Owners and operators of rollforming machines for roof panel or gutter installation already understand that sometimes service is needed: things break, or parts need to be replaced. It can be scary when you depend on those machines to run well and efficiently so customers are happy. It may even mean losing work and money to get your equipment fixed and back to normal.
Luckily, there are signs to help you determine if portable rollforming machine service is needed. This can make a difference in getting your machine fixed sooner, or to make arrangements ahead of time if you know your machine will be out of commission.
At New Tech Machinery (NTM) our service department has seen it all. We’ve helped repair many machines throughout our 29 years of manufacturing portable rollforming machinery, so we know what signs you should be aware of as a machine owner or operator to get things fixed as soon as possible.
In this article, we will walk you through:
- What service and support NTM provides
- What you should do if you need machine service
- The cost of having your machine serviced and factors that can affect that price
- How to know when your machine needs service or support
What Service Does New Tech Machinery Provide on Portable Rollforming Machines?
It’s important to keep your portable rollforming machinery properly maintained, but it’s equally critical that you don’t wait to get service or repairs on your machine if needed. Service you may need depends on how you use your machine, what kinds of materials go through your rollformer, and how you maintain your machine.
Depending on how you use your portable rollforming equipment, prompt service and/or repair on your machinery can extend its life, and maintain higher quality products.
We service New Tech Machinery brands of rollforming machines and their accessories/parts like:
- Electrical and mechanical parts inside the machine
- Hydraulic system components
- Forming rollers
- Overhead reel racks
- Limited parts on the trailers and gas engines
We also service machines anywhere in the world. However, travel expenses would be up to the customer to pay for.
If You Need Service on Portable Rollforming Machinery, What Should You Do?
First things first, if you think your machine needs service, contact our Denver facility. Starting the conversation with our service technicians allows us to help determine what kind of issues you’re having with your machine, and the best course of action to take from there. Also, send us pictures or videos of the problems so we can see the issues you’re experiencing. To get the right information about your machine and warranty, we’ll ask for the serial number and model number of your portable rollformer.
After the initial discussion, we’ll put a game plan together to determine if we need to have the machine shipped to us for service, or if we can travel to your location and bring any replacement parts. From there, we’ll try to give you an estimated service time (this will vary depending on the machine, the problems it’s having, and if you need replacement parts), and send over the quote to sign.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Portable Rollforming Machine Service
Owning a portable rollforming machine for your roofing or gutter installation business is an investment, and a big part of that investment is making sure your machine runs well for a long time.
As with any machine or piece of equipment, the more you run it, the more you have to make sure parts are working correctly, and service your machine. Knowing when your machine needs service, and the best course of action to take, will help ensure you get back to jobs faster, make money, and keep your customers happy.
We base our service costs on the time it will take. (You can check this on your quote document.) Labor is $125 an hour. This does not include any replacement parts, additional service or repair needed.
However, there are other factors that affect the cost of service, not just labor.
Age and condition of the machine – Do you keep your machine routinely maintained? Do you mainly use your machine at a job site or inside a shop? Is it kept indoors and away from the elements? Do you leave a cover on it?
The age of your machine, and the condition in which you keep it, can affect how long it will take us to service the machine and if it will require replacement parts. The older the machine, the longer it typically takes to service it.
Cost of parts – Not only are there labor costs, but you may also have to pay for replacement parts. At New Tech Machinery, we will let you know what we’re currently selling the parts for. We can also walk you through installing them.
Travel arrangements – There may be some additional travel costs, especially if it requires our service technicians to come to your site, check out the issues, and/or repair the machine. You can also come to our facility in Denver to have your machine checked out and serviced.
Warranty coverage – If you are still within the three-years limited machine warranty timeframe, that covers any replacement, repairs or service to parts (including electrical).
Since needing to have your machine or parts serviced or replaced isn’t ideal for most machine owners, the best things you can do to make sure your machine stays in good working condition are:
- Routine rollforming machine maintenance and inspection of equipment
- Keep your rollformer out of harsh weather and environments
- Keep covers and guards on your machine during operation
- Use cleaning agents and lubricants as specified by the manufacturer
- Only run manufacturer-specified material through your machine
5 Signs Your Portable Rollforming Machine Needs Service
We try to help portable rollforming machine owners figure out problems as much as possible by providing video tutorials and machine manuals to troubleshoot issues they may be having. However, there may be times you run into problems that only our service department can fix. Whether it’s that your machine needs a replacement part, or it’s something technical that is too complicated to fix on your own, we’re here to help get your machine back up and running.
Note: Before checking anything electrical on the machine, make sure it’s disconnected from any power sources, and that the guards are on. Please refer to your machine manual for exact electrical and gas-powered specifications based on your machine.
Here are five signs you should be aware of that may indicate your machine needs service or repair:
1. The Machine won’t Start
If your machine isn’t starting, either when using electric or gas as a power source, that could mean a few different things:
- If your machine runs on electricity, there could be something wrong with the actual electrical system, or the main power source.
- Also, check the fuses. If your machine keeps blowing a fuse, there may be a short in the system. If that’s the case, you will need replacement fuses.
- If your machine runs via gas engine, check the battery. If your e-stop button was left pulled out, it can cause the battery to drain. You should also make sure the fuel line is on.
2. The Machine won’t Drive Material
If your machine isn’t driving the material through the machine, you’ll want to call for service help. The drive systems in most of our machines run using a hydraulic motor, which transfers power to the drive assemblies using spur gears and a top and bottom drive shaft. If you’re having issues with your rollformer not driving material through, it could mean that there’s an issue with hydraulic or electrical systems inside the machine.
Dirty hydraulic oil and filters can cause problems. The hydraulic oil is only good for so long and requires changing, along with the filter, every year on our portable roof panel machines. If it’s not changed, this oil will degrade over time as the machine runs. Also, if you don’t keep a cap on the hydraulic tank, dirt can infiltrate inside and get clogged, causing the valves inside the hydraulic system to fail.
There could also be a wiring issue that’s causing electrical problems with the machine.
There’s a limit switch and relay system that controls the machines. This system prevents the shear and drive functions from interacting at the same time. For example, while the shear is in operation, the drive will not function, and vice versa. This helps prevent unsafe operation of the machine. If there’s a malfunction with the limit switch and relay system, or if the wiring isn’t getting a connection, that can cause the drive system to fail.
The problem could also be a mechanical one; something may be wrong with the chain system and gearing. A broken chain could be preventing the rollers from moving, or it could be a broken drive gear. (Drive gears are only found on the SSQ II and original SSQ.)
3. The Machine won’t Cut Material
The shear on most of our portable roof panel machines is electrically activated and hydraulically driven. If your machine isn’t cutting material, that means the shear isn’t working. It could be a leak in the hose or hydraulic system for the shear assembly.
If the hose breaks off, oil won’t flow through the device to make the shear function. The same applies if there’s an oil leak. If not enough oil is getting to the shear, maybe from a leak in the hydraulic system, it won’t work or cut material.
NOTE: The shear is extremely dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury or death. For this reason, the machine comes with a guard to prevent the operator from reaching into the shear. It is critical that the guard remains in place at all times when the machine is in operation. Remove the guard only for maintenance and adjustment of the shear, when power is shut down from the machine.
4. There are Issues with the Controller
Most of our machines (SSQ II, SSQ, BG7, SSH, and 5VC-5V) use the PLC controller. The SSQ II™ Roof Panel Machine must use the NTM200 controller when the notching option is included or desired as a future add-on option. Both of these devices control running the machine, the shear, and certain job functions of the machine (length of panels run, quantity of parts to run, and coil length calculator). If you’re having issues with your controller, you might need new parts or troubleshooting help with our service techs.
If your machine isn’t producing material to the correct length, it could be a problem with the encoder. The encoder is a wheel that tracks footage of material that goes through the machine. It may be that this piece of the controller has failed, or there’s a crash inside the machine where the encoder isn’t making contact with the controller. It could also be a bad cable connection between the encoder and the controller.
We also advise that you properly and carefully handle your controllers. They can be removed from the rollforming machines when not in use or during transportation of the machine. If you’re not careful with these devices, throwing them into the truck or accidentally dropping them off of the trailer, this can also cause issues inside the controller.
5. There are Weird Noises or Vibrations Coming from the Machine
Rollforming machines aren’t quiet, but you will know what sounds are ordinary, and which ones should raise a red flag. If you hear a sound coming from your machine that isn’t usual, it may be worth investigating by our service department. Irregular noises or vibrations could mean that the machine itself, or something inside of it, is out of adjustment, broken, or loose.
Grinding, rattling, and irregular noises, or excessive vibrations, coming from these elements of the machine could mean there’s a problem:
- Hydraulic pump
- Gas or electric motors
- Drive system
- Drive shafts and gears
- Chains and alignment
We know that having your portable rollforming machinery out for service can be problematic not only for your business but also for your customers. Proper maintenance is an important factor in keeping your equipment running well and for a long time. Knowing what signs to look for can make a difference in getting your machine serviced correctly and quickly.
Look out for these signs that your machine may need service so that you can call us right away and we can take care of any problems for you as quickly as possible:
- Your machine won’t start
- Your machine won’t drive material
- Your machine’s shear won’t cut
- Your machine’s controller isn’t working
- You notice your machine making weird noises or vibrations
For over 30 years, New Tech Machinery has been manufacturing and servicing portable rollforming equipment and helping our customers with machine issues and technical support. We know how critical it is to keep your portable rollforming equipment running, as your jobs depend on it.
If you have any questions about our service and support department or if your machine needs service, contact us to speak to one of our rollforming specialists.