Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


US Roofing Market In For Shake Up From Kiwi Tech

US Roofing Market In For Shake Up From Kiwi Technology

The pioneering, can-do spirit that made corrugated iron sheets synonymous with New Zealand landscape is leading to highly innovative corrugated roofing products spearheading their way into the traditional US market.

Research into the science of corrugating steel for new products and applications is underway at roofing specialists, Metrotile ( part of the Ross Roofing Group.) The first stage of the two part project is already on the way to the company’s manufacturing plant in the US, and the ultimate aim is to provide a whole new perspective for a uniquely US roofing style.

Torry McSkimming, Metrotile general manager explains: “The ‘shake’ roof is peculiar to the US. Traditionally these are made of wood and need to be replaced regularly. Also, they have potential to be a fire risk and often are severely damaged by hailstorms in some areas.”

“We figured there had to be a better system than wood, one that would last 3-5 times longer and have all the aesthetic attributes that the market required. We already had a distribution channel in the US, and had established a name for our steel roofing products, so we weren’t going in cold. ”

Metrotile was one of the first companies to receive funding from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology’s new Grants for Private Sector Research and Development (GPSRD) scheme, launched late last year.

The grant of $55,000 helped the company fast-track research using in-house design and external consultants to design and produce machinery used in the production of the new profiled tile.

“We had some problems to overcome, and Technology New Zealand’s funding was useful to help us get to grips with pressing the steel to get the outcome we needed. Too hard and it cracks, and too soft it won’t give the profile we need to make the shakes lap properly and not leak.”

The R&D was completed in quick time “we made a concentrated effort and really shot ahead, which has got to be a testament to the expertise of the design team,” says Mc Skimming. The company is now part way through research into precision die making to get the right profile.

“Although we could be called a conventional manufacturing company, we are strong believers in the value of R&D to stay ahead,” says Mr McSkimming. “To keep in front you have got to be thinking ‘new’ all the time. The GPSRD funding was useful in assisting with the cost of the research, but interestingly it was also useful to fine-tune our company procedures. We had to get our plan together and specify how everything was going to fit before we applied for funding.”

Metrotile manufactures in New Zealand for its export markets in North and South America, the Middle East and Africa as well as the domestic market.

For more information:
* Torry McSkimming, Metrotile, 09 299 9210
*John Gibson, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, 04 917 7863

Grants for Private Sector R&D

*This is the newest scheme run under the Technology New Zealand umbrella, launched in September 2000.

*Grants are targeted specifically to technologically aware SMEs (usually less than $50m turnover). The aim is to increase the level of private sector expenditure of R&D.

* Support of up to 33.3% of R&D costs, to a maximum of $100,000 is available for qualifying projects.

* Latest figures show that around $1.5m per month is being invested in private sector R&D projects by GPSRD.

*The scheme has allocated more than $10.5 million, to 179 companies, in the period September –March.

* GPSRD is the first of the Technology New Zealand schemes to operate exclusively via the Internet, with initial registration through its website,

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>


Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news