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Cost & What to Look for When Buying a Portable Roof Panel Rollformer

Julianne Calapa August 29, 2018

Buying a portable roof panel rollforming machine is a big step for any contractor, manufacturer, or other business. Ensure you know the cost and what to look for in a new and used machine before you buy.

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited to reflect 2021 pricing on our machines. 

Cost. Price. Investment. Amount.

No matter what you call it, how much something costs is easily one of the most prominent factors to know when you’re purchasing a portable roof panel rollforming machine for your business. Especially because owning or leasing a portable rollformer allows you to take control of your own production, cut out unwanted costs, and enables you to diversify what products/services your business can offer.

In other words: It’s an important investment.

That being said, the price tag isn’t everything. There are many other factors, attributes, and functions that you should look for in both new and used roof panel machines before you put down any money.

Here at New Tech Machinery, we’ve helped thousands of contractors and manufacturers through the portable roof panel rollforming machine buying process, so we feel confident that sharing our knowledge will help you become an educated consumer

In this article, we will cover:

  • The cost of some portable roof/wall panel machines
  • What factors affect the price of a rollformer
  • Common machine accessories and add-ons you can choose from
  • What to look for as you purchase a new or used machine

Cost of a Portable Roof or Wall Panel Rollforming Machine

So what is the cost of a portable roof or wall panel rollforming machine?

Well, it depends.

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In fact, it depends on numerous factors, which we will discuss in the next section of this article. In the meantime, we believe it’s important for you to know the bases prices of the roof panel machines that we manufacture and sell here at New Tech Machinery:

Keep in mind, these are just the base prices for each machine and do NOT account for accessories and add-ons offered at the time of purchase. For detailed information about these machines and how they differ from one another, click on the links provided to read up on each machine’s individual functions, features, and options.

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Roof Panel Rollformer Cost Factors & Add-ons

Common Factors Affecting the Price of a Machine

You might be asking yourself: What makes one portable roof panel rollforming machine cost more than another machine?

The answer lies within the unique features, functions, and additions that a machine does or doesn’t offer. For example, here are some items that tend to make a rollformer cost more:

  • Versatility – Roof panel machines that can produce more than one panel profile are going to be more expensive. For example, our SSQ MultiPro machine offers 15 different quick change tooling options (residential panels, wall panels, and structural panels), which is one reason why it costs more than the SSH and SSR models that offer less versatility.
  • Hydraulics – If a machine is hydraulically driven, which increases speed and automates the shear, it will also increase the cost. Plus, the larger the machine, the more likely it is to have hydraulics to keep the machine continuously running, while smaller entry-level rollformers will be electrically driven with manual shears. 
  • Electronic controller – Machines that include computer-operated controllers that automate the panels to desired measurements, usually cost more. Controllers can also be offered as optional equipment.
  • Drive system – Another defining factor in regards to price revolves around the drive roller system within the machine. The number and type of drive rollers used determines the thickness and gauge of material that can be run through it, which raises the price tag.
panel exiting portable roof panel machine

Roof Panel Machine Add-ons & Accessories

Beyond the just the standard rollforming machine, many options and functions can be added that will increase the price. Some of the most common accessories and add-ons include:

Keep in mind, you can purchase any portable roof panel rollforming machine without any of these add-ons. However, some of these items may be a necessity in your specific business situation, while others might be considered “nice-to-haves” or options to explore in the future.

What to Look for in a New Portable Roof Panel Machine

The best way to make sure you purchase the right portable roof panel machine is to be an educated consumer right from the beginning, as this equipment is a significant part of your business and production, In other words, it directly affects your profits.

You don’t necessarily want to buy the first new portable roof panel rollforming machine you look at. It’s important to compare and contrast attributes among the ones you’re interested in. When looking at your options, check for the following:

  • Separate drive and forming rollers – The best rollforming machines tend to be ones with separate drive and forming rollers. Separating the two results in less stress on the metal because the rollers aren’t trying to form and drive the metal at the same time.
  • Post-cut or pre-cut – There’s a noticeable difference between cutting the metal before it enters the forming stations (pre-cut) and after it exits the forming stations (post-cut). What option to choose depends on your personal preference and individual business needs. Here’s a further description of how the two differ:
    • Post-cut – The metal part is formed first in the forming stations and cut AFTERWARD. One benefit of cutting after forming is complete is there are no length restrictions. Products can be cut as small as one foot long or shorter without any issues.
    • Pre-cut – The metal is cut BEFORE it goes through the forming stations at the entry of the machine. Conversely to post-cut, there are short length restrictions on pre-cut machine shears. However, pre-cut offers a cleaner cut than post-cut machines.
  • How many profiles the machine runs – If you want to offer many different profile options to your customers, you’ll want to make sure the new machine can accommodate tooling changes for the profiles you want to buy. You may also want to verify that the offered profiles are capable of passing the engineering and testing requirements that you may need.
  • Machine speed – Most portable rollformers run fast and consistent enough so that panels can be continuously put up on the roofing structure. That being said, some machines may run slower or quicker depending on the use of hydraulics, so be sure to verify how fast it can run panels. 
  • Warranties – Before you buy new equipment, always make sure you know about the warranties on the machine or the various parts that are offered with the purchase. For example, NTM’s SSQ MultiPro Roof Panel Machines feature these warranties:
    • Three years on parts (including electrical) / Three years labor
    • Limited lifetime separation on drive rollers
  • Servicing, parts availability, and training – No one wants their new machine to run into issues, but it’s imperative to know what to do if it does occur. This is why you should always ask the manufacturer if they offer service and training for the machines they sell. Plus, check how quickly they are typically able to get service or replacement parts when a machine goes down.
  • Machine size – The size of the machine (length and weight) can make a difference for some contractors. This especially true if you don’t plan to purchase a trailer for the rollformer because you may already have another form of transportation that might have size restrictions.

What to Look for in a Used Portable Roof Panel Machine

Let’s say you’re not quite ready for a brand new rollforming machine, which is very common for new or smaller businesses, so you want to look into purchasing a used roof panel machine. While New Tech Machinery doesn’t directly deal in used machines, many contractors do sell their used rollforming equipment.

That being said, buying a used machine comes with its own set of precautions. To get a better idea of the used rollformer, check out the following attributes (in addition to the items in the new machine section):

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  • View and test the used machine in person – A problem consumers run into time and time again is buying a roof panel machine without ever looking at it and/or checking the machine’s capabilities in person. Running metal through the machine is easily the most essential task to do when looking into used equipment, especially before any money is exchanged. We can’t stress this point enough: It’s up to you as a buyer to make the seller run material through the machine to create panels for EVERY profile and size to prove the machine functions correctly.
  • Check the inside and outside – Exterior looks on a portable roof panel machine aren’t everything, but if you find a machine that looks really bad on the outside, it also could mean that the inside might not have been maintained either. You could even run into a situation where the outside of the machine looks great, but the interior has issues. This is why it’s vital to check the quality of the rollers to ensure they are still in good working condition.
  • Factory warranties and are they transferrable – Warranties are a huge selling point for new machines, but that doesn’t mean that a used machine isn’t warranted. Always ask the seller beforehand if:
    • A) There are one or more warranties still valid on the machine.
    • B) The warranties are transferable from owner to owner.
  • Included parts – Depending on the seller, the components, accessories, and add-ons included with the used machine can vary dramatically. Always make a point to ask about:
    • Tooling/roller sets
    • Computer controller
    • Trailers
    • Reels
    • Decoilers
    • Run-out stands
    • Power packs
    • Machine covers
  • Age of the machine – Luckily, if the machine is maintained and taken care of, it can last for years without severe signs of wear and tear. However, if the rollformer is older and it looks unmaintained, it might not be worth purchasing.
  • Machine location – There are specific environments, such as those on the coast, that can cause a machine to prematurely rust. In most cases, the rust can be cleaned off, but still look for it before you buy so it doesn’t continue to further degrade.

Final Thoughts

(article) Cost & What to Look for When Buying a Portable Roof Panel Rollformer

Buying a portable roof panel rollforming machine can give you the competitive edge in your region and take your business to the next level. But you want to make sure you’re buying the right machine, new or used, with the accessories and options that you need.

Keep in mind:

  • The base cost of a roof panel rollformer normally doesn’t include many accessories or add-ons, which increase the price but add more functionality, ease-of-use, and end-user satisfaction.
  • Many variables affect the cost of a rollformer, including versatility, hydraulics, technology, and drive systems.
  • Make sure the new machines you’re looking at offer the features you’re looking for, such as profiles (roller sets), pre- or post-cut shears, speed, etc.
  • When purchasing used equipment, always go see the machine in person and run material in every panel profile and size the rollformer can produce.

At New Tech Machinery, we’ve been manufacturing portable roof panel machines for over 27 years. Whether you’re a contractor, manufacturer, or someone looking to break into the industry, we’re dedicated to answering your questions and helping you find the best roof panel machine to fit your needs.

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