Midair manufacturing by Kalzip

Kalzip has introduced an on-site production facility which uses a portable roll-former suspended from a crane to manufacture aluminium standing seam sheets where they’re wanted - up on the roof. This creatively engineered midair manufacturing solution is fast, efficient, extremely safe and very versatile as the roll-former can be quickly repositioned to produce long sheets of Kalzip anywhere around the building or site.

The new midair manufacturing facility is not attached to the building in any way - the roll-former is mounted on a specially designed carrying cradle which is suspended from a tower or crawler crane. Powered by an integral generator, this self-sufficient production unit is ‘stabilised’ in its midair manufacturing position (about a metre away from the roof’s eaves) by virtue of Tirfor winch-tensioned cables which run from its underside to large anchor weights on the ground below.

Kalzip employs the highest standards of safety at all times and this is exemplified by the fact that the roll-former unit’s positioning in midair and all of the roof sheet production is managed and remotely controlled by a highly experienced operator safely positioned on the roof. There is also a large, clearly-marked ‘safety exclusion zone’ beneath the roll-former which comes into operation whenever the machine is airborne and replenishing the coil is done swiftly and easily by lowering the cradle down to ground level.

Another safety factor is that roof level sheet handling activity is significantly reduced with midair manufacturing as it’s the system that’s moved to where the sheets are needed. On-site roll-forming is a particularly convenient and cost-effective method of manufacturing long sheets - and most appropriate where site access is restricted. Kalzip can be produced in continuous sheet lengths in excess of 150 metres which virtually eliminates the need for end-lap joints and, with aluminium being much lighter than steel, labour requirements are further reduced.

On-site manufacturing is also environmentally beneficial as up to 5,000 sqm of coil can be delivered on a single trailer, which reduces CO2 emissions as well as saving transport costs. Administrative and organisational costs inevitably associated with the movement of very long loads by road are also eliminated and so perhaps it’s no real surprise that demand for the on-site roll-forming of Kalzip is steadily increasing.

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