Monthly Archives: May 2014

Meeting Standards for Metal Wall Panels: An Important Consideration in Building Design

There are thousands of building materials and products globally and virtually all of those used in a manufactured environment are subject to some form of testing and standards.

There are a host of international standards organizations that set standards for and test all kinds of products. There are de facto standards which means they are followed by informal convention or dominant usage, de jure standards which are part of legally binding contracts, laws or regulations and voluntary standards which are published and available for people to consider for use.

Picture of metal wall panels used in construction.The people who use an item (architects, engineers, contractors, etc.) or specify it (building codes, government, industry, etc.) have the responsibility to consider the available standards, specify the correct one, enforce compliance, and use the item correctly.

By the end of the 19th century, differences in standards between companies, was making trade increasingly difficult and strained. Hence the establishment of professionally supported standards organizations.  Progress was nevertheless slow. Suppliers in many industries including construction objected to standard material specifications and testing procedures because they feared that strict quality controls would make customers more inclined to reject items and default on contracts.

There was plenty of back and forth on the issue but the demand by material end users like the powerful railroad industry finally led to the formation of the American Society of Testing and Materials in 1898.

To this day, the ASTM remains one of the key standards organizations in the world. And in the area of wall panel, it provides some of the key standards for materials used in building design and construction. Continue reading

Tolling: When Coil Coating Experience Counts

Why do some highway signs look old and faded while others pop with color?  Why do the exteriors of some new trucks look great while others look like they’ve been traveling the highway for years? And how come your neighbor’s garage door to the left looks great but the one to the right built around the same time looks pasty and faded?

To get the answer, you may have to go back to that critical point in time when all of these metal products were large coils of aluminum or steel that had to be pre-coated or pre-painted to protect the metal and provide a base for decorations like decals, wraps, embossing and lettering. Coil-coated metal is indispensable in a variety of industries including the manufacture of household products such as lights and white lighting, residential and non- residential building products like garage and entry doors and window frames, sign stock, automation control panels, HVAC, industrial products and more.

Englert Production LineWe know as a company that pre-coats thousands of tons of metal material that there are different levels of quality for just about any pre-coated coil you can buy—whether it’s for a garage door, a tractor trailer body or a stop sign.  The metal gauge or thickness, the coatings chosen and even the paint line system used to apply the coating to the metal vary throughout the coil coating industry.

Demanding quality at this level can dictate how good a garage door looks when it comes time to sell the house , how long a tractor trailer will last after a few years on the road or how faded a highway directional sign will become when it exposed year after year to the elements.  If you’re a garage door manufacturer or you’re making sign materials positioned as premium products for their longevity and durability, be careful how you look for savings on production.

How good the product will look even over a short period of time is often directly related to how much the manufacturer is willing to spend to produce a quality product. If the industrial designer has been asked to create a premium-made garage door and the manufacturer’s purchasing agent knows the drill, the end product is pretty much guaranteed to look better and work better than a cheaper version. Colors will be more vivid, surfaces won’t appear faded or chalky and the aluminum or steel substrate will probably last much longer. Continue reading

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