Spantruss said the biggest advantage of the new Pods was the significant cost reduction and weeks it saved in construction time on conventional building methods particularly as no scaffolding was required to erect them.

Introduced to the Western Australian market in July last year, Pod sizes start at six metres by six metres (essentially used for upstairs studios), which saves about three to four weeks in construction time,” he said. However, the larger the Pod, the greater the time saving.

As the idea has grown in popularity, so have Pod sizes. The latest W.A. Spantruss effort is a 110-square-metre module (eight-week construction saving).

Pryda Market Development Engineer Bernard Kennelly said in Western Australia most houses were built from double brick which meant, for two storeys, stronger and heavier footings and bricks were required to take the weight of the second storey concrete slab floor.

The new and lighter Pods dispense with the need for these extra precautions. he said. The Pods used Pryda Longreach for the second storey floor trusses (which also act as the ceiling joists for the first floor) and Pryda prefabricated roof trusses and timber wall frames.

One of the biggest hurdles in development was to match the accuracy of the factory built Pod with on site brickwork, which may not be constructed to the same exacting dimensions.

To overcome this and to allow extra flexibility on site, WA Spantruss and Pryda use structural steel support beams between the top and bottom chords of the Pryda Longreach floor trusses.

A number of webs within the Pryda Longreach floor trusses are moved to accommodate the steel beams and duct spaces. The duct spaces run the full length of the Pod and enable the easy fitting of air conditioning ducts and plumbing and electrical services.

There is only a minimum number of support positions on site that need to be level for the Pod to fit, Bernard said. We don’t need to worry too much where the walls are located because, as long as one of the internal supports is under a steel beam, the whole process will work.

With 75mm EPS wall sheeting, windows, gutters, fascias, eaves, roof battens, linings and insulation all installed in the factory, the house can quickly be brought to lock up stage once the Pod is delivered to site.

Bernard said because of the heavy construction involved in two-storey buildings, West Australian builders were used to having cranes on building sites.

Normally, we crane the Pods into position in two halves and then join them together when they are in place, he said.

Irrespective of the Pod size, the installation process takes no more than a couple of hours. Any final finishing, including the fitting of down pipes, hiding the joins in the Pod construction, can be easily and quickly completed on site.

For further information contact Bernard Kennelly at Pryda Australia on (02) 8811 6900.

Driving Down The Cost Of Production With Pryda Build – June 2012

In a tough housing market, looking for ways to improve efficiencies and drive down the cost of truss and frame production makes good business sense. We talk to three of Pryda’s customers who, with the help of Pryda Build Production Suite, are doing just that.

South Coast Timber Supply in NSW has been running a paperless production environment for almost a year now, with 13 computers and displays making up their factory system. On the first day the software was fully operational, its potential really shone through, Brendan Aulsebrook, Production Manager explained, “You can’t afford NOT to have this software in your business. Since the programs introduction, production immediately increased by a conservative 7.5 per cent”.

It’s easy to see where you can make these productivity savings. In a paper environment, simple tasks like checking a dimension on a truss can stop production at a jig, with one person heading into the front office while another two operators are left standing around. In the front office, the detailer then needs to stop work on their current job while they open up the job in question to check the dimensions. With Pryda Build Production Viewer, the jig operator can get the dimension with a couple of clicks, production barely halts and the detailer is none the wiser.

Other savings are even more obvious. South Coast Timber Supply found that they’ve saved an average of 40 minutes per job in printing, sorting and distributing paperwork. That’s 40 minutes now spent detailing the next job.

Travelling south to Drouin West Timber and Truss in Victoria, we found a completely different implementation of Pryda Build Production Manager focussing on its scheduling capabilities. Production Manager Shane Lindau has been particularly impressed with its ability to monitor projects and to instantly respond to builder feedback on the status of individual jobs. A good example was when bad weather interrupted a builder’s progress so he was unable to pour a concrete slab and, as a result, needed to delay truss delivery by two weeks.

With Pryda Build Production Manager, changing the schedule is a breeze, he said. It even enables fabricators to determine how much stock they need to carry at any one time a massive boost for their cash flow requirements.

Shane uses all of the features available in the scheduler including forward order scheduling which allows him to plan backwards based on the delivery date and estimated size of a job. He also uses live data feed, to check on the job status and react accordingly. So builders can be assured that lead times are 100 per cent accurate, Shane said.

Shane estimates Drouin West has saved 50 per cent in preparation and build time using Pryda Build Production Manager in conjunction with its new plant equipment. Efficiency gains are considerable and product quality has improved because we now rely less on the human factor, he said.

When setting up a new plant at Craigieburn, Dahlsens decided it was all or nothing, and have reaped the benefits of having Pryda Build Production software managing their end to end process.

Simple things like logging every contact with their builders and attaching scanned copies of the plans in the scheduling module mean that detailers don’t have to waste time at the start of the job chasing down paperwork, or finding out whether a site measure is still pending. Instead, as they check the schedule for their next job, they grab the paperwork at the same time – all without leaving their desk.

Ben Davis, Craigieburn’s Production Scheduler, explained how a combination of using the job notes and the rolling delivery report helped him organise deliveries quickly. Previously we had yellow job envelopes, and it could take me up to a day to organise deliveries. Now, I just open the job in Production Manager and type as I talk on the phone. I get the next day’s deliveries organised in half an hour.

They have also achieved efficiencies on the plant floor by batching jobs through to the saws using Production Manager. Ben uses the powerful batching options to match up all cutting to the saw closest to the jig where the truss will be assembled. We used to send all hips to the one saw, but we’d find that small hips would be assembled at a different jig to the others. The guys would spend a lot of time trying to sort through the cut timber to find the right pieces. Now, all the pieces end up at the right place first time around.

With Dahlsen’s Craigieburn, Drouin West and South Coast Timber Supply, we can see how Pryda Build Production software can be implemented differently to suit the individual plant’s needs, explains Ian Currie, Pryda’s Fabricator Systems Manager, “you can implement as much or as little as you want to boost productivity in targeted areas”.

We will be providing live demonstrations of Pryda Build v4 detailing and production systems starting in June at Frame Australia. Call our offices on 1800-810-741 today to book your place at a demo, to find out how Pryda Build v4 can give your business the competitive advantage.

Pryda Wins Supplier Award – July 2012

Pryda has won the 2012 Frame & Truss Manufacturers Association (FTMA) Supplier of the Year award.

In doing so, Pryda received the highest number of nominations from the 28 fabricators involved in the selection process.

The award is judged on six criteria, a good availability of stock, an efficient delivery service, reliable customer telephone service, exceptional product quality, good overall product range, and after sales support, with the nominee with the highest total score becoming the successful candidate.

Pryda received not only the highest number of nominations but also a high rating in each of the six categories.

Pryda also received the 2011 Growth Champion award within the hardware and building supplies category with the Hardware & Building Traders Group (HBT). Established in 1997, this buying group for independent hardware and building material merchants has more than 350 members and, with Pryda’s input, has dramatically expanded its market share in the past 12 months.

For further information please contact Simon Healey at Pryda Australia on 1800 810 741.