When To Use a Power Seamer
Power seaming mechanically locked panels is preferred on longer runs (20+ ft) when a uniform look is desired. Most seamers will seam the first and second stage in one pass which will reduce time of the project when compared to alternative methods. Also, they will avoid crimp marks while seaming which comes along with hand seaming.
Power seaming doesn’t make sense when you need to lug a 50 lb machine to crimp 10 foot panels. Not only are they cumbersome with their weight and electrical cord, but the time to set them up for a short run is usually not worth it. Methods such as the AccuSeamer or hand crimping works better on these shorter types of roofs.
How a Power Seamer Works
For an in depth understanding of power seamers, view the MCA White Paper. This graphic should give you an understanding of the role of each roller.
Panels need to be prepared for power seaming by locking the first stage 16″ inches by hand and then the next 8″ of the 2nd stage. Once prepped the seamer will seam around 30 ft per minute.
What is the seam height and seaming capacity of a power seamer?
Standard power seamers will be able to lock both 1″ or 1 1/2″ high seams. This can be done by simple adjustments to the wheels of the seamer. Most seamers max sheet metal thickness is 24 gauge, .032 aluminum, or 20 oz copper. Special “industrial” seamers are available for 2″ high seams and thicker materials. They will usually be a bit higher price.
Which way does the seamer run?
Depending on how the panels were installed, the seamer can run from ridge to eaves or from eaves to ridge. Typically the roofer will follow the seamer to the end and turn it off or have a second person shut the seamer off and carry it back down the roof. Pulling it down the roof on a tether is an option, but could scratch the panel.
Can I use a power seamer on steep pitches and walls?
Yes. Power seamers are meant to travel on their own. They would have no issues moving vertically as long as the panels are being installed correctly.
Will my power seamer automatically shut off when it reaches the ridge or eaves?
Some seamers will have an electronic sensor which will automatically shut off the machine. This is not typical though. A manual shut off with the On/Off switch is commonplace.
What are some safety & maintenance considerations?
Do not wear loose clothing. Make certain there is no dirt, grease, or debris in the rollers of the power seamer.
Power Seaming Products
The Accuseamer offers a lightweight, cheaper alternative to the traditional power seamer and a faster way of seaming compared to hand seamers (while also not leaving crimp marks). The main drawback being that it only seams a single or double lock in one pass. The Accuseamer will handle 24 gauge with 24 gauge clips. Lose the cord and start seaming.
Roll Former SSX
Rollformer has sold the SSX for decades with success and this post will highlight the standard model. There is also an industrial series which will seam heights of 2″ and 22 gauge. The SSX falls in line with the price of a standard seamer and seams at 30ft a minute. It is highly reliable and commonly a stock item.
The ESE K9 is the industry standard for power seaming the 1st and 2nd stage in one pass. Its reliability is unquestioned. The tag line of it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, can be used to describe the K9. A solid machine designed by experts of the industry of standing seam roofing panels.
The Wuko Sprinter is a first class power seamer and a bit more expensive than other power seamers. One of the main reasons is a sensor which triggers an automatic shut off when it reaches the end of the panel. The other selling point is that this seamer will close 40 ft a minute whereas standard seamers are closer to 30.
Stortz will be distributing the Seaming Pro. This is going to be a successor to the Accuseamer and will seam both stages in one pass. There is also going to be an optional slitting accessory. More information will be provided when a release date and price are finalized. You can pre-order one on the product page.