Purchasing roll forming equipment
- May 19, 2014
Economic indicators are more positive than they've been in quite some time. New construction is up, renovations are up. Even the Florida construction market is improving.
Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity projects the construction industry is expected to grow at a 3.6 percent annual rate this decade, the fastest clip of any sector. Construction is finally growing beyond that pushed by government stimulus.
An improving market leads to increased confidence and that confidence leads to spending or investing. If you're making a living in the construction industry, 2014 is likely the year to grow your business through the purchase of capital, specifically, roll forming equipment.
There are plenty of options when considering roll forming equipment and nothing varies as much as the size of the investment. The important thing to remember is you have to consider your return on that investment. Before you get hung up on price, you have to figure out what you need and take into account some important considerations before purchasing equipment.
"One of the big things to consider is the flexibility of the machine," says Bob Repovs, CEO at Samco Machinery of Toronto. "You don't want a dedicated machine that just does one thing. You want to get as much out of a machine as possible.
Flexible roll formers allow automated product, width, height, gauge and punch pattern changes.
"As an example, with machines for steel framing or roof panels, you don't want a machine that produces just 2x4 studs or a single roofing profile. You want to be able to make studs with varying thicknesses and widths with different gauges on your steel framing machine. With your roof panel machine, you should be able to produce a variety of roofing profiles with a variety of gauges as well as metals. And it's important that downtime is minimized by quick changeover capability."
Samco Machinery manufactures equipment for a variety of industries, including HVAC, garage doors, automotive, roofing and framing. Repovs says the demands of each industry overlaps with the others and the information they learn in one industry can be applied in others. That's why the Samco staff includes 25 engineers.
"Our reps are out in the field providing solutions, providing customers with exactly what they need, not a machine off the shelf," Repovs says. "Machines are built for each customer."
When purchasing equipment, Repovs suggests buyers must also consider coil handling. Will you be loading coil with a forklift or a crane? Where will coil be stored? Specifically, for your machine, do you want a single uncoiler or a double uncoiler, which increases efficiency because downtime is dramatically reduced?
On the other end of the machine, material handling is an important consideration. Does the product fall into a bucket? Is it being packaged? Does it need room for nesting and stacking? Find the solutions to these issues.
"The improvements in the electrical components of roll forming equipment are a selling point as well," Repovs says. "Through computers, we can connect to a machine and troubleshoot problems in the field right from our office at Samco. A lot of times it's something simple, someone pushed a button they didn't want to push. We can help with that and more serious issues as they arise."
Which brings up the consideration of service offered by the roll former manufacturer. "On occasion, by the time a roll former is commissioned and installed, the guy marked as the operator is gone or gone soon after," Repovs says. "It's important to have access to field training for any new operators to ensure the highest efficiency."
Any investment should draw careful consideration. Getting anything less than what is best for your business should be unacceptable.
Story written by Jim Austen, Targeted Content Inc., and supplied by Samco Machinery, Toronto.