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Portable Rollforming and Potential Coil Issues – A Trouble-Shooting Guide

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Published May 2017
By Ron Schell, New Tech Machinery

NTM In-Factory Vs. Portable Machines


When using a portable standing seam roof panel machine one should always eliminate the possibility of bad coil before starting to make any adjustments to the machine. If the coil is the problem, adjusting the machine takes it out of adjustment and never solves the problem ... and you now have two problems - the machine is out of adjustment and the coil is bad! Much harder to deal with now. Here are some tips that should help:


Check for Oil-Canning in Coil:

Oil canning is defined as ripples or waves in the coil. First cut off a 6' long piece of the suspect coil and lay it on a known flat surface like a sheet of plywood, flat workbench etc. so the light reflects off of the coil and you can view it from end to end. If you see waves or ripples anywhere in the coil it will translate to waves and ripples in the panel. The machine will not take this out.


Check for Camber in Coil:

Camber is defined as coil that has a stretched edge and curves slightly from side to side. If the piece looks smooth and lies flat, cut another piece of the same coil approximately the same length and lay it beside the first piece. Slide it over against the first piece so the long edges are touching. Check to see if there are any gaps between them along the full length of the pieces where they meet. If there are gaps, the coil has camber in it and is unusable. If there are no visible gaps spin one piece end for end 180 degrees, slide it back over against the original piece and check again for gaps. If you do not find gaps this time the coil is good, has NO camber and would not be the cause of the problem.


Check Straightens of Panel:

Symptom: Finished panel running “uphill” or “downhill” in the male or female leg. Check is the straightness of the male and female legs of the panel. If one or both legs have uphill or downhill in them you would need to adjust the tooling to straighten them out. Use the same technique when viewing the panel that you would use to sight a 2 X 4 to see if it is straight.


Check Dimensions of Panel Legs:

Next you should check the dimensions of the male and female legs to make sure they match the profile drawing. If either doesn’t match the drawing you will need to adjust the machine to get them to match the print.


Check Fit of Male and Female Legs and Clips:

If it is a snap seam profile you will need to check and make sure that the panels snap together correctly and if the profile uses clips verify that they also fit properly. If it is a mechanically seamed profile, again make sure they fit together properly with the clip installed between them.


Check Substrate:

If your panel is straight and has no oil-canning or Camber when it comes out of your machine but you see oil-canning after installation, you should check the substrate you are installing it on to make sure it is not concave or convex. Screwing a panel down to this will induce stress, causing oil-canning. Use string or fishing line stretched from ridge to eave. If the string doesn’t touch the substrate in the middle the roof is concave. If it touches from ridge to eave lift one end to make sure it raises off of the substrate with very little movement.


These steps will help to ensure you’re installing a finished panel that has been produced with good coil and a machine in proper adjustment.





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