Revolutionising Truss Manufacturing: The Auto-Press 5.0

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For over forty-years, AV Birch Ltd has been at the forefront of the manufacturing and engineering industry, leading the way in terms of design and innovation and building a reputation as the manufacturer’s manufacturer. Every new customer becomes a loyal customer, impressed by the quality of workmanship, industry knowledge and the one-of-its-kind service offering.

In 2019, with over four decades of delivering cutting-edge truss manufacturing machinery to the global market, we were more than ready for our next development challenge and five years on, it has proved to be the biggest, most impressive build in our catalogue.

The Auto-Press 5.0, a ground-breaking, industry-shaking truss machine, is the stuff of dreams and marks a significant advancement in the field of truss manufacturing technology.

The inception of the Auto-Press 5.0 project can be traced back to a time when we were approached by a valued customer seeking to optimise and reduce labour costs within their truss manufacturing organisation.

Chief among the customers pain points were the inefficiencies stemming from manual handling, prolonged setup times, and the high staffing levels required to operate traditional manufacturing lines.

Recognising that these were challenges acting as barriers to productivity and competitiveness, we set out to develop a solution that would streamline operations and drive cost savings for our customers and initiated the development of a concept design.

It is safe to say that what we presented to their client surpassed all expectations, and with the trust and confidence in us that has been built over the years, they ordered the very first Auto-Press 5.0, bringing a new level of innovation and technical knowhow to the marketplace and changing the timber manufacturing landscape forever.

Developing the concept

Turning vision into reality is not for the faint-hearted, and the development of the Auto-Press 5.0 was a testament to the level of persistence and ingenuity we are recognised for. The journey from initial concept to production-ready machine spanned three years, involving meticulous design iterations, rigorous testing, and refinement based on real-world feedback. This painstaking process ensured that every aspect of the Auto-Press was fine-tuned to perfection, ready to deliver unparalleled performance on the factory floor.

The Auto-Press 5.0

Vital to the Auto-Press 5.0 is its sophisticated design, comprising nine tables, a twin-head press bridge, and two truss stackers. From the outset, we made it a priority to maximise cost savings for our customers, a principle reflected throughout the machine's design and functionality and something that stood out from the outset as a crucially important element for its success.

The nine walk-through tables, each boasting a substantial working area of 5m x 2.5m with a 500mm walk-through space, collectively provide a total truss production area of twenty-two metres. This customisable configuration means customers can adapt the build to their own specific requirements, increasing its already impressive versatility.

Each table is fitted with automated jigging pucks, controlled by CAD software, facilitating efficient truss design adjustments. Additionally, the incorporation of tapped holes on the tabletops allows for supplementary manual jigging as and when needed.

The inclusion of two truss ejector systems per table also improves its automation and productivity. Equipped with automated ejector plates, these systems streamline the ejection process post-nail plate pressing, transferring completed trusses onto the truss stacker system via powered rollers.

The integration of SL Laser's laser projection technology into the Auto-Press 5.0 system enhances precision and accuracy and this feature enables operatives to verify internal web positions with ease, ensuring precise placement of nail plates.

Fundamental to the Auto-Press 5.0 is its bridge, equipped with two 47-ton cylinders, significantly reducing cycle times, especially in scenarios involving multiple plates on the same axis. Operable in manual, teach & go, or fully automated mode via CAD software control, the bridge is the ultimate in versatility and productivity.

The truss stackers, adept at receiving trusses from powered ejector rollers, efficiently stack them onto custom-designed truss trolleys, further boosting productivity and workflow optimisation.

Safety remains paramount throughout the design and development process of the Auto-Press 5.0. AV Birch Ltd’s integration of state-of-the-art safety systems not only meet, but exceed industry safety standards, a testament to their commitment to the well-being of their customer’s workforce.

Setting a New Standard: What sets the Auto-Press apart?

The answer lies in its unprecedented level of automation. Unlike traditional manufacturing lines that rely heavily on manual intervention, the Auto-Press drastically minimises human involvement, reducing the risk of errors and streamlining operations.

Because of its unique lifter design, it has the ability to press on all parts of the table - an industry first and one which highlights our commitment to innovation and providing user-centric solutions.

With features such as the automated jigging pucks, laser projection technology, and advanced ejector systems, the Auto-Press 5.0 offers unmatched precision, efficiency, and reliability, setting a new standard for truss manufacturing machinery not just here in the UK, but globally.

Benefits to the end-user

Designed specifically for the roof truss industry, the Auto-Press 5.0 holds the potential to revolutionise the way trusses are manufactured. By addressing key pain points such as manual handling, setup times, and staffing requirements, it empowers manufacturers to operate more efficiently, reduce costs, and enhance competitiveness.

The predominant objective behind the Auto-Press 5.0 was to mitigate labour costs by minimising manual handling, giving operatives the means to focus on placing components and plates in the jig sets while the machinery seamlessly handles the rest

Looking to the Future

Beyond immediate cost savings and efficiency gains, the Auto-Press 5.0 has the potential to drive broader industry trends towards automation and innovation. Manufacturers who embrace the Auto-Press 5.0 and similar technologies will not only thrive in today's competitive landscape but also future-proof their operations against evolving market dynamics.

By tackling longstanding challenges head-on and pushing the boundaries of innovation, we have paved the way for a new era of efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness. As the Auto-Press continues to gain traction, its transformative impact is set to reshape the industry as we know it.

For direct enquiries, contact Scott Heyes at