Scherer Bros Celebrates 90 Years by Trying Something New

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineJune 16, 2020
by Sean Shields

   

Old photo of Scherer Brothers Lumber building

Scherer Bros Lumber started their lumber mill business on the banks of the Mississippi River near Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the 1930s. Fast forward to the 1970s, and Scherer Bros added component manufacturing operations because they had difficulty meeting their customers’ demand for trusses from nearby truss plants. As a remedy they started their own manufacturing operations.

Today, they primarily service the high-end, custom home market in the Twin Cities, while also doing a fair amount of luxury condominiums. Until recently, they relied on their own in-plant QC inspection process to evaluate the product going out the door and meet the TPI-1 Chapter 3 requirements for third-party quality assurance (QA) inspections.

“We hold our in-plant QC inspections to a higher standard than TPI 1 requires. We feel that we supply a superior product and this is formal documented proof that we do,” says Jeff Burger, plant manager for Scherer Bros Truss Division. "These inspections have kept our workforce producing a quality product." However, when Scherer Bros considered a move to SBCRI’s third-party QA program, they took a hard look at SBCA’s Digital QC program as well.

SBCA's digital quality control program

“I talked with a few of the component manufacturers I knew through my involvement with the Structural Building Components Association of Minnesota and asked them what they thought of SBCA’s program,” says Jeff. Keith Kylmala at Kylmala Truss told him about the database of QC inspections SBCA maintains and how he can access all that information at any time to make decisions.

“Between access to more data and the hope that Digital QC could speed up inspections and allow for more frequent inspections, I knew we had to try it,” says Jeff.

Scherer Bros recently became a beta test location for SBCA’s Digital QC program. Jeff and their current in-plant QC inspector, Bob Milless, have conducted multiple inspections using the software on a mobile device in the plant. So far, they are encouraged by what they’ve experienced. “I like the digital QC approach,” says Bob. “You can figure out plate embedment, even on the plates on the underside of the truss, and the software takes subjectivity out of the inspections.”

Both Jeff and Bob look forward to working with SBCA staff to get the most out of the Digital QC program and ensuring they put out the most efficiently-produced, highest-quality product for their customers. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of SBCA’s new Digital QC program and become a beta test location yourself, please contact Ashley Widmer at awidmer@qualtim.com, or at 608-310-6772.