Fact: On-site Roll Forming Machines Have More Versatility Making Metal Roofing Panels Than Factory-Based Panel Equipment

The producers of factory made standing seam metal roofing panels—people who take an order, run the panels off on a roll-forming machine in a factory building and then load them on a truck to be delivered to the place where they will be installed—have been revving up their myth-making machines about onsite roll-forming again.

The Myth? On-site roll-formers cannot make standing seam metal roof panels from 22 gauge steel and .040 aluminum.

The Fact? On-site roll-formers have been making metal roof panels from 22 and .040 gauge material for more than a decade.Portable roll forming machine producing metal roofing panel

For example, Englert’s MetalMan Multi-Panel Roofing Machine runs virtually any size and gauge, including 22 gauge steel and .040 aluminum to ten panel configurations with minimum adjustments and less scrap.  A trademark feature of this roll-forming machine is that its rollers can be changed out by only one man in 30 minutes so that a new profile can be run immediately on the job site. Englert roll-forming machines are not the only machines in the marketplace with the ability to manufacture panels on the job site. Other manufacturers of on-site roll-formers have had the capability to run panels from 22 gauge, 040 aluminum and even 16 ounce copper for just as long. If your job is specified for heavy gauge material, you can manufacture the roofing panels with an on-site roll-forming machine and have greater flexibility.In fact, Englert’s roll-formers have some capabilities the factory-made panel people never want to discuss—simply because they can’t achieve them with their big factory floor machines. For example, the factory floor machines cannot make a tapered panel. Instead, these panels must be made on a brake, in short lengths – a time consuming process. Factory panel manufacturers cannot make a curved panel. Nor can they make a panel in their factories that will match the contours of a sagging roof.

Whereas, an on-site roll-former can do all of the above right at the job site. In the latter case, the on-site roll-forming machine can make the panel irregular – customizing it to match the roof. Conversely, factory made panels that are trucked to a job site to be installed on an uneven roof cannot be manipulated. Consequently, if the installer tries to use clips to screw down the panel, the result will be uneven stresses at the fastening points and a moderate deformation or buckling of the roofing panel material, commonly known as oil canning.

On-site roll-forming continues to become more and more popular in the building industry in large part due to the efficiencies and job control it provides – giving installers the ability to form panels directly at the site and the flexibility to correct errors or customize roofing panels on site. Job site roll forming will also eliminate delays caused by improper material calculations or the replacement of scratched or dented panels damaged in transport.

There are many  reasons why on-site roll-forming has displaced the factory made product over the years….And none of them are myths—just the sheer fact that onsite roll-forming and the professionals who do it every day have been perfecting their craft for 30 years on the job site.

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