Topic: While we all know to “measure twice and cut once” there are still mistakes, waste, and time lost. Here’s an option you’ll want to consider to help make your work more accurate and your waste, disappear!
During this edition of CareyBrosPros, you’ll find out about:
- Accurate measuring and cutting made easy.
- How a product called Autoset works.
- Construction workflow.
Guest: Brad Kriel – CEO of Velocity Robotics
Company phone number – (412) 254-3011
3 Points for Success – from Brad Kriel:
- Measuring and cutting is a critical workflow on every job site. Getting it right makes your jobs go better, and provides quality workmanship. Getting it wrong makes jobs slower, more frustrating, and hurts your reputation.
- Measuring errors often lead to re-work, which is one of the major time wasters on the job site. Eliminating them eliminates a lot of waste.
- Another major time waster is “trailblazing” as a deck builder recently called it.
Using a laser measure or electronic tape to automatically record measurements allows you to take a lot of measurements before going to the saw, significantly reducing the effect of trailblazing. You can do this today with the many laser measures on the market.
Twitter: @velocityrobotic #profit #cutwaste #skill #measuring #InternetofTools #builder #workflow #accuracy #construction
Transcript of the show:
Magic Mike: [00:00:00] Welcome to CareyBrosPros, the broadcast for construction pros by construction pros. Because good information is always the best tool in the bag. Now here are James and Morris Carey.
James: [00:00:17] Good to have you checking in for this edition of CareyBrosPros. Hi, I’m James Carey, and, as builders and remodelers, we respect and abide by the age old wisdom of “measure twice and cut once.” Boy, I tell you what! I learned that one the hard way. Well, imagine if we could measure more accurately, have lest waste, all while working faster! Wouldn’t that be just phenomenal for you and your business? Well, it’s possible! And our guest will tell you all about it. He is Brad Kriel. He’s the CEO of Velocity Robotics, and we first met at the Remodeling Show and Deck Expo in Baltimore. And we’re completely taken by his product and wanted to invite him to be a part of our podcast to share it with you. Brad welcome to CareyBrosPros!
Brad: [00:01:13] Thank you very much James.
James: [00:01:15] Now, you’re remodeler right?
Brad: [00:01:18] Well if DIY counts, then absolutely.
James: [00:01:21] Okay sure. I mean I didn’t say you were a pro remodeler, but certainly you’ve gotten your hands dirty and you’ve done a thing or two, yes?
Brad: [00:01:28] Absolutely.
James: [00:01:29] Well, if that’s the case, then you know the challenges that those of us who do pro remodeling face in terms of time limits and trying to keep things in the budget. So for our friends listening who may not know about Velocity Robotics and auto set please share with them a little bit about Velocity Robotics and what auto set is and how it can bring value to them and their business.
Brad: [00:01:59] Sure thing. So Velocity Robotics was founded a couple of years back in order to improve work site productivity in construction. That’s because I saw an opportunity to bring some new technology to the industry and, you know, partially because of the experience that I had with DIY remodeling myself. And so we have, over the past couple of years, developed auto set. And auto set is a smart positioning system that works for miter saws and we’ll eventually work for table saws and tile saws and you know all sorts of things even drill presses to give you very precise cuts and to allow you to measure and cut faster than you ever did before.
James: [00:02:52] All right we’re going to, no pun intended, drill down on on that. But first I want to ask you, are you a tech guy? Do you have a background? I know you mentioned you do DIY. Are you from tech? Are you from building? Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got involved in this.
Brad: [00:03:11] Yeah absolutely. So I have worked for Caterpillar actually for a number of years about eight years and at Cat, I was developing technology for mining equipment, those big mining trucks, big dump trucks, and the things that we were developing were helping operators run safely. So I was working on camera systems and using all the tech that you see in the autonomous car industry actually we were using that same sort of technology to help operators see around their truck and help them understand their environment better. That’s the tech side of my background. And so it was in mining instead of construction, but there’s a lot of similarities between the two. And when I started Velocity Robotics, especially because of my DIY work, I said you know there are a lot of problems with workflow in industry and, man, I think that you know tech has come a long way in the past few years, and I think that there are some solutions that could be provided to you know basically improve workflow on the jobsite.
James: [00:04:19] So it sounds to me like you have a background in engineering.
Brad: [00:04:23] You got it.
James: [00:04:24] In spite of what my brother might say, I’m not just another pretty face. So now, and I want to mention also that Velocity Robotics is not a one trick pony, and I know that you’re going to be launching more product, and we can talk a little bit about that. We can also talk about the other products that you have available, and, by the way, I want one of those t shirts.
Brad: [00:04:47] Very nice!
James: [00:04:48] Large, large will work just fine. And if you should decide you want to send my brother one he’s a 2x. Anyway, let’s digress for a moment and let paint a picture of how the auto set works.
Brad: [00:05:04] So auto set takes measurements from either a Bluetooth laser measure or Bluetooth tape measure. It also can import a cut list, preexisting cut list, if you’ve got that if you’re working to design, or you can manually enter measurements on autoset just as easily. But once you have that list into autoset, it gives you step by step instructions on making each cut. So say your next cut length is 42 inches and your current setting is 20. You hit the brake release button. It comes up on the screen and says move to the left. So you move out of the way the carriage to the left and then it stops when it gets really close to that 48 inch mark and it makes a fine adjustment. And then you just bump your board up against the stop. You make your cut and it’s accurate to a 64th minute.
James: [00:06:06] So let’s take an example of the cut off saw, OK? And as part of the auto set configuration there is a metal backplate.
Brad: [00:06:17] What we call the rail.
James: [00:06:19] Right, the rail. The metal rail and autoset attaches to the metal rail and it slides along the rail left and right. So if I’ve put auto set, if I have a piece of material that I need to cut 48 inches, it’s going to tell me to move it to the designated location and I’m going to guess that my cut off saw has to be in the down position and that there is a laser that will go from the autoset stop to the saw blade. Is that right?
Brad: [00:06:57] Actually that’s that’s not how it works. It’s much more like a pair of calipers. So there’s a pattern on the rail itself that the carriage is reading as it moves along the rail and that’s what gives it its its very good accuracy.
James: [00:07:13] I see. I see. Okay, then if I cut my piece, do I then push the button for my next piece if I’ve imported a cut list?
Brad: [00:07:23] Absolutely, yeah you just you hit the complete button. And then it loads up the next cut and tells you which way to push it for the next cut and so on and so forth.
James: [00:07:34] Now that piece of the auto set that the board rests against is called what?
Brad: [00:07:41] The piece of said the more rest again is called the stop.
James: [00:07:45] It’s called the stop. Oh the black, the black stop?
Brad: [00:07:50] Yep you got it. The black piece that’s the stop.
James: [00:07:51] And is that adjustable within the autoset or is that a fixed device and that the only adjustment is the auto set along the rail?
Brad: [00:08:01] The only adjustment that happens automatically is auto set along the rail however that stop is on what we call a RAM so that it’s about a two foot piece of aluminum.
James: [00:08:15] Yes.
Brad: [00:08:15] That allows the stop to actually overhang the base of your saw. So it allows you to get the stock up close to the blade. Closer to the blade then, you know, where the where the auto set rail stops.
James: [00:08:28] Yes. Got it. Got it. OK. Product in production and shipping already?
Brad: [00:08:34] Product ships in March and we’re currently taking preorders.
James: [00:08:37] Wow. This sounds like it’s pretty pricey.
Brad: [00:08:40] You would think in fact other similar products like this that really have never been developed for this industry have really been developed more for heavy industry and manufacturing typically start around 3000 4000 dollars.
James: [00:08:56] Right. Right.
Brad: [00:08:57] Right exactly. And also said actually retails for 499. four hundred ninety nine dollars. And if you preorder were actually giving you a 100 dollar discount. So right now you can get it for only three hundred ninety nine dollars.
James: [00:09:12] Did I hear that right? Three hundred and ninety nine dollars?
Brad: [00:09:16] You got it. Three hundred ninety nine dollars.
James: [00:09:18] Wow. And it will be available at retail in March. Will it be specifically available online or will it be at brick and mortar?
Brad: [00:09:28] So currently it will be available at VelocityRobotics.com. We’re talking to a number of distributors right now to get it into other places. Brick and Mortar eventually as well. But right now you can get it at velocityrobotics.com.
James: [00:09:42] Wonderful. Now I should mention that I can spend that hundred dollars that I’m going to be saving on an additional rail which is about 75 bucks.
Brad: [00:09:52] You got it. Then you’ll have just enough left over for a T-shirt.
James: [00:09:56] That hundred dollars will give me an additional rail at 75 and a T-shirt at 19 bucks and I’ll have the money for a Starbucks still. Now we’ve talked we’ve talked about auto set and the, of course the accompanying rail, and I imagine you can have multiple rails one after the other depending upon how long the material is that you’re going to be cutting?
Brad: [00:10:19] That’s exactly right. You can put as many together as you need.
James: [00:10:21] How long are the rails?
Brad: [00:10:22] The rails come in 48 inches.
James: [00:10:24] OK very good. OK. We talked about the fact that you have lots of product that your launching, and we’ll go into that in a moment, but first, beyond the T-shirt and beyond the additional rail and the auto set, are there other products that you currently or are offering now?
Brad: [00:10:43] Currently we offer the Leica Disto D2. It’s a laser distance meter and that’s one of the laser measures that works in conjunction with autoset. So you take a measurement with the Leica and that measurement goes directly into autoset.
James: [00:11:02] That’s amazing. Now some of the electronic measuring devices will talk to CAD systems as well so that you can now use these measuring devices where, you know, we used to go in with a pencil and paper and a tape measure and a retractable tape measure and we would measure an existing space the kitchen for example or a bathroom or somebody wants to add on onto their home. Now you can measure the space with your smartphone or you can use an electronic measuring device like that which you have which is the Bluetooth laser distance meter for about 199 bucks. That’s a beautiful device. Will talk to CAD’s systems as well. Will it upload to design software?
Brad: [00:11:49] The Leica in particular the one that we offer has its own app available on both Android in Iowa. That’s a floorplan app. And so you can you can take measurements and then assign those measurements directly to the floor plan that you have laid out and it has a number of other custom integrations. I couldn’t name them all, you’d have to go to like a geo systems website to find out all the different iterations but some of those are CAD applications as well.
James: [00:12:20] Wonderful. What’s coming?.
[00:12:22] So we have so many different ideas for variations on auto set that we’d like to get out there. And one of them is a tile saw variation ann another’s a table saw variation, and, in addition to that, because all I’ve said is a connected tool, and this is especially true for the for the bigger home builders and remodelers out there, but we can track material usage we can track team performance. We know how many cuts are made in a given time period and who is requesting those cuts. You know if you’re if you’re integrating with our mobile app and because we have that data available we can actually help you improve your supply chain. We can set up a just in time supply chain so essentially if you if you know how much material you start out with we’re tracking the amount of material you are using and we know when you’re running low and can alert you. And so there’s a ton of features like this that we have in mind that we’d like to be working with the industry to make sure that you know they’re all they’re all headed in the right direction but that’s the next step.
James: [00:13:30] So you just came from the Remodeling Show and Deck Expo I imagine you got lots of pro feedback quarter pro saying about autoset?
Brad: [00:13:38] So I think my my favorite recent comment was that this is a game changer. This is an absolute game changer, and it’s going to change the way that measuring and cutting happens on the job site. And you know a lot of other guys have said things like, you know, this is something I’ve been looking for for a long time. Guys that are working in a shop. You know, I’ve been looking for something like this from my shop for a long time. And so, yeah, there’s so many applications and there’s a real need, as you said measure twice, cut once is the oldest adage in the book I think, and we’re making it to where you don’t really have to measure twice, cut once. You can actually move a lot faster and still get the same benefit.
James: [00:14:21] So how do you see auto set impacting our pro audience’s profit margin, Brad?
Brad: [00:14:27] I’ll have to go back to the game changer word there. I think that you know measuring and cutting errors impact so many different areas of waste in construction on the job side. You know you make a measuring mistake, and you have to rework, you have additional scrap, and, you know, even if you’re not making errors, when you’re making the one measurement at a time and you’re walking back and forth between where your material is and where you’re where you’re saw is. I heard one contractor recently call that trailblazing. by the way. We are addressing trailblazing we’re addressing scrap. And so there’s so many different areas of workflow where we are making it just so so much more streamlined, and each of those, you know, accounts for either material cost or labor cost, you know, the benefit as a whole is just I think going to be game-changing as far as profit margin goes.
James: [00:15:28] Wonderful. Okay Brad we ask all of our CareyBrosPros guest to leave our pro listeners with three points for success and now it’s time for you to share yours.
Brad: [00:15:40] Very good. My first is that measuring and cutting is a critical component of workflow and every job site and I mean this is where measure twice cut once comes in. So getting it right it makes your jobs go better. It provides better quality workmanship and provides for better customer rapport and getting it wrong makes your job slower, more frustrating, and hurts your reputation. We’ve heard this from so many contractors. Second is measuring errors often lead to rework and rework is one of the major time wasters on every job site. And so eliminating measuring errors is key.
James: [00:16:22] Boy I resemble that remark okay. And number three?
Brad: [00:16:25] And number three another major time waster is trailblazing. So this is a term that we recently heard used to describe the time that you take to go back and forth between wherever you’re measuring and installing material and wherever your site is set up, and, the following tip is true whether or not you use any products of us, and that is using a laser or measure or electronic tape measure to automatically record those measurements into a mobile app or into the unit itself allows you to take a lot of measurements at one time before going to the saw and that cuts back on trailblazing, and it significantly reduces that labor cost essentially of walking back and forth.
James: [00:17:13] Wonderful that puts a bow on it. A big thank you to Brad Kriel. Brad’s the CEO of Velocity Robotics and you can learn more about their work by checking out their website. It is velocityrobotics.com but for your convenience we’ve posted all the information about Brad along with articles videos and additional podcasts at our website. It is CareyBrosPros.com and be sure to check it out and don’t hesitate to comment, and let us know what other topics you’d like to hear about right here on Carey Bros Pros.
Magic Mike: [00:17:54] OK everybody hold on to your hard hats. It’s time for a quick broach tip from the Carey Brothers.
Morris: [00:18:02] Business Practices 101. Staying in business requires expertise beyond trade skills. Being a top plumber doesn’t necessarily qualify an individual to be a successful plumbing contractor. Plumbers work on plumbing, plumbing contractors draft contracts. Obviously, these are two very different areas of expertise. Here are a few tips that are important to one’s success as a contractor.
Morris: [00:18:33] Marketing and advertising: A successful contractor knows that word of mouth advertising is important. But that word of mouth should only be a small part of a businesses overall marketing strategy. Keep in mind that Pepsi and Coke are still advertising heavily after over a century.
Morris: [00:18:54] Sales: Once marketing and advertising campaigns begin to provide leads a successful contractor must be able to communicate effectively with each new prospective client. First, make a friend by selling oneself, then sell a business by letting the prospective client know that the business is as dependable as you are. And remember honesty and integrity are invaluable virtues in all business communications.
Morris: [00:19:25] The estimate: Once the client believes in you as a trustworthy person. It’s time to move to the estimate. The more thorough the estimate the more well assured the client will be with your degree of attention to detail. Never give a discount. Always give the price that you need to make a living and don’t budge on that price. Giving a discount could indicate to your client that you really aren’t sure of your price.
Morris: [00:19:56] You may know that not one word of the business advice included here had anything to do with how to sweat a copper fitting or how to join pieces of trim or how to wire an electrical circuit. Being a contractor is different than being a tradesperson.
Magic Mike: [00:20:12] Well that’s our broadcast for today. Thanks for listening to this edition of CareyBrosPros: the podcast for construction professionals by construction professionals. Want more? Check out CareyBrosPros.com. You’ll find articles and videos to help make your business a success.