ELFA’s Website Offers Wider Range of Resources for Financing Equipment

Visitors to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association‘s end-user website, Equipment Finance Advantage, will find new enhancements that make it a more powerful resource for helping businesses take advantage of the benefits of financing equipment. The site, found at www.EquipmentFinanceAdvantage.org, has improved navigation for a better user experience and offers a wider range of resources focused on how companies of all types and sizes can use leasing and financing to their strategic advantage to acquire the equipment they need to operate and grow. ELFA launched the original Equipment Finance Advantage website two years ago.

Highlights of the site’s user-friendly content include:

  • Equipment Finance 101: Overview of the benefits of equipment finance, the types of financing, the top 10 questions to ask before entering an equipment financing agreement, a customizable digital toolkit and more.
  • Success Stories: Real-world examples of companies using equipment finance for strategic advantage.
  • Resources: How-to articles, Q&As, updated end-user industry fact sheets, infographics and more to help businesses develop their financing strategy.
  • Videos: A series of short videos on a range of topics, from maximizing cash flow to staying ahead of the curve to end-of-lease factors to consider.
  • Find a Provider: A searchable list of ELFA members that provide equipment leasing and finance services.

“The critical role the $903 billion equipment finance industry plays in the U.S. economy, manufacturing and jobs is fundamentally because of the participation of individual businesses,” says ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE. “They have found the information at Equipment Finance Advantage to be an invaluable resource informing their equipment leasing and financing decision-making during the past two years, and we are excited to offer the newly upgraded EFA website to help keep them up-to-date with the latest research and informational content available.”

Petersen Aluminum Celebrates 50 Years of Serving the Construction Industry

Petersen Aluminum Corp. is celebrating its 50th anniversary by honoring the first five decades of company history as it prepares for a bright future. Maurice “Maury” Petersen founded the company on Feb. 15, 1965 as an aluminum distributor in Chicago, then worked with his son Mike as the company grew to become one of the construction industry’s architectural metals manufacturers.

“Fifty years in business is a noteworthy milestone, and we’re thrilled to not only still be in business, but to be thriving,” says Mike Petersen, CEO. “Our ability to identify, plan for and adapt to a myriad of market opportunities has been a big reason for our success. I am proud to have taken the reins from my father and help build on the foundation he laid 50 years ago. This is an exciting time for Petersen Aluminum, and I think we’re in good position to tackle the next 50 years.”

The main key to the company’s success is the hard work of dedicated employees in every position at Petersen Aluminum. Petersen notes the importance of the company’s vast supply of institutional knowledge, with a management team that averages 34 years of employment and includes many who worked with Maury, who passed away in 1996.

Dedication and longevity can be found at the company’s five locations, too, where it is common to meet people who have worked for the company for 15, 20 and 30 years or more. Providing employees with a corporate culture that fosters professional development, personal accountability and an enjoyable environment is important at Petersen Aluminum. “We take pride in giving our personnel a chance to develop their skills in an entrepreneurial environment. I am proud of how many people have chosen to devote their careers to PAC,” he adds.

Customers, partners and industry friends wanting to acknowledge Petersen Aluminum’s 50th anniversary are encouraged to leave a message on Petersen Aluminum’s Facebook page.

Management’s Perspective

Members of Petersen Aluminum’s executive management team average more than 30 years working at the company, and all are deeply invested in its success. President John Palesny has the longest tenure at 45 years, and cites several reasons for the company’s endurance.

“The financial strength of the company is a prime reason for our longevity,” says Palesny. “Maury Petersen, the founder of our company, had a mantra that he repeated often: pay down your debt. Maury grew up during the Depression and it had a life-long impact on his thinking about financial responsibility. While he was a risk taker when it came to business opportunities, he also believed in paying down debt whenever the opportunity arose. That attitude has been a part of PAC’s culture throughout the years.

“PAC has always given its people wide latitude in pursuing their objectives. We believe in local initiative and give managers free rein as to how they meet their goals,” Palesny continues. “We have excellent internal communications that are focused on how we can better serve our customers. Our people are confident in their abilities while keeping their egos well in check. Among my colleagues at Petersen Aluminum there is a closeness that few other organizations can match. Most of us have been here for a number of years and wouldn’t dream of working anywhere else. I think that says a lot about the management philosophy of Maury and Mike Petersen.”

Jon Snyder, vice president, also believes in the value of good people and their contribution to the success of Petersen Aluminum. “Maury believed that every employee is a salesperson for the company, and to keep your employees and customers happy. Maury always preached, ‘have fun, work hard and no politics,’” Snyder remembers. “Our company was built on a strong, professional sales-minded approach. We have found our niches along the way and worked hard to succeed within them, but have always been willing to change when necessary.”

Snyder adds that while Petersen Aluminum can be conservative and strives to operate without debt, the company isn’t afraid to take necessary risks, and when those efforts are financially rewarded, “We pour the rewards back into our business and our people.”

Vice President Mike Palesny recalls the company’s respect for and attention to the customer. “We may not be the lowest price in the marketplace, but we are always competitive in terms of customer service levels. And we pay attention to what the market wants. For example, at our early stages in the architectural marketplace, our focus was on anodized finishes. We recognized in the late ’70s that Kynar was the future and successfully made that tack. In the late ’80s and early ’90s we recognized the call for factory-formed roofing panels and dove in. Now we’re seeing the company focus on the entire building envelope, and of particular interest the exterior walls. I think our wall panel business will be a source of real growth for the company in the next 10 years,” Palesny says.

Mike Palesny hopes to see the business continue to grow and diversify both geographically and possibly through additional product lines. “We are a conservatively managed company and I think our future is bright. We’ve adapted to market shifts by paying attention to our balance sheet, paying off our debts and listening to our customers, which we will continue to do,” he notes.

Tom Bell, vice president, adds, “Of all the things that make Petersen Aluminum such a great company, none is more important than the talent and dedication of our employees day after day, for after all this is the only truly sustainable competitive advantage any company can process in this marketplace.”

Adapting, Investing in Quality

Adaptation is a critical skill for any business to possess, as Petersen Aluminum has demonstrated for 50 years. As technology changes the way construction professionals communicate and process information to meet critical project timelines, Petersen Aluminum continues to adapt to meet the needs of those professionals. For example, the company’s website provides e-tools that include everything required to shop for, specify, bid, purchase and install its metal products, as well as apps for tablets and smartphones that accomplish the same goals on whichever operating platform a professional might need.

Petersen Aluminum also is committed to quality products and service, and can prove it. In 2006, along with its corporate partners Valspar and Precoat Metals, a formal quality control program was initiated. The QC program that was developed has greatly enhanced the quality and consistency of the product Petersen Aluminum brings to market. “As a result of this ongoing program, the product that goes out the door is as good or better than anything available in the commercial market, and field issues with our product have become practically nonexistent,” Mike Petersen says.

Petersen Aluminum keeps its focus on the future, including how to address external market forces that are sure to include sustainable construction, material supplies and prices, competition for materials, construction workforce shifts, regulation, consolidation and others. “We’ve been successfully navigating market shifts and challenges through our history and we will continue to do so,” Petersen says.

Company History

In February 1965, Maurice Petersen began operation of Petersen Aluminum as an aluminum distributor in Chicago. The concept was to distribute aluminum mill products for aluminum producers not having a distributor organization or outlets for their products. Two manufacturers of truck cabs and printing plates promised support in the new venture.

Business began in a pie-shaped office rented for $75 a month. The lists of partners and customers grew as did revenue. Early on, the company moved frequently as business grew. By 1967, the company owned a truck, a 60-inch cut-to-length line, a shear and a saw. An unofficial company motto evolved: work hard, have fun, no politics.

In July 1972, Petersen Aluminum relocated to Schiller Park, Ill., and acquired an aluminum anodizing line, a decision that launched the company into the architectural metals arena. The company continues to maintain an anodizing line today. During that period, the company developed its PAC-CLAD product line beginning with prefinished Kynar 500 aluminum and later adding prefinished PAC-CLAD steel. During the next two and a half decades, Petersen Aluminum grew its revenue and product line while expanding geographically, until 1994 when the company constructed and moved into its headquarters in Elk Grove Village, Ill., where it remains today. The architectural metals manufacturer also operates facilities in four branch locations including Acworth, Ga.; Tyler, Texas; Annapolis Junction, Md.; and Fridley, Minn.

Petersen Aluminum strives to provide high-quality products within reliable, dependable lead times. Its strong national sales base allows it to maintain large inventories and provide cost economies to its customers. The product line now includes architectural and structural roofing, metal wall panels, soffit, composite panels, edge metals, aluminum and steel coil, and flat sheet in painted, anodized and mill finish.

Long-recognized as an industry manufacturer of metal standing seam roofing products, Petersen also offers exposed fastener panels, flush panels, composite wall panels and column covers. All provide the well-known Petersen quality and are available in PAC-CLAD Kynar 500 finish in 38 standard colors on steel and 37 aluminum. Most colors meet LEED, ENERGY STAR and Cool Roof Rating Council certification requirements.

Portable Power Transformer Provides Low-voltage Power in AC or DC Forms

The TX-40-120-1224-WP portable power transformer from Larson Electronics provides a reliable source of low-voltage 12 V or 24 V power in AC or DC forms.

The TX-40-120-1224-WP portable power transformer from Larson Electronics provides a reliable source of low-voltage 12 V or 24 V power in AC or DC forms.

Manufacturer and supplier of explosion-proof lighting equipment, Larson Electronics, released a portable power transformer that converts 120 V AC to 12/24 V DC or 12/24 V AC to power low-voltage lighting and equipment.

The TX-40-120-1224-WP portable power transformer from Larson Electronics is built to provide operators with a reliable source of low-voltage 12 V or 24 V power in AC or DC forms. This compact power distribution transformer is designed for portability and convenience as well as durability and includes an elevated base platform for protection from standing water and weatherproof construction. With overload and short circuit protection, this unit safely allows operators to power equipment up to 500 watts from a standard 120 V or 240 V AC power source. In the instance of circuit overload, the unit automatically shuts down to protect the transformer from damage.

This portable low-voltage transformer features four L5-20 twist lock receptacles that provide sealed and secure connections. This power distribution system is built with a carrying handle that can easily be used as a cord wrap for storing and transporting. To connect devices, the operator must insert the plug and twist it until it locks into place in order to energize the plug. This design provides a secure and safe connection that prevents arcing and accidental plug pullouts. Larson Electronics can build transformers to customer specifications.

NRCA Partners With Bilingual America to Host Latino Roofing Success Day

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) will partner with Bilingual America to host Latino Roofing Success Day on Feb. 28 in Dallas. The Spanish language program is designed to inspire Latino roofing workers to see their value within the roofing industry.

Roofing contractors are encouraged to send their Latino workers to attend Latino Roofing Success Day to motivate them to achieve success within their companies.

“Latino Roofing Success Day is designed to transform the mindset of Latino roofing workers and to help them recognize their significance in the industry,” says Amy Staska, NRCA’s associate executive director of education.

Ricardo González, founder and CEO of Bilingual America, will be the event’s featured speaker. He has been an active speaker within the roofing industry, most recently as a keynote speaker at the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association‘s annual conference, and is the author of The 12 Hidden Truths to Learning Spanish.

Latino Roofing Success Day will teach Latino roofing workers to think differently and take more initiative, encourage them to take ownership of their work and help improve company processes, and teach them about best industry practices through networking opportunities.

Clamps Accommodate Metal Roof Panels With a Horizontal Seam

S-5-H clamp and S-5-H Mini clamp

S-5-H clamp and S-5-H Mini clamp

S-5! introduces two clamps for metal roof panels. The S-5-H clamp was developed to securely and cost-effectively accommodate metal roof panels with a horizontal seam. The S-5-H allows for attachment to a horizontal seam on the vertical leg of the seam.

The clamp’s two-piece design allows it to be installed anywhere along the length of the rib, simplifying installation. Just place the clamp on the seam, slide the insert piece into place and tighten the setscrews. After the clamp is installed, affix ancillary items using the top stainless steel bolt provided. The S-5-H can be used with the S-5! ColorGard snow retention system and other heavy-duty applications.

The S-5-H Mini is a bit shorter than the S-5-H and has one setscrew rather than two. The mini can be used for attaching a variety of rooftop accessories, including signs, walkways, satellite dishes, antennas, rooftop lighting, lightning protection systems, solar arrays, exhaust stack bracing, conduit, condensate lines and mechanical equipment. S-5! mini clamps are not compatible with S-5! SnoRail/SnoFence or ColorGard snow retention systems.

ECHOTape Repair Tape Now Sold by The Home Depot via HomeDepot.com

Pressure-sensitive tape supplier, ECHOtape’s full repair line will be sold online by a home improvement retailer, The Home Depot via HomeDepot.com. Launched in 2014 at the beginning of the third quarter, the repair line provides contractors with an alternative to duct tapes, and is designed to deliver solutions for repairs, sealing and waterproofing.

“We are very excited to be working with such a trusted name in home improvement like The Home Depot,” says Risa Edelstein, director of marketing for ECHOtape. “We dedicate our business to providing the ultimate tape solutions for a variety of applications and now contractors, remodelers, retrofitters and builders across the nation can purchase our performance-based repair tapes.”

ECHOtape’s comprehensive repair line is geared towards building contractors. In total, seven tapes are available now on HomeDepot.com. The products include three types of repair tapes with different color options:

  • All Purpose Repair Tape: This tape leaves little residue in comparison to a duct tape and is thick and flexible. Ideal for stretching and wrapping, this tape can be used for temporary repairs as well as for rips, tears, gashes and holes. This tape is available in clear and white.
  • All Weather Repair Tape: This tape is made with a butyl-based adhesive, which makes it sticky enough for applications to concrete, stone, wood, glass, metal, plastic, cement, plywood, and damp fabrics, and is ideal for sealing holes and cracks. It is puncture- and tear-resistant, waterproof, and will not crack in temperatures as low as -30 F or fail in temperatures as high as 200 F if applied correctly. The tape is available in white, silver and black.
  • All Leak Repair Tape: Also made with butyl-based adhesive, it is considered an extreme adhesive tape with double the stickiness of the All Weather Repair Tape. It shares many of the same qualities, including being waterproof, but is also resistant to corrosion. Because of its high level of adhesive, it can be used for repairing leaks in roof joints, skylights, RVs, pools and ponds. This tape is available in black and white.

“We are committed to making our products widely available to contractors in the U.S.,” says Edelstein. “This is an important step in increasing convenience for purchasers, and we look forward to continuing to expand our reach and product availability.”

PIMA Announces Environmental Product Declarations for Polyiso Roof and Wall Insulations

Consistent with its delivery of energy-efficient and sustainable building insulation solutions, the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) announced the receipt of third party-verified ISO-compliant Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for polyisocyanurate (polyiso) roof and wall insulations as manufactured by PIMA members across North America. An EPD is an internationally recognized and standardized tool that reports the environmental impacts of products.

These EPDs document that the energy-savings potential of polyiso roof and wall insulation during a typical 60-year building life span is equal to up to 47 times the initial energy required to produce, transport, install, maintain, and eventually remove and dispose of the insulation. In addition to a high return on embodied energy, the EPDs document that polyiso roof and wall insulation offer high unit R-value per inch, zero ozone depletion potential, recycled content, opportunity for reuse and outstanding fire performance.

Beyond providing consistent and comparable environmental impact data, the PIMA polyiso EPDs also present information about additional environmental and energy characteristics, including the high net return on energy provided by polyiso roof and wall insulation.

Specifically, the polyiso EPDs describe the environmental impacts of the combined weighted average production for PIMA member manufacturing locations located across the United States and Canada, based on an established set of product category rules applicable to all types of building thermal insulation. The environmental impacts reported in the PIMA polyiso EPDs are derived from independently verified cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA) process, including all critical elements related to the resourcing, production, transport, installation, maintenance, and eventual removal and replacement of polyiso roof and wall insulation.

Using the LCA process, the PIMA polyiso roof and wall insulation products are evaluated on a number of impact categories including global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, eutrophication potential, acidification potential, and smog creation potential, as well as other environmental indicators including primary energy demand, resource depletion, waste to disposal, waste to energy, and water use.

PIMA polyiso roof and wall insulation EPDs also meet the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED v4 Green Building Rating System under Credit MRC-2 Building Product Disclosure and Optimization: Environmental Product Declarations as industry-wide or generic declarations that may be valued as one-half of an eligible product for the purposes of credit calculation.

“These third party-verified EPDs for polyiso roof and wall insulation products produced by PIMA manufacturers reflect our industry’s commitment to sustainability and transparency in reporting environmental performance,” says Jared Blum, president of PIMA. “These EPDs will be a valuable tool to provide environmental information to all building and design professionals, and they should be especially helpful in meeting emerging criteria for green building design.”

Johns Manville Upgrades Its Nonwoven Glass Mat Production Plant

Johns Manville (JM), a global materials manufacturer and Berkshire Hathaway company, announced a significant upgrade to its nonwoven glass mat production plant in Waterville, Ohio. Beginning in late 2015, JM will upgrade an existing nonwoven mat line with advanced manufacturing technology that will allow the company to better serve customers in growing segments of the global specialty glass mat market. JM anticipates the upgraded production line will be fully operational in early 2016.

JM is a producer of specialty glass mat in North America and is an internationally recognized technology and quality leader. The company’s glass nonwoven products are used in a wide range of residential and commercial building as well as specialty industrial applications, including roofing shingles, carpet tile, vinyl flooring, office panels, ceiling tile, duct liner, exterior sheathing and energy storage.

In addition to providing strength and reinforcement, JM’s customers use specialty glass mat to support surface aesthetics, acoustical performance, mold and mildew resistance, and sustainability performance of end-use products.

“This investment positions JM for business in new and evolving markets,” says Enno Henze, senior vice president and general manager for JM Engineered Products. “For example, in the energy storage space, fuel economy standards are driving new battery technologies. Additionally, as a leading supplier of glass mat nonwovens to the European vinyl flooring industry, this upgrade allows us to support the domestic growth of vinyl flooring companies as they continue to ‘on-shore’ their manufacturing to the U.S.”

“Our upgraded Waterville plant will enable JM to provide global product capability between Europe and the Americas and to deliver global product consistency with regional availability,” says Tanya Bradby, portfolio leader, Nonwovens America. “JM has a 157-year history of building science and product innovation, and this investment represents our latest commitment to the future of the industries we serve.”

Last year, JM announced the merger of its Engineered Products divisions in America, Europe and Asia into one global business unit. The company’s investment in its Waterville manufacturing plant supports this reorganization and bolsters the company’s global manufacturing footprint. In addition to its Waterville plant, JM operates Engineered Products production facilities in China, Germany, Slovakia and in other areas of the U.S.

PERC Provides Safety Tips for Using Propane Heaters on Job Sites

During the cold winter months, construction professionals who use temporary, propane-powered heating equipment on the job site can be more productive, making it easier to finish projects on time and on budget. In addition to providing more comfortable working conditions, propane-powered heaters can also maintain the ambient temperatures necessary for common tasks like drywall installation or painting. However, like any portable heating device, propane-powered heaters must be used and maintained properly.

A temporary propane unit that pumps hot air through existing ductwork.

A temporary propane unit that pumps hot air through existing ductwork.


“Considering the cold and snowy weather that much of the country has experienced lately, it’s an ideal time to remind builders and remodelers how important it is to properly install, maintain and use propane-powered heaters,” says Bridget Kidd, director of residential and commercial programs for the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). “By following a few simple guidelines, they can ensure optimum job site performance, comfort and safety.”

PERC offers the following advice to help construction professionals stay safe and warm this winter:

At sites using propane cylinders to power heaters:
  • Ensure that propane cylinders are in good condition without bulges, dents, excessive rust or signs of fire damage.
  • Always transport cylinders to the job site in an upright and secured position.
  • Do not use a cylinder indoors that holds more than 100 pounds of propane.
  • Connect no more than three 100-pound propane cylinders to one manifold inside a building. All manifolds should be separated by at least 20 feet of space.
  • Check all cylinders for leaks with a suitable leak detector solution—not soap and water, which may have corrosive properties.
At sites using external propane tanks to power heaters:
  • Locate tanks a sufficient distance from property lines and the structure under construction. Consult local building codes to ensure proper compliance.
  • Place the tank on stable ground, and when locating the tank consider the potential effects of freezing and thawing.
  • Use rigid piping from the tank to the building. Flexible tubing may be safely used indoors.
  • Have a qualified propane technician ensure that all connections between the tank and heater are free of leaks.
  • Protect tanks and piping on the work site from the possibility of vehicle impact.
  • Do not store combustible material within 10 feet of any tank.
When using salamanders and other propane heaters:
  • Choose a heater that’s sized appropriately for the square footage you want to heat.
  • Keep heaters away from potentially combustible materials.
  • Only operate heaters in ventilated areas. Make sure there’s sufficient air both for combustion and to prevent carbon monoxide accumulation.
  • Use only those heaters with 100 percent safety shut-off valves.
  • When the project is complete, first turn off gas at the container valve to drain hoses or pipes before shutting off the heater itself.
  • Only allow a qualified LP gas technician to make any repairs to faulty equipment.

While kerosene and electric heaters are also available, propane is the cleanest and smartest fuel choice for job site heating. Kerosene heaters can produce an undesirable film on nearby equipment or walls. Electric heaters can’t generate nearly as many BTUs as propane-fueled heaters and they put additional load on the mobile generators used to produce electricity for power tools used around the job site.

“When it comes to heating a temporary construction site, and for other uses around the job site, propane’s benefits are clear,” Kidd adds. “Because it’s a low-carbon, alternative fuel, construction professionals who use propane-powered heaters, generators, light towers and other equipment can maintain a cleaner environment without sacrificing power or performance.”

For more information about the benefits of using clean, efficient propane on residential or commercial building sites, learning about new propane-powered products, or considering the financial incentives available on propane equipment purchases, visit the Build With Propane website.

Aluminum Top Rail Offers Durability and a Continuous Look Throughout

Duradek’s Park Rail Top Rail profile is 3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high and is available in nine standard colors, up to 180 custom colors or one of 22 authentic-looking wood grain finishes.

Duradek’s Park Rail Top Rail profile is 3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high and is available in nine standard colors, up to 180 custom colors or one of 22 authentic-looking wood grain finishes.

Duradek, home of the original Walkable Roofing Membrane, introduces the Park Rail Top Rail profile, a top rail for plenty of support.

The Park Rail Top Rail offers durability and a continuous top rail look while using up to a 3-inch square post.

Park Rail Top Rail is suitable for picket and glass systems allowing your project to combine the features and advantages of both systems, yet still providing a consistent look throughout.

The new Park Rail Top Rail profile has a much wider look than the average aluminum top rail profile. It is similar in appearance to what has been recognized as a 2 by 4 (wood) size, but this top rail is not vulnerable to the elements the same way as wood.

It is constructed with durable powder-coated aluminum and is made to last without the need for maintenance.

The Park Rail Top Rail profile is 3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high and is available in nine standard colors, up to 180 custom colors or one of 22 authentic-looking wood grain finishes.