Portable Roof Panel Machine Maintenance: What You Should Know

Machine service & troubleshooting
Katie Bowles|February 18, 2020
NTM portable roof and wall panel rollforming machines

The best way to keep any machinery or equipment in working condition for a long time is to perform routine maintenance. Portable roof panel machine maintenance includes checking the condition of the working parts of your machine, keeping them clean and well lubricated, and just inspecting your machine routinely to keep it in long-lasting condition. Making a habit of routinely maintaining your rollformer can make a difference in how your machine operates, as well as the quality of the end product.

At New Tech Machinery (NTM), our Service Department experts are there to help assist with any repairs on your portable roof panel machine. However, we understand the importance of educating our customers on how to properly maintain their machines to prevent major repairs and to keep their machines running for a long time.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • Why routine maintenance is an important part of keeping your portable roof panel machine in good condition
  • What kind of maintenance you should be doing on your roof panel machine
  • How often maintenance should be done and the steps to take to keep your roof panel machine running for a long time

Why Is Rollforming Machine Maintenance Important?

If you own a car, you understand that routine maintenance and service can keep it running for a long time, maintain its peak performance, and prevent unnecessary repairs in the long run.

The same applies to portable rollforming machinery

One of the best ways to keep your portable rollformer running at its best is to keep it cleaned, inspected, and properly maintained. Not only will your machine last longer, but it also improves the quality of the end product manufactured. 

Keep up with portable rollforming machine maintenance and you will see many benefits, including:

  • Longevity to the mechanical and electrical components, as well as the overall life of the machine
  • Safer performance out of your machine
  • Better working condition from your machine
  • Less money spent on future repairs, parts, or machine service
  • Higher-quality end products, which will also improve your customer satisfaction

Without the proper and regular maintenance of your portable rollforming machine, there are some issues you may run into, including: 

  • Lost jobs and money due to needing machine service or repairs
  • Delayed run times
  • Deformed or unusable panels produced by the machine
(article) Portable Roof Panel Machine Maintenance: What You Should Know

Not only does your job performance become affected, but your machine’s output and end-product could become compromised if maintenance isn’t done regularly and correctly.

Panel markings are a common problem in roof panel machines. They can be caused when dirt and debris becomes trapped in the drive rollers and forming rollers. This causes scratches in the metal panel. Panel markings can also be caused by metal material scraping against the Entry or Exit Shear Dies.

Shear Blade dullness can occur when the shear isn’t lubricated well enough to get a clean cut through the material. Make sure you routinely apply lubricant to the shear blade, otherwise rust can form, and the blade may make unclean cuts.

What Is Involved in Machine Maintenance?

Not everyone runs their machine every day or uses their machine in the same way as others, so the timing of machine maintenance will vary for machine owners based on their use of their machine. 

If you’re using your roof panel rollforming machine daily, you’ll want to make sure you check your machine weekly and clean it regularly. This can help keep your portable rollforming equipment in great condition so it won’t need major service or repairs later. Do this regularly to help save you time and money in the long run, ensure you catch any issues, and so it won’t take even longer to clean or inspect in the future.

Here are some common maintenance actions and machine owner best practices to keep in mind if you want your machine to last a long time:

  • Keep the machine clean and free of debris and dust. This helps ensure that your material won’t get damaged when ran through the machine, and your rollers won’t get dirty.
  • Avoid storing the machine outdoors for long periods. Cover it with a tarp but make sure there’s enough ventilation to prevent condensation and rust. 
  • Avoid storing or transporting the machine with material in the rollers or fed into the machine. When you leave material in the machine it helps gather more dust and debris, ruining the polyurethane rollers and heat treated rollers.
  • Inspect that all parts work the way they should.
  • Make any necessary machine adjustments.
  • Check tension on chains.
  • Check for any fluid or oil leaks, either from hydraulic systems or if your machine is powered by gas.
  • Inspect fuses, battery, electrical connections, and the controller.
  • Check for damaged tooling and overwear of screws and bolts.

Download the complete roof panel and gutter machine maintenance schedule

How Often Should I Keep Up Maintenance on My Roof Panel Machine?

All of NTM’s portable roof panel machines have routine and common maintenance procedures you can do, based on how often you run your machine. If you use your machine at a normal operating level, try to take any maintenance actions two to three times a week, checking it over at least once a week. The more often you maintain and inspect your machine, the less time it will take you overall to keep up with routine cleaning, and other items. 

Please note that not every machine will use this same specific timing or instructions, but the below recommendations are based on the SSQ II™ MultiPro Roof Panel Machine manual:

Every 30 hours of operation – Lubricate the three main drive gears with Open Gear Spray Lubricant (recommended).

Every 40 hours of operation – Lubricate the chains with dry motorcycle chain lube or equivalent.

Daily – Clean and lubricate Top Blades, Bottom Dies and Male/Female Dies of the Shear Blade with Spray Lube so they last longer. More should be added as needed before the cut edges begin to deteriorate, or whenever cutting surfaces look dry. Weekly – Check hydraulic oil fluid levels, otherwise it will degrade if it remains stagnate in the system for too long. The hydraulic system operates the Shear and Drive assemblies, so it must be properly maintained to ensure trouble-free operation and longevity. 

The fluid level should be about 6” below the top of the filler neck (refer to your machine specific manual for oil level specifications). Also, note the color and condition of the fluid. Good and clean fluid should be clear in color.

Yearly – Every year it’s recommended to change the hydraulic system oil and filter, especially if portable rollforming machinery is used outdoors and exposed to the elements. Change the fluid more frequently if the machine is constantly operating in a dusty environment or if the fluid becomes contaminated. The filter should be replaced when the red Replacement Indicator sticks up.

(article) Portable Roof Panel Machine Maintenance: What You Should Know

Portable Roof Panel Machine Maintenance: Tips and Guidelines

For these roof panel machine maintenance guidelines, we’re going to follow the SSQ II MultiPro Roof Panel Machine manual, but general maintenance actions are similar for all of NTM’s roof panel machines. (For some of them you will clean the Forming Rollers with a small amount of solvent and a Scotch Brite-Pad, but only clean the Drive Rollers with soap, water or mild solvent-free spray cleaner.)

Tools you may need for maintenance on your roof panel machine may include: a wrench or socket, screwdriver, or hex key, but refer to your specific machine’s manual for detailed instructions and tools needed. Also in your manual are recommended lubricants to use when cleaning machine parts.

Remember, before doing any maintenance on your machine:

  • Read and understand the machine manual before attempting to operate the machine.
  • Always keep guards, covers, and lids mounted to the machine during operation.
  • Observe and obey all safety and warning signs affixed to the machine.
  • Always adhere to and follow all local and national safety codes concerning the loading and unloading of reeled coils.
  • Use only properly rated devices for lifting reeled coils into or out of the reel stand assembly.
  • Do not wear loose clothing, jewelry, etc. that could become entangled in moving parts of the machine when in operation.
  • Stop the machine and disconnect power before attempting to make any adjustments, perform any maintenance or changeover procedures.
  • Follow safe handling of the lubricants according to the SDS.
  • It is the responsibility of the end user to take into consideration safe instructions for loading the material, safe access to lubricating parts, changing the roller sets and maintaining the machinery. Machinery is to be operated and maintained by qualified personnel.
  • Do not use solvents to clean Drive Rollers.

According to the machine manual, general maintenance actions to perform on the SSQ II MultiPro Roof Panel Machine are as follows:

  • Keep the machine clean. A clean machine provides clean products, as well as increases the life of the machine and makes maintenance easier over time. 
  • Visually inspect the machine for foreign objects, debris, or anything unusual. If something doesn’t seem quite right, inspect and remedy before operation of equipment.
  • Keep chains properly tensioned. This adds to the life of the chains and sprockets. The chains should be just snug.
  • Lubricate the chains a minimum of every 40 hours of operation. It’s preferable to use a dry motorcycle chain lube or equivalent. 
  • Lubricate the three main drive gears a minimum of every 30 hours of operation. Use of an Open Gear Spray Lubricant is recommended.
  • Keep Entry Guide Carriage clean and lubricated as needed with Spray Lube.
  • Keep Bead Roller Carriage Shafts clean and lubricated with Spray Lube.
  • Lubricate 5 Acme Shafts with Spray Lube as needed.
  • Lubricate Mitre-Gears on ends of Acme Shafts with Spray Lube as needed.
  • Keep Arbor Cradles lubricated with Clear Grease.
  • Lubricate Arbor Nut using a grease gun with EP Grease when threads begin to look dry.
  • Clean Drive Rollers with soap and water and a Scotch-Brite Pad. DO NOT use harsh chemicals or solvents, which will damage the rollers. You can tell the drive rollers need to be cleaned when they leave a stripe the width of the drive roller on the formed panels that won’t come off easily, or if material is used with an oily film on it.
  • Lubricate both faces of the Shear Blades and Dies a minimum of once daily (about every 30 cuts) with Spray Lube. More should be added as needed before the cut edges begin to deteriorate. Proper lubrication prevents rust, ensures clean cuts, and protects the life of the shear. 

(Note: The shear is extremely dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury or death. For this reason, the machine is provided with a guard to prevent the operator from reaching into the shear. It is crucial that the guard remains in place at all times when the machine is in operation. The guard should only be removed for maintenance and adjustment of the shear when the machine is unplugged/unpowered.)

*Before performing any maintenance on your machine, please refer back to your specific machine manual, which can be found on our website. Specific instructions on how to perform maintenance actions can be found there, as well as when to perform machine maintenance.

(article) Portable Roof Panel Machine Maintenance: What You Should Know

Final Thoughts

One of the best ways to keep your portable roof panel rollforming machine in long-lasting condition, and avoid future problems and repairs, is to keep it maintained. Always refer to your machine manual for instructions on how to keep your machine properly maintained and operated.

Routine maintenance on your portable rollformer has its benefits. Proper maintenance of your equipment:

  • Extends life to the mechanical and electrical components, as well as the entire machine
  • Provides safer performance out of your machine
  • Keeps your machine free from bigger problems in the future
  • Saves you money from potential repairs, parts, or machine service in the future
  • Ensures your machine produces higher-quality panels, improving customer satisfaction

For over 30 years, New Tech Machinery has been manufacturing portable rollforming equipment and helping to make sure our customers get the most out of their machine by providing them with best practices to use to keep their equipment running and in tip-top condition. 

If you ever have a maintenance question or need troubleshooting assistance, please contact one of our knowledgeable rollforming service specialists today.

Need help with your machine? Visit the NTM Service & Support Center