Roofinox International, a European-based, 30-year-old manufacturer of metal roofing materials, has announced plans to expand sales and distribution of three key products in the U.S. through its subsidiary, Roofinox America Inc.
Products include Roofinox Classic, a brush-rolled material designed for roofing and wall cladding, Roofinox Plus .0157, a ribbed surface material for smoother roofing results and economy and Roofinox Terne-Coated with a tin-plated surface that develops a matt grey patina finish over time.
The announcement comes in response to an increasing demand for Roofinox products since 2012 when the only domestic manufacturer of terne-coated steel products went out of business.
“From then on we supplied to various projects all over the U.S. with increasing quantities every year,” notes Pascal Metzler, who with his brother, Marc, own the company. “In 2014 we decided to move to the U.S. by opening an office and warehouse from where we could service the increasing demand,” he notes. Meanwhile, sales in Europe were also continuing to grow with marketing and distribution to Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden. The company also regularly supplied its unique products to various commercial projects in strong markets like Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. Last year, the company started selling the Roofinox product range in Turkey as well. And while Roofinox is currently examining business relations in several more countries, Metzler emphasizes the main efforts are now to grow market share in the U.S.
He notes the technology for his products date back to 1995 with the development of inoxidable (stainless) steel as a roofing material. The idea behind the product was to create a stainless steel specifically designed for roofing and roll-forming. “We found two major features that made it ideal for the application—mechanical properties and surface design with an architecturally distinctive matt finish for rollformed roofing panels. The product features within these two areas differentiated Roofinox from any other product in the roofing market, he contends and the success of Roofinox Classic and Roofinox tin-plated led to the development of several more products available today.
Architectural demand for Roofinox as a natural metal is very high, notes Metzler. “Aging is no problem for Roofinox because the surface is all natural and typically does not change over time.” In addition, he notes that Roofinox products achieve superior results for LEED-related construction and the sustainability of building products. “More and more building owners are looking into long-lasting and environmentally friendly products,” he notes. And there’s the issue of durability.
“Increasing weather extremes require more durable solutions for roofing and Roofinox stainless steel is the best solution for these environments because it was originally developed for Switzerland and Austria in a region known for challenging weather conditions.”
The current goal is to develop nationwide relationships with metal fabricators and installers who need a reliable source for quality architectural grade stainless steel and tin-plated materials the company offers.
Roofinox materials also offer growth potential to contractors who can now differentiate through specializing into more sophisticated work. “Some of the largest institutional building owners, such as the armed forces, school and education authorities, hospitals and churches, are specifying stainless steel for these reasons—it simply is a very high-quality roofing material,” Metzler notes.
One of the brothers’ first steps toward expansion has been the recruitment of David Rowe, a 28-year veteran of the metal roofing and wall panel industry, who has been named vice president-sales of Roofinox America Inc. Rowe joined Roofinox from Englert Inc., an American manufacturer of metal and aluminum roofing and wall panel coil, where he was director of product management responsible for the planning, development and introduction of all new products.