Innovations Increase Efficiency and Safety, and Lower Production Costs
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. – Technology breakthroughs that dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of roof measurement and on-site metal roof construction have earned patent protection for the developers at MetalForming, Inc.
The two recent patents, both granted over the last six months, underscore MetalForming’s ongoing efforts to bring to North American markets the most advanced architectural and precision metal machinery and software solutions available in the world. In some cases, that means scouring the globe for the best machines made for forming metal. In other cases, it means developing technology solutions in-house.
The home-grown innovations from MetalForming – one is in alpha testing and one is already well established as a market leader – are the latest examples of the of the company’s commitment to helping its customers stay ahead of the curve.
One of the newly patented designs covers the company’s unique approach to portable rollforming, sold under product names of Quadro-Plus and Quadro Cinco.
The most advanced portable rollforming system in the world, Quadro-Plus combines the best aspects of German engineering and American market savvy. The engineers at Schlebach initially designed a top-quality single-profile rollformer, but the folks at MetalForming Inc. knew that to meet the needs of American metal roofing contractors, they needed a machine that could produce different roof panel profiles quickly and efficiently, either in a factory or out on a job site.
The design and engineering process that resulted (Patent No. 8,984,923 B2) led to Quadro Cinco.
Quadro-Plus makes numerous profiles (soffit, nail strip, snap seam, mechanical lock) with compressed changeover times of from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. And with the Quadro CINCO (Computer Integrated Notching Cutting Operation), MetalForming took it even further.
For the first time ever, customers can produce – at the work site – precise machine-cut and angled roof panels directly from site-verified dimensions using TopView 3D roof design software. The data is loaded directly into the CINCO’s exclusive control and run precisely as designed and adapted to the real roof dimensions – panel dimensions can even be edited on the fly for optimal accuracy. No more off-line cutting of flanges and notches – it’s all machine die cut for higher part quality and better appearance.
The VANTEDGEPOINT Difference
MetalForming has also developed a breakthrough technology for highly accurate, “fabrication level” roof measurement that is safer, less costly and requires one-tenth of the time the process currently takes.
The videogrammetric measurement process (Patent No. 8,897,539 B2) is called VANTEDGEPOINT® and is the result of more than five years of R&D, partially funded by the National Science Foundation. The inventors were Geoff Stone and Bill Wilkins of Peachtree City, GA and Habib Fathi of Georgia Tech.
It works by first taking a video survey of a structure using MetalForming’s VideoSurv™ app on a smartphone, tablet, handheld or drone camera. VANTEDGEPOINT uses proprietary algorithms to extract lines and edges from video to create 3D point clouds and generate as-built measurements accurate to less than an inch.
High quality 2D/3D measurement reports are then sent to the customer with the visual models enclosed. The customer quickly gets the accuracy needed for competitive bidding, complete takeoffs, even to fabricate custom roof components. VANTEDGEPOINT worked closely with the developer of underlying technology, Pointivo.com, to create the VideoSurv roofing solution for use on any iOS device. This solution was also designed to incorporate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also called drones, for video capture.
As Stone described the longstanding challenge for the metal roofing industry, “We have a machine that reads CAD (computer-aided design) models, or BIM (building information modeling), and cuts panels to fit them. But we couldn’t cut metal roofing panels to as-drawn BIM files because it wasn’t accurate enough. We needed as-built.”
That meant workers still needed to clamber over roof frames with a tape measure, an inefficient and often dangerous practice.
VANTEDGEPOINT solves that challenge in a way that also decreases project costs, increases accuracy and turnaround time, improves job safety and provides a permanent digital record for customers.
The need for easy and precise measurement technology extends well beyond the roofing industry. With 100 million measuring events per year in the construction industry, including commercial construction, residential remodeling and the insurance industry, the demand for precise dimensions is enormous. MatalForming’s partners at Pointivo, Inc. are working to power this solution in applications outside the roofing industry.
To learn more about VANTEDGEPOINT, portable rollforming or any of our other metal forming solutions, please call us at 770-631-0002.