Alpine is a leading provider of innovative products and services for the building components industry. Our software includes design and manufacturing programs that streamline the building process, while our automated equipment and extensive range of metal connector products enhance customer productivity.
Alpine has enjoyed 50 years of success with a history of innovating its way through difficult times while continuing to grow and prosper. The company is recognized for its engineering excellence, productivity-enhancing software and equipment, and the industry’s best service, which enable residential and commercial customers to manufacture the finest building components available.
Here is a history of the events that led to the company’s founding and key milestones in Alpine’s history.
Architect A. Carol Sanford invented the punched nail plate to replace plywood gussets in roof truss fabrication.
Bill McAlpine graduates from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Civil Engineering. He spent the next five years in Rochester, New York and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, working with architectural and engineering firms.
Bill McAlpine joins fledgling truss industry pioneer, Sandford Industries and was appointed as Chief Engineer. Four months later, Charlie Harnden joined as a salesman.
Bill and Charlie depart Sanford Industries to start Alpine Engineered Products Inc. just as the U.S. recovered from an eight-month recession. Derived from Bill’s surname, “Alpine” would appear near the top of phone book listings. Charlie was appointed President, while Bill served as Vice President of Engineering. The duo worked from a small office in Pompano Beach, Florida, using just paper, pencils and slide rules to produce 200 truss designs for their three customers in the first year. Nail plate manufacturing was contracted to a stamping facility in Miami. Alpine’s mission was to design competitive trusses, sell the nail plate connectors and work closely with customers.
1967: Alpine acquired Trulox Connectors, a small nail plate manufacturer.
Alpine bought a local competitor and leased additional space to handle the company’s increased production.
Alpine started writing the first industry software – an optimizing and pricing program. Research and development activities began on truss assembly equipment.
With Began using computers to produce truss span tables. First Alpine Truss Manufacturers Workshop was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
With nationwide aspirations, Alpine acquired another competitor and a stamping plant near Atlanta, Georgia. Sixty customers were subscribing to Alpine’s Compu-Time Honeywell computer over telephone lines to receive cutting schedules. Five machines were launched to aid truss fabrication.
Alpine bought a small manufacturing facility of its own following rapid growth. Despite an 18-month recession, Alpine’s employees grew to 85 in number.
Alpine’s Charlie Harnden co-founded the first BCMC equipment exhibition, showcasing the Sanford Roll-A-Master, Speed Roll and Chord Splicer. Layout truss software was also launched.
Alpine opened a major engineering and manufacturing facility in Haines City, Florida. By now, the layout software featured CAD-type graphics – the beginnings of today’s VIEW.
Alpine celebrated its 20th anniversary. New Trus-Calc software (today’s TrusCAD) introduced that enabled customers to use IBM PCs as “intelligent workstations.” The number of Alpine employees increased to 400.
Alpine introduced the Automated Truss Plant, a software concept that revolutionized truss plant operations.
Bill McAlpine is awarded the prestigious James R. Price-Automated Builder Achievement in Housing Award
Alpine acquired a majority interest in Alpine Systems Corporation of Canada. It also acquired Linkwood Corporation and Lumbermate Company – another original truss industry full-service pioneer. AutoSet, the first computer-controlled and automated jigging system, was launched earning Alpine U.S. and International patents.
Alpine expanded into Europe. Charles W. Harnden is awarded the prestigious James R. Price-Automated Builder Achievement in Housing Award.
Alpine developed the building component industry’s first website. Introduction of the “Concept Saw’ stole the show at BCMC in Louisville, Kentucky. It was to become the very popular AutoWeb computer aided cutter.
The TrusSteel™ cold-formed steel truss system was introduced and a new facility opened in Grand Prairie, Texas.
The Alpine introduced the AutoMill computer controlled and automated component cutter at BCMC in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Wave Plate nail plate was launched.
South African company Dorbyl bought Alpine.
FloorMaster and RAM EasyRider machines were introduced, and the VIEW 4.0 was released with the largest customer training program in truss industry history.
The Alpine Linear Saw (ALS) made its debut at BCMC.
ITW (Illinois Tool Works) acquired Truswal Systems.
ITW acquired Alpine Engineered Products.
ITW Building Components Group was formed.
The Alpine brand relaunched with a new tagline, “Building Partnerships,” with a focus on partnering with customers to help them grow their businesses.
Alpine celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Alpine 50 Years of Building Success: From the start, Alpine’s team of experts, in partnership with their customers, have worked tirelessly to make the inherently complex process of designing, engineering and building components seem simple. Engineering was partnered with great products and a strong commitment to outstanding service that can still be felt to this day. When you meet an “Alpine Associate” it is easy to see that they carry the torch. They feel the responsibility and thrive in a culture that demands performance. Looking back, it’s amazing to see just how far Alpine and its customers have come in the last 50 years. Looking forward it’s exciting to imagine what will be accomplished in the next 50 years. Alpine – Honoring the past and designing the future.