How to Order Metal Coil for Your Portable Roof Panel Machine

Metal materials & types
Katie Bowles|July 29, 2022

So you’ve purchased your first portable rollformer and are ready to use it for metal roofing projects. How do you order metal coil for your portable roof panel machine? What information do you need to know about your machine, working with coil suppliers, and your project to order the right amount and type of metal coil? 

At New Tech Machinery (NTM), we work and partner with various reputable coil suppliers, like Sheffield Metals International. We know how important it is to order the right coil so that it works properly with your NTM machine and find reputable and quality coil suppliers to do business with.

In this article, we’ll help you understand:

  • What information you should know about your portable rollformer before you order metal coil
  • Project information to know so you can order the right amount of coil
  • What to consider and understand initially when you order coil

What Should You Know About Your Portable Roof Panel Machine Before Ordering Metal Roofing Coil?

Before you begin the process of ordering metal coil for your portable rollformer, it’s critical that you understand some of the specifications of your machine that will help you figure out how much coil your machine can hold, the types and gauges of material you can use to make a quality finished roof panel, and how material gets used up when forming a profile so you can order the right coil width.

Compatible Materials and Material Usage With Your Portable Rollformer

roof panel coming out of portable rollforming machine onto run out stand

First, let’s talk about the material recommendations and how material gets used during the rollforming process to make a specific profile. This information will vary depending on your machine and whether you use an overhead reel rack or a free-standing decoiler.

What materials and gauges can you use with your NTM portable rollforming machine? While specific gauges and thicknesses vary across portable roof panel machines and manufacturers, New Tech Machinery roof panel machines have been tested for the following materials with limited adjustments (thicknesses vary by machine):

  • Painted, Galvalume®, or coated galvanized steel: ranges from 28 ga. to 22 ga.
  • Painted aluminum: ranges from .027“ to .040”
  • Copper: 16 oz. to 20 oz. 3/4 hard 

For each portable roof panel machine, there are certain maximum coil widths you’re able to use.  From these measurements, your machine will have a specified finished panel width depending on your profile. 

Material gets used up when the male and female legs of the panel profile are formed. Most panels will use between 4” to 6” of material to make a specific profile, so knowing how wide your limitations are is helpful when ordering coil and if you’re adhering to an engineered system. Look at the material usage and maximum coverage width for the profiles you want to produce to understand how much coil you’ll need.

The specified coil widths and finished panel widths (depending on the panel profile) of New Tech Machinery’s portable roof panel machines are:

  • SSR™ MultiPro Jr. – 15” to 20” maximum coil width for 10” to 16” finished panel
  • SSH™ MultiPro – 14” to 24” maximum coil width for 10” to 20” finished panel
  • SSQ II™ MultiPro – 15” to 30” maximum coil width for 12” to 24” finished panel

Using coil widths or materials outside of what’s specified for each machine increases your risk of damaging the forming rollers or drive rollers, oil canning on the finished panels, or crashing the panel into the exit end of the machine from lack of clearance. It can also void your warranty if the machine is damaged due to the use of non-specified material types and widths.

Check your NTM machine manual for the specific material types and thickness recommended for your machine.

Portable Roof Panel Machine Specifications and Towing Requirements

portable roof panel machine on trailer at job site with material going through

When ordering the right amount and sizes of metal coil for your portable roof panel machine, understanding your machine’s dimensions plays a big role. Knowing the weight and capacity of your machine’s accessories can help ensure you’re ordering the right coil initially.

Depending on your machine’s weight and dimensions with a trailer, it may not hold all sizes of coil. Understanding the machine’s weight on a trailer, overhead reel rack capacity, and maximum coil diameters of each machine is critical when ordering coil from a supplier.

The trailer manufactured and offered by New Tech Machinery has a 12,000 lb. capacity, and each machine’s weights on a trailer are as follows (including overhead reel rack and two expandable reels):

  • SSR MuiltiPro Jr. – 4,451 lbs.
  • SSH MultiPro – 5,116 lbs.
  • SSQ II MultiPro – 5,586 lbs.

The dual overhead reel racks (weighing 336 lbs. except on the SSR, which weighs 316 lbs.) on all roof panel machines can support up to two 3,000 lb. coils, for a combined weight of 6,000 lbs when loading both expandable arbors with a coil. The SSQ II machine with optional notching can only support up to two 2,700 lb. coils because of the added weight of the notching units.

The maximum coil diameter, or outside coil diameter, measures how thick the rolled coil is. If the coil you use doesn’t fit these dimensions, it will be too big to fit the overhead reel rack or free standing decoiler. The maximum coil diameter is 32” with the overhead reel rack and 45” with the free standing decoiler.

Imperial and metric versions of Material Usage Guide on orange and blue background

Information to Know Before Ordering Material From Metal Coil Suppliers

stacks of rolled metal coil on racks in plant

When researching and talking to various metal coil suppliers about their products, finding the best ones to do business with, and knowing the ordering process, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Before talking to a metal coil supplier, understand the following about your project and portable rollforming equipment:

Project Considerations

  • How well do you know the scope of your project? Is it a residential or commercial project?
    • Knowing the entire scope of your project, whether residential or commercial work, and how complex the roof shape is, helps you effectively calculate the roof size and square footage of the roof and how much material you will need to use. You’ll also need to consider how much material you’ll need if you’re also fabricating trim pieces. 
  • What type of material and gauge is specified for the project?
    • Certain metal materials will be more expensive than others per square foot and may be less readily available either naturally or from certain suppliers or manufacturers. There are certain profiles that may need to be installed over particular substrates to adhere to the manufacturers or testing requirements. Also, knowing the materials and gauges you can run using your portable rollforming machine may limit what you can use for the project. 
  • What profiles are going to be used for the metal roof? Will you need engineered or non-engineered profiles?
    • When choosing and ordering the right metal coil for your project, you need to know what profiles will be used and if engineered or non-engineered profiles are specified.
    • If the project you’ll be doing requires engineered standards/testing, these standards/tests will dictate the panel profile and coil/panel widths you can utilize to remain within the engineering requirements.
  • What color has been decided for the project?
    • Make sure your client has confirmed what color they want to use and find out if the coil needs to be painted. As there are many color choices to use for metal roofing, there are different pain types you can utilize. Ask your coil supplier which paint type they use, how it stands up to certain weather conditions, and about warranties.

Equipment Considerations

  • What size coil can your machine handle for transporting and/or lifting the machine? Alternatively, if you’re using your machine inside a plant, is it set up to accommodate a decoiler and stock of metal coils?
    • As discussed earlier, knowing the size of your machine is important to meet the proper and safest towing requirements and weight capacities for certain roof panel machine accessories like decoilers, reel racks, and a trailer, whether transporting your machine or using it stationary in a plant.
  • What are the panel widths that are going to be used for the project?
    • If you’re using a portable rollforming machine, you will need to know the finished panel width you need for the project after you figure out the profile you’ll be producing.
    • This number varies from profile to profile and is determined by the amount of material needed to produce the male and female legs of the panel.
    • This will also help the coil supplier understand if they need to slit the material to a specific width.
  • Does the supplier offer the quality of materials you ideally want to use with your NTM machine?

When determining the amount of coil you’d need for the job, you’ll need to know the profile you’re producing, how much material gets used up when forming that profile, the actual panel width the machine will make based on the profile, coil width needed for your project, roof coverage in square feet, and waste factor percentage (based on your crew’s experience level and the job’s complexity).

Talk to your coil supplier to determine exactly how much material you need to order based on your machine and project specifications. You can refer to manufacturer or coil supplier’s profile cut sheets for help understanding coil widths, panel widths, and material usage or see if they have a coil estimation calculator.

What to Consider When Ordering Coil for Your Portable Rollforming Machine

service technician walking around SSQ II MultiPro roof panel machine with coil loaded

When you find a reputable coil supplier to order material from, what should you consider when ordering a coil for your portable rollforming machine?

  • Do your homework, research the market, and understand the fluctuation in prices and what causes them. Understand the coil length you’ll have to order, what types of materials they offer, and pricing.
  • Find out if they offer warranties with the paint systems you plan on using or the substrate. 
  • Find out if the supplier has engineered testing for the panel profiles you want to offer.
  • Be ready to pay up-front for your material before establishing any rapport with a coil supplier and signing up for credit terms. 
  • Have the coil color specified for the project. If it’s a custom color, find out if the coil supplier can manage that request.
  • See what paint, substrate, or weathertight warranties are offered and ask if technical support is available.
  • Find out if they have minimum quantities for orders or if they offer custom colors or lengths. Some suppliers might offer standard coil sizes or have minimum quantity requirements, but others may offer custom options.
  • Find out lead times from the coil supplier and understand when the project needs to be completed. This will help you determine if there’s flexibility to account for longer lead times on materials or if there’s a contract for when the project needs to be completed.
  • Find out what locations or distributors are available in your region or around the job site you’ll be working at.

Final Thoughts

rolls of various metal coils

While the process of ordering coil from different suppliers will vary, understanding your portable rollformer’s capabilities and the information you should have when talking to coil suppliers about ordering material is vital. 

When talking to suppliers and figuring out how much material to order, remember:

  • Talk to various coil suppliers about what warranties they offer, paint they use, technical support, and if engineered testing is available.
  • Understand which materials types and thicknesses your machine can run to avoid potential damage to the machine or material.
  • Make sure you know how much material gets used up when forming the profile to ensure you get the right coil width for your machine and project.
  • Be sure to know the entire scope of your metal roofing project, the colors and profiles to use, and residential vs. commercial application to purchase the right amount of coil initially.

Here at New Tech Machinery, we strive to help ensure our clients know exactly what kinds of metal materials and thicknesses their portable rollforming machines can handle properly. We also partner with and recommend some of the best coil suppliers to help you get the best coil for your NTM machine.

For references to some trusted partners and coil suppliers, or for more help understanding your machine’s coil requirements, feel free to reach out to one of our Account Managers!

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