In this article, we delve into running a business using the SSQ II MultiPro with notching as we talk with Kevin Yoder, General Manager at First Choice Exteriors in Holmesville, Ohio. In our discussion, Kevin provides insightful details about his company’s operations, challenges, and the latest exciting advancements in metal roofing technology.
At New Tech Machinery (NTM), we pride ourselves on listening and responding to our customers. While we build portable rollforming machines, our business is seeing that our machine users have everything they need to run panels efficiently and easily.
Upgrading for Metal Roofing Efficiency:
First Choice Exteriors’ metals manufacturing unit, Classic Metals, currently operates two NTM SSQ II Multipro Roof and Wall Panel Machines for its metal roofing operation. Their original SSQ machine, 20 years old and still running, is ready for replacement, signifying their commitment to stay current with technology. Kevin discusses their process of exploring new machinery options, emphasizing the need for innovation, like the addition of the SSQ II notching system.
“One thing that we do with the standing seam machine as we go out on the job site, run it on the job site, we bring along the trims, and they can get the final measurements,” Kevin told us. “So it does eliminate one extra trip often for the contractor.”
Innovating with Panel Notching:
Kevin touches on the latest innovation – notching. Initially hesitant, they now see its substantial benefits for installers. It saves a huge amount of labor time and cost as the panels are formed ready for installation.
With the notching system, notches are precisely punched for a clean cut before the panel legs are formed. Each finished panel includes a 1” (25.4mm) wide strip on both ends for hemming. The punching process is driven by hydraulics and guided by computer control, allowing for offset notches for angled cuts. Additionally, snap-seam panels can be crafted with a profiled flap, serving as a closure.
Rollforming Excellence in Ohio
First Choice Exteriors, with its manufacturing arm Classic Metals, is a hub for producing metal roofing and other exterior home products like vinyl siding, windows, and doors. Kevin told us they handle custom shapes and sizes according to diverse customer needs. Special requests aren’t steered away from at First Choice. Custom widths or lengths aren’t a problem for the SSQ II MultiPro, making it easy for Kevin’s crew to accommodate. This, Kevin views, is part of First Choice Exterior’s customer-centric approach.
A significant portion of their clientele includes contractors. Kevin highlights a unique service only a portable rollformer like the SSQ II MultiPro can provide – fabricating panels directly at job sites. This approach allows for final adjustments on-site, saving contractors an extra trip and reducing risks like damage to the panels. The on-site advantages differentiate First Choice Exteriors from much of its competition by putting the customers’ needs at the center of the operation.
On-Site Panel Fabrication Advantages
The portable SSQ II on a trailer has proven advantageous. It resolves the challenge of transporting long panels, like 45-footers, which is difficult from an in-house setup, saves on transportation costs and the risk of damage to panels during delivery. “You don’t have to worry about crating, scratching, damaging the panels, and also it’s longer lengths,” Kevin said.
The biggest and perhaps most visible advantage is the customization that can take place onsite. Whether it’s planned in advance or an idea that just surfaced, the portable rollformer can run out the custom panels on the spot. Otherwise, you’re measuring, ordering from a vendor, and hoping they get it right and on time. Plus, according to Kevin, customization makes the work more interesting.
“We get into some specialist stuff, whether it’s different panel widths. You know, we’ve had people come to us say, Hey, we want to go twenty-four inches wide. Can you do it?” Kevin recalls. “We can do that, you know, custom ordering coil, a custom collar, so on and so forth. So we get involved in some of that, and that breaks up the mundane everyday job.”
Metal Panel Production with Customization:
Customization is a key aspect of their business. From offering different panel widths to unique colors, Kevin talks about how they cater to special requests, keeping their work dynamic and interesting as they work with a variety of designs and structures. One nearby structure featuring their panels was a restaurant we visited after meeting with Kevin. The building seemed to represent the partnership between First Choice Exteriors and NTM, as the SSQ II was the tool used to realize the vision of the building’s design.
NTM Rollforming Partnership and Problem-Solving:
As a general manager, Kevin values rapid problem-solving and efficient communication, especially when production issues arise. He emphasizes the importance of partnering with high-quality machine manufacturers who are responsive and proactive in addressing issues, such as the quick resolution of a panel dimpling problem he once had that was resolved right away with help from the NTM support team.
“You know, in the past, we might have had some suggestions,” Kevin explained, “things that we felt that could be improved. And I definitely feel that NTM has put the effort in to try to address any of those issues.”
The Future of Metal Roofing
Kevin Yoder’s insights from First Choice Exteriors provide a glimpse into the evolving world of metal roofing manufacturing. Their focus on innovation, customer satisfaction, and quality partnerships underscores the dynamic nature of this industry. With new innovations like the board & batten metal wall profile for the SSQ II, new designs and patterns in metal coil, and continued growth in the metal construction industry, First Choice Exteriors should stay busy for many years to come.
Is Panel Notching Right for Me?
The SSQ II MultiPro offers the notching system as an option. Like Kevin, many customers have discovered the value of notching in streamlining workflow, saving job time and labor costs. If you would like to know more about the notching option, the SSQ II MultiPro, or any of our machines or accessories, reach out to one of our account managers.