Forty Years of Roof Leaks Solved with Standing-seam Copper

Because the show must go on, what served as a canopy-style roof at the Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston, needed repairs in short order. Byrne Metals, Humble, Texas, installed more than 18,000 square feet of copper 238T standing-seam panels during the five-month off season by calling in the rollformer from McElroy Metal that runs panels right onto the roof deck.

Improvements included replacements of the east and west wings, a new soffit for the main sloped roof and the new 20-ounce copper standing-seam roof.

Improvements included replacements of the east and west wings, a new soffit for the main sloped roof and the new 20-ounce copper standing-seam roof.

“Everyone else who had tried to fix the problems focused on trying not to change the appearance,” says Karl Schaack, P.E., president of Price Consulting, Houston. “We realized providing a leak-free solution required some change in the appearance. We got a little pushback at first, but when we explained our design, they were just happy to know it wasn’t going to leak anymore.”

“It was a very challenging job,” says Neil Byrne, president of Byrne Metals. “This is an iconic structure in Houston, originally built in 1968. At the time, it won several awards for its design.”

Unfortunately, right from the start, the design didn’t hold up against the Texas rains. For more than 40 years, anyone who was hired to fix the problem, failed.

Schaack chose 238T symmetrical panels from McElroy Metal for the project. “It’s rigid and it meets high-wind requirements,” he says. “The 238T is symmetrical so if a panel gets damaged, you only have to replace one panel.”

BEFORE: The multi-million dollar renovation in Hermann Park served to correct canopy deficiencies that caused leaks above the stage and audience.

BEFORE: The multi-million dollar renovation in Hermann Park served to correct canopy deficiencies that caused leaks above the stage and audience.

The multi-million dollar renovation in Hermann Park served to correct canopy deficiencies that caused leaks above the stage as well as the audience, putting a real damper on the theater’s cultural and educational event offerings.

Byrne Metals went to work as soon as the 2013 season concluded in early November. Improvements included replacements of the east and west wings, a new soffit for the main sloped roof and the new 20-ounce copper standing-seam roof. The profile was McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing-seam panel. “Using copper helped the new roof blend in with the original framework,” Schaack says. “Especially as it ages, it will look great, like it’s been there all along.”

Changes in design to the updated roof, as well as a watertight standing seam installation, will help prevent future leaks.

Using copper helped the new roof blend in with the original framework. The profile was McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing-seam panel.

Using copper helped the new roof blend in with the original framework. The profile was McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing-seam panel.

The roof area between the existing Corten superstructure was framed with purlins, a metal deck was installed on top of the purlins, then a 1 1/2-inch nail base was installed over the deck along with ice and water shield. A giant reverse-slope diverter was built at the intersection, where the sloping roof connected to the stage wall. Valleys were lowered below the roof plane and there was a slight change in pitch that was overcome by rounding the insulation/plywood over the pitch change.

McElroy Metal’s job-site production equipment simplified the process of installation and made the job site safer. The rollformer was hoisted to the eaves on a scissor lift where panels were conveniently run onto the roof. Not only did this method eliminate the need for an expensive crane to get panels on the roof, it was safer as some of the panels were up to 110-feet long. Because of the unique shape of the roof, panels were cut to fit on the roof.

“We specialize in the unique and difficult,” Byrne says. “This is the kind of job we like. We generally have about 20 to 30 projects under contract at any one time, but this one required a lot of personal attention from our upper management, myself included. We had as many as 30 crew members onsite, working 10-hour days and some weekends, when necessary.”

A rollformer was hoisted to the eaves on a scissor lift where panels were conveniently run onto the roof.

A rollformer was hoisted to the eaves on a scissor lift where panels were conveniently run onto the roof.

As with all Byrne Metals jobs, safety was a major consideration during the evaluation and installation. “There are three things we consider important to staying in business,” Byrne says. “Safety, quality and productivity. We have a fulltime safety person on staff making sure we’re working safely on all jobs. This job required us to take into consideration some other factors like guys working long days, getting fatigued and the speed at which we had to work to complete the job on time. We enjoy a good challenge and Miller Outdoor Theater falls into that category.”

PHOTOS: McElroy Metal

Roofinox Expands Sales and Distribution of Products in the U.S.

Roofinox International, a European-based, 30-year-old manufacturer of metal roofing materials, has announced plans to expand sales and distribution of three key products in the U.S. through its subsidiary, Roofinox America Inc.

Products include Roofinox Classic, a brush-rolled material designed for roofing and wall cladding, Roofinox Plus .0157, a ribbed surface material for smoother roofing results and economy and Roofinox Terne-Coated with a tin-plated surface that develops a matt grey patina finish over time.

The announcement comes in response to an increasing demand for Roofinox products since 2012 when the only domestic manufacturer of terne-coated steel products went out of business.

“From then on we supplied to various projects all over the U.S. with increasing quantities every year,” notes Pascal Metzler, who with his brother, Marc, own the company. “In 2014 we decided to move to the U.S. by opening an office and warehouse from where we could service the increasing demand,” he notes. Meanwhile, sales in Europe were also continuing to grow with marketing and distribution to Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden. The company also regularly supplied its unique products to various commercial projects in strong markets like Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. Last year, the company started selling the Roofinox product range in Turkey as well. And while Roofinox is currently examining business relations in several more countries, Metzler emphasizes the main efforts are now to grow market share in the U.S.

He notes the technology for his products date back to 1995 with the development of inoxidable (stainless) steel as a roofing material. The idea behind the product was to create a stainless steel specifically designed for roofing and roll-forming. “We found two major features that made it ideal for the application—mechanical properties and surface design with an architecturally distinctive matt finish for rollformed roofing panels. The product features within these two areas differentiated Roofinox from any other product in the roofing market, he contends and the success of Roofinox Classic and Roofinox tin-plated led to the development of several more products available today.

Architectural demand for Roofinox as a natural metal is very high, notes Metzler. “Aging is no problem for Roofinox because the surface is all natural and typically does not change over time.” In addition, he notes that Roofinox products achieve superior results for LEED-related construction and the sustainability of building products. “More and more building owners are looking into long-lasting and environmentally friendly products,” he notes. And there’s the issue of durability.

“Increasing weather extremes require more durable solutions for roofing and Roofinox stainless steel is the best solution for these environments because it was originally developed for Switzerland and Austria in a region known for challenging weather conditions.”

The current goal is to develop nationwide relationships with metal fabricators and installers who need a reliable source for quality architectural grade stainless steel and tin-plated materials the company offers.

Roofinox materials also offer growth potential to contractors who can now differentiate through specializing into more sophisticated work. “Some of the largest institutional building owners, such as the armed forces, school and education authorities, hospitals and churches, are specifying stainless steel for these reasons—it simply is a very high-quality roofing material,” Metzler notes.

One of the brothers’ first steps toward expansion has been the recruitment of David Rowe, a 28-year veteran of the metal roofing and wall panel industry, who has been named vice president-sales of Roofinox America Inc. Rowe joined Roofinox from Englert Inc., an American manufacturer of metal and aluminum roofing and wall panel coil, where he was director of product management responsible for the planning, development and introduction of all new products.

App Allows Access to Photos, Videos and Detailed Technical Information

Samco Machinery developed a free smartphone application allowing access to company pictures, videos as well as detailed technical information.

Samco Machinery developed a free smartphone application allowing access to company pictures, videos as well as detailed technical information.

Customers are searching for information in new ways and Samco Machinery is doing even more to put that information right at their fingertips.

Earlier this year, Samco Machinery developed a free smartphone application allowing access to company pictures, videos as well as detailed technical information. That application is now available to Android users. Once the Samco App is downloaded, it can be accessed at any time, without the need for online access.

The Samco Machinery App, available for free in the Apple Store and now in the Google Play Store, contains five sections to provide any data the potential customer may need.

  • About Samco Machinery: contains company information, a product gallery and the corporate video.
  • Markets: contains spec sheets and machine videos relating to the various industries served by Samco.
  • RFQ: allows customers to submit a request for information.
  • Support: features a link to the company website as well as the names, titles and email addresses of support staff.
  • News: hosts the latest company news, media coverage, as well as providing up to date trade show information.

Buying New vs. Used Equipment: What’s Best for You?

Successful businesses are run by people who are prudent with how money is spent or reinvested into the business. The bigger the expenditure, the more research may be required to make the best decision.

The purchase of rollforming equipment is certainly a major investment in your business. Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.

Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.

Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.


Is a new piece of equipment the best investment, or is there an opportunity to purchase a quality used rollformer at a significant savings? Being an OEM, obviously, I’m in favor of a customer buying new equipment—it eliminates a lot of worries and potential headaches. Purchasing a rollformer is more complex than purchasing a standalone production unit. Rollforming machines are one component in a system that has many moving parts; they require a great deal of synchronization to produce accurate components at relatively high speeds. The use of an OEM rollforming system manufacturer is highly recommended, if for no other reason than your own protection.

Having said that, there are obvious situations where the purchase of a good piece of used equipment makes sense. Purchasing used equipment is a viable market because the brand name machines are built to last. There exists a certain psychology out there, it’s the first inclination to look for a deal, for something used.

One good place to purchase used equipment is from someone who needs to downsize their business or perhaps to raise cash. A machine from a company in a different geographic market could make a great buy, price-wise, and you could purchase a machine that is ready to go, ready to start producing. One advantage with purchasing equipment in this fashion is the buyer can usually see the machine in action before writing a check. Plus, your production start is only dependent on how long it takes to transport and set up the equipment. Waiting for custom-made equipment from an OEM may take up to six months. You’re making money only when your machine is up and running.

A word of caution with purchasing used equipment from an individual … make sure there are no liens or encumbrances.

Another viable option for purchasing used equipment is at an auction. A general rule is that you should not pay more than 60 percent of the price of a new machine. That also applies when purchasing equipment from a dealer, which can be even trickier. Buyer beware is the general rule when buying from a dealer because you’re buying “as is” and “where is.” You don’t get to see the machine in operation, so you can’t know what problems you may have to deal with.

Purchasing used equipment from an individual or a dealer also means you have no OEM warranty and OEM technical support and training. We’ve had customers who required a second round of training … you don’t know what you don’t know until you turn on the machine.

With the purchase of used equipment, you’re also missing out on the newest technology, a part of the life cycle of the machine, as well as any depreciation allowance. Technology is changing all the time. The newest technology enables your machine to run a higher speeds, produce the most accurate products and allow for the greatest amount of flexibility with the geometry of products with the same tooling.

An often overlooked consideration when purchasing used equipment is the quality of your in-house maintenance staff. Maintaining these machines is vital to keeping them running. I’ve seen customers who have the staff to make it work and I’ve seen companies whose idea of maintenance is running the machine until it breaks. That’s zero-maintenance and it ends up being expensive.

The purchase price of used equipment is usually only part of the investment. Most likely, you still will require an OEM to rebuild the equipment, add tooling and, in most cases, new electronics. These can be challenging items to budget, requiring more of your time in the form of research. OEMs are certainly capable of rebuilding basic machines and augmenting the entire system with new pieces of updated equipment, electronics and technologies.

We refurbish equipment, both ours and rollformers manufactured by others. Most of it ranges from 10 to 30 years old. People come to us with machines they want us to get running at 80 feet per minute. That’s an unknown with used equipment. It doesn’t matter how big the motor is, if the gears will only allow a machine to run 40 feet per minute, that’s all you’re going to get out of it.

Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.

Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.


Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.

Finally, beware of any equipment that was stored outside. If someone comes to us with equipment that’s been stored outside and wants to know what’s worth, we tell them whatever they can get for scrap. If it sat outside for any amount of time, that’s what it’s worth. Damaging rust is not always visible to the naked eye, so it will require an in-depth inspection of the gear boxes. It’s probably not worth the potential problems.

At the end of the day, it’s a cost-benefit situation. If your volume of production justifies new, buy new. The life cycle of a new machine is highly predictable when you’re in control of the maintenance.

If anticipated volume will be low, a used line may make more sense. However, please take into consideration if the brand is still in business. If not, spare parts can become a huge issue … not to mention the obvious lack of support.

PHOTOS: Samco Machinery

Access Rollforming Information, Pictures, Videos and More through App

Samco Machinery has developed a free application that will allow access to company rollforming information, pictures, videos and technical information.

Samco Machinery has developed a free application that will allow access to company rollforming information, pictures, videos and technical information.

Samco Machinery has developed a free application that will allow access to company information, pictures, videos and technical information. Once the Samco App is downloaded, it can be accessed at any time, without the need for online access. The app, currently available in the iTunes store, contains five sections—About Samco Machinery, Markets, RFQ, Support, News—to provide any data a potential customer may need.

Unique Options Available for Roof Panel Machines

When ordering your roof panel machine, New Tech Machinery offers a lot of options so customers can order exactly what they need.

When ordering your roof panel machine, New Tech Machinery offers a lot of options so customers can order exactly what they need.

When ordering your roof panel machine, New Tech Machinery offers a lot of options so customers can order exactly what they need. One option unique to New Tech Machinery is the Quick Change Power Pac offered for both gas and electric power. Several different electric motor options are available.

Having this versatile option allows the user to operate the machine in the factory or out in the field depending on need. Change from gas to electric power or vice versa in 10 minutes or less. This option is available on SSQ, SSH, FWM, 5VC panel machines and the BG7 gutter machine.

Another innovation offered from New Tech Machinery, the QCPP is the only modular power option available on portable rollforming machines.