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Mar 06

Metal Machinery: Geared for Success

Roofing Contractor

Even after years of excellent growth, there is still a lot of room for metal roofing to expand. According to the National Roofing Contractors association’s most recent annual survey, in 2005 the overall share of metal roofing was 4 percent of low-slope new construction, while the share for new steep-slope installations was 28 percent. While metal can be found on virtually any roof, it still takes an investment not only to buy it, but to sell and install it as well. ROOFING CONTRACTOR METAL MACHINERY

To fashion all that metal, contractors need the right equipment. While snips and benders are still in the tool belt, more and more computerized folders and portable roll formers are turning out production quantities of roofing, siding, flashing, gutters … all things metal. A critical shortage of skilled labor increases the need for precisely fabricated materials that don’t require extensive manipulation in the field. Roofing contractors and manufacturers are getting creative since the outlook for metal continues to be bright.

“You can’t be in the roofing business and not have sheet metal as part of what you do,” says Greg Wallick, president of Best Roofing in Pompano Beach, Fla. “Large roofing jobs require a component of sheet metal somewhere.”

ROOFING CONTRACTOR METAL MACHINERY

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The Jorns TwinMatic from MetalForming features automated up-and-down folding that eliminates the need to turn parts end for end.

Pedal to Metal

The metal forming segment of the roofing industry has a reputation for innovation and a bit of duplication. It can take years to develop and fine-tune precision machinery like a new portable roll former with multiple profiles, but the first one off the assembly line will reveal its secrets to all. One recent development is geared to an area that is becoming more attractive for many roofing contractors: gutters. ROOFING CONTRACTOR METAL MACHINERY sheet metal machinery new and used sheet metal equipment

What seems like a natural for any roofing contractor that performs residential work, gutter fabrication has been an elusive segment for a variety of reasons. There were specialty contractors who made the investment in equipment and expertise. Concerns about keeping machines humming and thin margins kept many out of the business, until they discovered how much other companies were impacting their cash flow.

“A roofing contractor would not get paid until the gutters were installed,” says Patric Wright, director of sales and marketing for New Tech Machinery in Denver. “When they started to install gutters, they were able to get paid.”

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Metal Machinery: Geared for Success