Title:
Building framework, method for making the same and components used in the framework
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A building framework and components used in the framework are disclosed. The framework comprises a plurality of components which are cut in a sawing machine and marked following cutting in the sawing machine by use of the data which is supplied to the sawing machine to control the sawing machine to cut the components to the required size and shape. Each of the components is marked with a partial outline of a connector plate which is to be used to connect the components together with the framework so that when the components are assembled. The components may also be marked with partial position reference markings so that component parts can be assembled together by reference to those markings by registering a partial marking on one of the components with a like partial marking on another of the components.



Inventors:
Moulton, Richard A. (Wetherill Park, AU)
Scane, Andrew C. (Lyndhurst, AU)
Application Number:
10/846472
Publication Date:
10/06/2005
Filing Date:
05/14/2004
Assignee:
MiTek Holdings, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B23P19/04; B23P19/10; B27F7/00; E04B1/19; E04B7/08; E04C3/00; E04C3/02; E04C3/12; E04C3/16; E04C3/17; E04F19/00; (IPC1-7): E04F19/00; E04B7/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAINTER, BRANON C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STINSON LLP (ST LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A building framework comprising: a plurality of components connected together to form the building framework; at least some of the components having a configurational marking selected from: a partial outline of a connector plate to give connector plate positions and orientations; and a partial position reference marking which registers with a corresponding partial position reference marking on another of the components to thereby enable the components to be located relative to one another by reference to the partial position reference markings; and connector plates attached to the components to connect the components together to form the building framework.

2. The framework as set forth in claim 1 wherein the partial outlines of connector plates on adjacent components at a joint between components form a more complete outline giving the position and orientation of the connector plate to be used to connect the adjacent components together.

3. The framework as set forth in claim 2 wherein the more complete outline of the connector plate is a substantially complete outline of the connector plate.

4. The framework as set forth in claim 1 wherein the partial outline is applied to the components in an inkjet marking process.

5. The framework as set forth in claim 1 wherein at least one of the components includes an ancillary marking selected from the group consisting of: a marking identifying the component, a bracket outline, a camber and a connector plate type or size.

6. The framework as set forth in claim 1 wherein the framework is in the form of a truss, the components including at least one bottom chord, at least one top chord, and a plurality of webs interconnecting the top and bottom chords.

7. The framework as set forth in claim 1 wherein the partial position reference markings comprise a part of one or more bars or lines.

8. The framework as set forth in claim 1 wherein at least some of the said components include a plurality of different partial position reference markings to enable more than two components to be located together.

9. The framework as set forth in claim 8 wherein the different partial markings on some of the components comprise sets of markings, each comprising a different number of bars or lines.

10. The framework as set forth in claim 1 wherein the partial markings each have identical shapes and are distinguished by being made different colors so that the same color partial marking on one component is registered with a like color partial marking on another component to thereby enable the components to be located adjacent one another.

11. A method of forming a building framework from a plurality of frame components, comprising the steps of: cutting the frame components to required sizes to form the framework; marking on the frame components at least one configurational marking selected from: a partial outline of connector plates to be used to connect the frame components together to form the framework; and a partial reference marking used to position one component in the correct orientation relative to one another; assembling the components in position so that the configurational markings give one of the position and orientation of connector plates to be used to connect adjacent components together and the position and orientation of adjacent components by alignment of configurational markings on the adjacent components; and attaching the connector plates to the components to join the components together and thereby form the framework.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the step of marking the configurational marking comprises marking a partial outline of a connector plate on adjacent components at a joint to be formed when the components are assembled, so that when the components are assembled the partial outlines on the adjacent components form a more complete outline giving the position and orientation of the connector plates to be used to connect adjacent components together.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein the step of marking more complete outline of the connector plate comprises marking a substantially complete outline of the connector plate.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein the step of assembling the components in position and attaching the connector plates comprises pre-plating at least one of the components wherein the component has two opposed faces and both faces are marked with the partial outlines, the pre-plating comprising attaching a connector plate to the component at the position and orientation given by the partial outline on one face of the component, assembling the component having the attached plate with the other components, and attaching at least one of the other components to the connector plate.

15. The method of claim 14 further comprising attaching a second series of connector plates to the other face of the component at the positions and orientations of the partial outline on the other face.

16. The method of claim 14 wherein the connector plate which is pre-plated to one of the components is applied to the face of the component which will be a bottom face when the component is assembled with the other components.

17. The method of claim 11 wherein the steps of cutting the frame components and marking the frame components with the configurational marking is performed in a combined sawing and inkjet marking machine, the machine being computer-controlled and supplied with data relating to the size and shape of the components of the framework and the configurational marking which should be marked on the components after the components have been cut.

18. The method of claim 11 wherein the method further comprises making ancillary markings selected from the group consisting of: a marking identifying the component, a bracket or brace outline, a camber, a position reference, and a connector plate type or size.

19. The method of claim 11 wherein the framework is in the form of a truss and the frame components include at least one bottom chord, at least one top chord, and a plurality of webs interconnecting the top and bottom chords.

20. The method of claim 11 wherein the partial position reference markings comprise a part of one or more bars or lines.

21. The method of claim 11 wherein some of the said components include a plurality of different partial position reference markings to enable more than two components to be located together.

22. The method of claim 21 wherein the different partial marking on some of the components comprise sets of markings, each comprising a different number of bars or lines.

23. The method of claim 11 wherein the partial markings each have identical shapes and are distinguished by being made different colors so that the same color partial marking on one component is registered with a like colored partial marking on another component to thereby enable the components to be located adjacent one another.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a building framework, and to components used in the framework. The invention has particular, but not exclusive, application to building trusses.

Building trusses are typically made by cutting components of the truss to length in an automated sawing machine. The sawing machine has a capability of cutting each of the components to the required size and ends to the required angles so that the components can be fitted together to form the truss.

After the components have been cut by the sawing system, a workman will usually collect all of the components needed to form the truss, and will then assemble those components on a jig. Typically this requires the workman to refer to plans which show the design of the truss so that the components are properly located in position.

The workman will then need to measure from a local datum at the joint between components to determine where punched tooth connector plates are to be located to join the components together to form the truss. The connector plates can then be located in position and a press is used to press the connector plates into the components to form the truss. The location of the connector plates typically requires the truss components to be lifted so that the connector plates are located beneath the components. Because the connector plates are located beneath the truss components, it becomes even more difficult for the workman to properly locate the connector plates in position and properly orient those connector plates.

The formation of a building framework such as a truss in this manner can therefore be relatively time consuming and require considerable manual contribution by the workmen.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is to provide a building framework, and components for use in the framework which make it easier to locate connector plates in position and therefore make it easier to assemble the truss and also reduce the amount of work a workman needs to do during the assembly process.

In one aspect of the present invention, a building framework generally comprises a plurality of components connected together to form the building framework. At least some of the components have a configurational marking selected from: a partial outline of a connector plate to give connector plate positions and orientations; and a partial position reference marking which registers with a corresponding partial position reference marking on another of the components to thereby enable the components to be located relative to one another by reference to the partial position reference markings. Connector plates attached to the components connect the components together to form the building framework.

In another aspect of the present invention, a method of forming a building framework from a plurality of frame components generally includes cutting the frame components to required sizes to form the framework. At least one component is marked with a configurational marking selected from: a partial outline of connector plates to be used to connect the frame components together to form the framework; and a partial reference marking used to position one component in the correct orientation relative to one another. The components are assembled in position so that the configurational markings give one of the position and orientation of connector plates to be used to connect adjacent components together and the position and orientation of adjacent components by alignment of configurational markings on the adjacent components. Connector plates are attached to the components to join the components together and thereby form the framework.

Other objects and features of the present invention will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred embodiments of the invention will be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a view of a machine for producing frame components according to the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view of a framework in the form of a building truss;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of part of the framework of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view of the frame components shown in FIG. 3, but in an unassembled condition;

FIG. 5, FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 are views of various types of marking which can be used according to embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a schematic view showing application of a connector plate to the framework;

FIG. 9, FIG. 10 and FIG. 11 are diagrams illustrating formation of a truss using pre-plating;

FIG. 12 and FIG. 13 show a method according to another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 14 is a flowchart describing operation of the machine shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A machine for producing frame components for forming frameworks such as building trusses is disclosed in FIG. 1 and comprises a sawing machine 20 which includes an inkjet marker 35. The inkjet marker 35 is preferably in the form of a spray dot matrix printer for printing markings on a work piece. The sawing machine 20 includes saws 19 (schematically shown in FIG. 1) which can be moved and angled so as to cut work pieces 5 to required length, and also the cut surfaces to a required angle or shape to form the framework. The saws 19 in the sawing machine 20 and the inkjet printer 35 are controlled by a processor 30 which is loaded with data relating to the truss which is to be formed from the components which are cut. The processor 30 then controls the saws 19 in the machine 20 to make the required cuts to cut the work piece 5 into one or more components for forming the truss.

After the work piece 5 has been cut, the components are then marked by the inkjet printer 35 with a mark which forms a partial outline of a connector plate which is to be used to connect that component to other components of the framework to form the framework. The nature of the nail plate connectors which are to be used to connect the components together, and the position where those connectors are to be applied are known by the processor 30 so that the processor 30 can control the inkjet printer 35 to print at the required locations of the components which are cut from the work piece 5 to thereby form the outlines where the connectors are to be located.

FIG. 2 shows an assembled framework formed from components which are cut and marked by the machine of FIG. 1. The geometry of the framework in FIG. 2 is simply exemplary and other framework geometries are of course possible.

In the example of FIG. 2, the framework is in the form of a truss having a bottom chord 21 formed from chord parts B1 and B2, top chords T1, T2 and T3 and interconnecting webs W1 to W9. As is evident from the above explanation, each of these components is cut by the machine of FIG. 1.

The components used to form the truss are made from wood, and each of the components, as is shown in FIG. 2 with reference to the web W2, has a front face 31, an opposed opposite face 32, which both are arranged in the plane of the truss shown in FIG. 2, and side faces 33 and 34 which join the faces 31 and 32, and which extend in a plane transverse to the plane of the truss shown in FIG. 2. The components may be made from material other than wood (e.g., steel) and have configurations other than just described without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Also shown in FIG. 2 are the partial outlines on the components which are printed by the inkjet printer 35. For example, the bottom chord component B1 is printed with a partial outline 22 of a punched tooth connector plate 100 (see FIG. 8) where it is to be connected to the top chord T1, a partial outline 23 where it is to be connected to web W1, a partial outline 24 where it is to be connected to webs W2 and W3, a partial outline 25 where the component B1 is to be connected to webs W4 and W5. The top chord T1 and the webs W1, W2, W3, W4 and W5 are also marked with partial outlines of the relevant connector plate so that, as is apparent from a consideration of FIG. 2, when the components are assembled in position, more complete outlines of positions and orientations of the connector plates are formed. The bottom chord parts B1 and B2 are also marked with partial outlines 28 and 29 which show the position and orientation of a connector plate used to connect these components together. Similarly, the other components shown in FIG. 2 are assembled in the same manner to form more complete outlines of the positions and orientations of the connectors which are to be used to join the components together.

The partial outlines on each of the components, when the components are assembled together, form, most preferably, a complete or an almost complete outline of the connector plate which is to be used to connect those particular components together. However, in some instances the outline will not be complete, as is the case of the outlines collectively marked 26 which are formed on the components T1, W1, W2 and T2. In this instance, part of the connector will overlap the space where the components T1 and W1 merge together, and the outlines therefore form a slightly less than complete outline of the connector. While the outline formed by a number of partial outlines need not be complete, the outline should be sufficient to clearly enable the connector plates to be positioned by reference to the outlines.

In one embodiment of the invention, the partial outlines are formed on only one side of the components (i.e. face 31). However, in other embodiments and, in particular, if pre-plating is to take place, the second opposed face 32 which is generally parallel to the first face 31 is also provided with partial outlines. Briefly, pre-plating refers to the attachment of connector plates to one face of one or more of the components prior to their placement onto a truss assembly table. In that circumstance, the components do not occupy their normal relative positions so the provision of markings to position the plates is particularly important.

The more complete outlines therefore show the position and orientation of the connector plates which are to be used to join the components together to form the truss. Thus, the connector plates can be located in position and then attached to the components without the need to refer to plans or make measurements to determine the proper position and correct orientation of the connector plates at each of the joints in the framework. This therefore greatly reduces the time needed to form the truss because a workman does not have to refer to plans or make measurements in order to properly locate the connector plates at each of the joints.

The partial outlines of the connector plates on each of the components also provides some assistance in laying out the components on a jig (schematically shown as 50 in FIG. 2). The jig 50 may be in the form of a table or other jig, details of which are not described because they are well known in the relevant field. Thus, the workman can assemble the components in the correct position with little or no regard to plans of the truss, and simply by using the partial outlines of the connector plates as a guide to proper assembly of the components. Furthermore, when all of the components are in position, a visual inspection of the outlines can easily show that the components are correctly positioned.

While the more complete outlines of the positions and orientations of the connector plates provides some guide in the proper location of the individual components, the components could be provided with additional markings to make more definite their proper location and orientation in the framework.

For example, with reference to FIG. 3, the components T1, T2, W1 and W2 can be provided with position reference markings in the form of partial lines or bars 70a, 70b, 80a, 80b and 90a and 90b which, when the components are properly assembled, form complete bars 70, 80 and 90. As is apparent from FIG. 3, one bar 70 is provided showing the position of the web W2 relative to the top chord T2, two bars 80 are provided which show the position of the top chords T1 and T2 relative to one another, and three bars 90 are shown which give the position of the web T1 relative to the web W1. Thus, these markings enable the components to be readily oriented in the correct position relative to one another. While the markings T1, T2, W1 and W2 provide some indication as to where the chords and webs are located, they do not give the actual orientation of the components. The bars 70, 80 and 90 therefore enable these components to be readily oriented in the correct position at each joint. Thus, the position markings 70, 80 and 90 therefore further facilitate easy assembly of the components in their correct positions in the framework.

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show various forms of marking to provide the partial outline on the components. FIG. 5 shows a dotted line outline which is used in FIGS. 2 and 3, mainly for illustrative purposes so as to distinguish the outline from the remainder of the drawing in those figures. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the outline is more likely to be a solid outline as shown in FIG. 6. In still a further embodiment, the outline could be formed by printing a completely contrasting color in the shape of the plate as shown in FIG. 7, so that a complete region of contrasting color is applied to the component.

FIG. 8 is a schematic view which shows the connector plate 100 being applied to the components shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 to join those components together.

The outlines 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 (FIG. 2) on the components make it particularly easy to pre-plate those components. In prior art techniques, pre-plating was rather difficult because usually pre-plating takes place by simply selecting one of the components and attaching plates to that component before it is relocated in the jig for assembly with the other components. Thus, the workman does not have any reference at all from the other components in the jig as to where the connector plate should be, nor its orientation at a joint. Furtherstill, this is even more difficult if the pre-plate is to be located at a particular length along a chord such as at the marking 24 in FIG. 2. Thus, the pre-plating requires the workman to inspect plans and carefully measure the component from a datum point in order to ensure that the plate is located in the correct position and orientation. The outlines 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 show the workman where to locate the connector plates during pre-plating, and also the orientation the connector plates should take so that they will be in position ready to connect with the remaining components when all of the components are assembled together.

The components can also be provided with ancillary markings, such as the component number which may be printed as T1, T2, T3, B1, B2 or W1 to W9 as shown in FIG. 2 to simply identify the components as top chords, bottom chords or webs. Furtherstill, additional markings may be included, such as the markings 27 which show the location of ancillary brackets, braces or fixtures which will be used to fix the framework in a building. In the case of the markings 27, the markings show the location of girder brackets. Furtherstill, additional markings which show the amount of camber which is to be applied to the bottom chord 21 can also be marked at each of the webs, such as the marking 4 mm below the web W1, and 7 mm below the webs W2 and W3. This then shows the workman the amount of camber which should be applied to the bottom chord during formation of the framework. The components may also be marked with a marking which shows the size or type of the connector plate to be used, as shown in FIG. 3.

FIGS. 9 to 11 show one embodiment which relates to formation of a truss wherein at least one of the components is pre-plated.

In this embodiment, the lower chord 21′ is marked on both of its opposed faces 31′ and 32′ with the partial outlines which show the orientation and position of connector plates. The connector plates, such as connector plates 95, 96, 97 and 98 are then pressed into the chord 21′ at the position and orientation of the partial outlines as shown in FIG. 9.

The chord is then returned to the jig (such as the jig 50 described with reference to FIG. 2) and is turned over so that the face 31′ becomes the bottom face and the connector plates 95 to 98 are beneath the chord 21′. Thus, in FIG. 10 the partial outlines on the face 32′ can be seen and they will be in registry with the position of the attached connector plates 95 to 98. The other chords and webs T1′, T2′, W1′ to W4′ are then laid out in position with the partial outlines of the positions and orientations of the connector plates as well as the markings of the type shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 being used to guide proper positioning of those components relative to the web 21. Thus, the other components are laid over the connector plates 95 to 98. The partial outlines formed on the components T1′, T2′and W1′ to W4′ will then show the location and orientation of a second series of connector plates 99 (only one shown) which are to be applied to the face 32′. Thus, those connector plates can then be properly positioned and oriented. A press can then be used to force all of the connector plates into the components so that the connector plates 95 to 98 attach to the components T1, T2 and W1 to W4, and the second series of connector plates 99 are pressed into the opposite face 32 of the components to therefore form the truss.

While in the preferred embodiment of the invention, all of the components are marked with partial outlines which show a more complete marking of the position and orientation of the connector plate when the components are assembled together, it is possible that only a partial outline on one of the adjacent components is used to properly orient and position the connector plate. Provided that partial outline shows a corner and two side edges of the outline of the connector plate, then the connector plate can be properly positioned and oriented, as is shown in FIG. 12. In FIG. 12, a bottom chord 21″ is marked with a partial outline 66 which will show the orientation and position of a connector plate used to join webs W7 and W8 to the chord 21″. FIG. 13 is view of the arrangement in FIG. 12, but showing a connector plate 110 in place joining the webs W7 and W8 and the chord 21″.

FIG. 14 is a flow diagram illustrating operation of the system of FIG. 1. In FIG. 14, engineering data for cutting the work piece 5 to form the components is supplied to the saw machine 20 from the processor 30. The work piece is then moved and cut by the saw 19 to the required size and configuration. The engineering data can then be supplied to the printer 35 to show the position of the connector plate, and therefore this provides data for controlling the printer 35 to print the outline 22, 23, 24, etc. of the connector plates and also the other data such as camber markings, the bars 70, 80 and 90 previously described, together with the other information which is marked on the components. The saw system 20 also controls movement of the cut work piece so that the work piece is properly positioned relative to the printer 35 so that the printer 35 can then be controlled to print on the component the required markings and other information referred to above. The component is moved relative to the printer so that the markings are applied to the correct position under the control of the processor 30. If it is desired to provide the markings on both opposed faces of the component, then two printers 35 can be provided, one for marking the top face and one for marking the bottom face, or alternatively, the work piece can be manually turned over and again run through the printer 35 to mark the second side of the cut component.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the markings 70, 80 and 90 shown in FIG. 3 are distinguished from one another and registered by using different numbers of bars for each of the components or edges of the components which are to be brought together. However in other embodiments, markings other than bars could be used and furthermore, a single bar could be used for each component and the bars color-coded to provide a visual reference to enable the correct part bar on one of the components to be registered with the corresponding part bar on another of the components.

In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results obtained.

When introducing elements of the present invention or the preferred embodiment(s) thereof, the articles “a”, “an”, “the” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising”, “including” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements.

As various changes could be made in the above without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.





 
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