MCS Influencer John Sheridan says that training and tech support is critical to have when purchasing rollforming equipment.
There are a huge variety of rollforming and metalforming machines available. Rollforming is mostly concerned with the making of metal roof or siding panels in gauges usually 24 gauge or less in thickness (steel) or less than .040 thickness (aluminum). Profiles available vary greatly between machines. Some of the lower priced machines run one profile only, while some of the more expensive and advanced machines offer several roof and wall profiles.
Metalforming machines differ from rollformers in that they cover a wide variety of metalforming processes. From cutting and bending machinery to advanced ACM panel systems, these are specialized machines made for production and efficiency in one aspect of metal manufacturing.
Consider the following:
- What is the dominant panel profile/ material in your area? How many profiles do you need to run (snap lock, nail fin, mechanical lock, exposed fasteners, etc)? Does the machine need to be portable/mobile for running panels on site, or will it be stationary in a shop?
- What kind of warranty and tech support is provided with the machine? Tech support and training is critical early on in the ownership process.
- What accessories are available (decoilers, trailers, in seam sealant, etc).
- The more complex and expensive a machine is, the more critical it is to have tech support and training as well as an ongoing relationship with the equipment manufacturer to stay on top of any maintenance or upgrade issues.
- Choose machines that are complimentary of other machines. For instance, if you purchase a rollformer, the next logical progression would be a brake or shear to support that system and allow you to have more control of the total project package of panels and trims.
John Sheridan is the owner of Sheridan Metal Resources LLC. See his full bio here.