5 Reasons to Invest in a Portable Roof Panel Machine

Buying a portable rollforming machine
Rick Zand|April 15, 2024

Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or just entering the industry, your ability to deliver high-quality metal panels on time is your calling card. 

The metal roofing market is continually expanding, with a projected valuation of $34.1 billion in 2030, up from $21.4 billion in 2021. In fact, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for metal roofing is projected to grow by 4.8% from 2020 to 2030.*  While contractors saw a drop in supply during the pandemic, metal construction is now back and thriving like never before.

This growth demonstrates an increasing demand for metal roofing and siding driven by its durability, energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and appealing aesthetic. Portable rollforming machines are a proven asset to metal contractors, as they deliver the quality and efficiency required to complete construction projects on time.

Over the past several years, portable rollformers have transformed the metal roofing and siding industry, and New Tech Machinery (NTM) has been on the cutting edge of portable rollforming for over 30 years. With multiple roof and wall panel profiles that can be run on-site, there’s no longer a need to pay a middleman for factory panels, or to price out transportation and delivery, hoping the panels arrive undamaged. 

Portable rollformer on trailer pulled by tractor.

Since portable rollformers fabricate panels on-site, managing projects is easier, and the increased earnings are significant. Contractors with portable rollformers have seen their operations grow exponentially, usually within a short period of time, as the case with metal roofing contractor Jim Averill, who started with a starter NTM SSR MultiPro Jr. Roof Panel Machine and saw his business take off. Read Jim’s story.

In this article, you’ll discover five reasons it’s worth investing in a portable rollformer. While not everyone’s situation is the same, if you’re doing metal construction, a portable rollformer has become a must-have tool of the trade.

different styles of metal roof panel profiles overtop blue roof background

We’ll cover:

Which NTM machine is right for your projects? Take the quiz and find out

1. Portable Rollforming Efficiency and Productivity

If you’re a contractor who waits for panel delivery and lives at the mercy of third-party manufacturers that often interrupt your workflow with delays or damaged goods, imagine what it would be like to say goodbye to the middleman and really take control of your operation.

With a portable rollformer, you can show up on time, fabricate the panels, and move on to the next job. Portable rollforming streamlines your business so that you’re dealing with fewer third-party distributors and manufacturers. You can produce panels at one site and, in the time it takes to drive there, start fabricating at the next. 

What’s more, all that money you once paid for manufacturing and transporting metal panels now goes into your pocket. These savings translate to more profits, capital to reinvest into your business, and new money-making opportunities.

It also means that you can control the quality and customization of your product.

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On-site rollforming with an SSQ II roof and wall panel machine.

2. Metal Panel Quality and Customization 

For fabricators and manufacturers, portable rollforming allows you to easily customize your panels to the exact specifications of the project. This means less waste and more precise sizing to fit the structure. Whether metal roofs or walls, the options available with a portable rollformer can’t be replicated with prefabricated panels from a factory.

With a very basic controller, you can program panel lengths needed and sometimes shearing as well. Sophisticated controllers, like NTM’s UNIQ® Automatic Control System, allow you to control the length, shear, notching functions (when a notching unit is part of the machine), and more.

Additionally, you can fabricate panels in a length longer than transportable by truck. There’s no limit to the panel lengths, and some contractors even use a crane to raise the portable rollformer to roof level. That way, they can roll out customized panels tailored to the roof dimensions directly onto the top of the structure. 

Portable rollformers, simply stated, put you in total control of your operation. You can test the panels, make machine adjustments, and fabricate on the spot without waiting around for a late delivery truck or risking receiving damaged panels due to the mishandling of materials. There is no middleman, no one you need to coordinate with for panel orders and delivery. Less waste and more production mean cost savings and increased ROI.  

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3. Cost Savings and Return on Investment

An investment in a portable roof panel machine is just that: an investment. Reduced material waste and decreased labor costs all translate to increased profits. Generally, portable rollforming machine owners pay off their machines in a short period of time–sometimes even with just one job!

That’s not to say it isn’t a significant investment. Depending on which machine model you purchase, expect to spend anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000+ on the rollformer alone. Optional equipment and accessories, upgrades, and additional tooling will add to the overall cost. Also, you may need to purchase a truck and trailer and pay for other incidentals like fuel, plus labor to run the machine.

However, with a portable rollformer, you eliminate the cost of transportation, which includes delivery fees, workers’ wages for unloading, and added mileage, all of which cut into your profits. Plus, you reduce the risk of damage to the panels. During transportation, panels pass through many hands, increasing the chances of scratching, denting, or other damage. Running panels on-site means you’re in control of the quality and handling of each panel.  

Also, look into tax deductions available when you purchase equipment like a new rollformer for your business. With a Section 179 deduction, you can see significant savings in the cost of your equipment applicable to the year of your purchase. Read about Section 179 tax deductions.

Lastly, make sure your operators are properly trained on the machine so that you get the most value out of it. New Tech Machinery offers free training to all new NTM portable rollforming machine owners and their crews at our main plant in Aurora, Colorado. 

For more information about training, click here.

A portable rollformer gives you the versatility you need to really take advantage of all the opportunities available to cut costs and increase profits.

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Rollformer raised to roof level

4. Versatility 

With some portable rollformers, you can obtain additional profiles to switch to different types of metal roofs or siding. For example, you can change from a snap-lock to a mechanical seam for the next job. With our SSQ II MultiPro, you can change profiles in 45 minutes or less. That’s the versatility offered by a portable metal roof panel machine. You can move from one job to another with little downtime on the profile changeovers. NTM’s dual overhead reel rack and expandable reels allow you to carry multiple coil types to meet the requirements of various jobs.

You’ll also discover new business opportunities with a portable rollformer. While portable rollforming can prove invaluable to contractors installing metal roofs and siding, chop-and-drop operations also thrive. Whether operating from a plant or onsite, contractors with a machine can produce customized panels for roofing or siding jobs, fabricating them on-site or for delivery or pick-up. With a machine that includes notching, chop-and-drops can save installers time and money, translating to more profits for you as you can charge a per-notch fee.

Also, we’re seeing more emphasis on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency as priorities of businesses and residences, making metal a great seller. Also, portable rollformers are not very demanding when it comes to energy consumption.

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5. Environmental Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

Metal construction is a clean, environmentally friendly industry. Metal roofs and siding are 100% recyclable and generally made with at least 25% recycled material. In contrast, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance, in the U.S. alone, about 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are disposed of in landfills every year, and the product itself only has a lifespan of around 20 years, as opposed to metal roofs, which can hold up anywhere from 50-70 years.*** Most metal roofs come with a 30-50-year warranty.

A portable rollformer runs on a gas engine or electric motor, and that’s about all the energy needed to fabricate quality panels. Whereas shingles contain hundreds of gallons of petroleum, the recyclable quality of metal makes it a much more environmentally friendly solution for roofs and siding. Taking lifespan and low maintenance into account, less upkeep will be needed, even due to extreme weather conditions like severe wind and hail. Plus, portable rollforming reduces emissions from large delivery trucks and factory production, and unlike asphalt shingles, metal doesn’t require hundreds of gallons of crude oil to produce a single roof.

Metal roofs also come in many styles and colors, as evolving technology constantly creates more options, from woodgrain finishes to patterns to a variety of textures and coatings. In fact, metal roofing styles are continuing to grow, appealing to residential and commercial markets that want a long-lasting, eco-friendly roofing solution that offers an aesthetic appeal.

New Tech Machinery has been manufacturing portable rollformers for over 30 years, which is why we are the leaders in portable roof panel machines with our SSR Jr., SSH, and SSQ II MultiPros.

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Home with a standing seam metal roof.

NTM Roof Panel Machines

Several types of portable rollformers exist on the market, including Englert, Schlebach, and Zimmerman. New Tech Machinery started manufacturing portable metal panel machines over 30 years ago and has become the leader in portable rollforming. Here’s a breakdown of our MultiPro machines. We also recommend taking the machine quiz to find one that best fits your operational needs.

SSR™ MultiPro Jr. Roof Panel Machine

The SSR is electrically driven with chain, sprocket, and gears limiting the speed and drive power. The SSR also requires manually shearing the panel. Both of these factors contribute to its lower cost. 

However, that doesn’t mean the SSR is any less of a workhorse. Able to handle residential and light commercial jobs, it’s been used for houses, condo complexes, luxury homes, and more. While it may take a little more work to deal with the manual shear, it’s a great starter machine. We’ve seen businesses take root and grow with a single SSR MultiPro Jr.


  • Coil widths of 15” to 20”.
  • Depending on the panel profile, the SSR will produce finished panels 10” to 16” wide.

Recommended Materials:

  • 28 ga. to 24 ga. painted steel, Galvalume, or coated galvanized (0.4mm to0 .6mm)
  • .027” to .040” painted aluminum (0.7mm to 1.0mm)
  • 16 oz. to 20 oz. 3/4 hard copper (0.5mm to 0.7mm)

Click here to read more about the SSR MultiPro Jr.

SSH™ MultiPro Roof Panel Machine

The SSH lands a step above the SSR. It uses a hydraulic drive and shear, so the panels run about twice as fast as the SSR (approximately 60’/min with a gas engine, compared to 30’/ min with the SSR). It’s faster and more automated but runs the same seven roof panel profiles as the SSR. It’s great for light commercial as well as residential work. The SSH also comes standard with a PLC computer controller that allows for easy batch & length control when running projects. 


  • Coil widths of 14” to 24”
  • Finished panel 10” to 20” wide (depending on the panel profile).

Recommended materials:

  • 28 ga. to 24 ga. painted steel, galvanized, or aluminized (.4mm to .6mm)
  • .027” to .040” painted aluminum (0.7mm to 1.0mm)
  • 16 oz. to 20 oz. 3/4 hard copper (0.5mm to 0.7mm)
  • 26 ga. terne-coat stainless steel (0.6mm)

Click here for more information on the SSH MultiPro.

SSQ II™ MultiPro Roof and Wall Panel Machine

NTM’s flagship rollformer, the SSQ II offers 16 different roof and wall panel profiles—more than any other portable rollforming machine in the industry. Suited for residential and commercial roofing and siding, the SSQ II is top-of-the-line quality. Optional features include a built-in notching unit and the UNIQ® Automatic Control System, with computer functions that allow you to automate your machine’s operations, saving you time and labor.


  • Coil widths 15” to 30” 
  • Finished panel 12” to 24” (depending on the panel profile)

Recommended Materials:

  • Painted Steel: 28 ga. to 22 ga. (0.4mm to 0.8mm) (painted, Galvalume, coated galvanized)
  • Painted Aluminum: .027” to .040” (0.7mm to 1.0mm)
  • Copper: 16 oz. to 20 oz. 3/4 Hard (0.5mm to 0.7mm)*
  • Terne Coat Stainless: 26 ga. (0.5mm)*

*Notching is not recommended with copper or terne coat.

Click here for more information on the SSQ II MultiPro.

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So, How Much Does a Portable Rollformer Cost?

The cost of a portable rollformer depends on many factors. First, you have to assess your business and client base demands to figure out which machine will meet your needs. You’ll also have to determine which options and accessories you’ll require with your portable rollformer. Requesting a machine quote requires a bit more thinking about your situation than simply asking for a price. Download our Machine Quote Checklist. It will help guide you through the process.

For information on NTM portable roof panel machines, wall panel machines, seamless gutter machines, and all our accessories, contact one of our knowledgeable account managers.

NTM Machine Quote Checklist