Made in the Northwest: Metal Rollforming Systems

SPOKANE, Wash. — Dan McDonald started out trying to sell steel roofing, and built a machine to make it. Little did he know at the time, the machines—and not the roofing—would become the focus of his business.

Since 1993, Metal Rollforming Systems in Northeast Spokane has prided itself on being a one-stop shop for rollforming, serving customers who make things like…

Bill “Steel buildings, pole barns,” explained Bill Griffin, head of sales. “We get into some of the residential side of things, as well. But primarily, pole buildings and more agricultural and commercial style buildings.”

In a nutshell, MRS makes the equipment that makes metal roofing and siding.

“We take the rolls of steel, we form the ribs, we cut it to length and we build the machines that are then sold to the end user that would supply the metal roofing for your building,” said Griffin.

That process starts with four to six truckloads of steel every week. Much of that is round bar steel that’s cut on heavy duty saws.

The steel then goes to the fabrication shop where it gets welded, sandblasted and powder-coated.

The smaller parts for the rollforming machines go to the dye wing—or the mill wing—where Griffin says MRS’ tooling capabilities are what set it apart.

“The tooling design, what we do there, the [research and development] and the design work is that’s special to our industry,” said Griffin.

MRS has a variety of lathes and mills that can profile a part to just about any specification.

Then, in final assembly…

“It gets put together, it gets tested, it gets checklisted and then it gets packaged and shipped out to the customers,” explained Griffin.

MRS puts together all of the controls for the electrical components of its rollforming machines, as well. In fact, the company takes great pride in doing everything in-house.

“We do our own dye design, we do our own electrical, we do our own programming, we do powdercoating, any machining,” said Griffin. “Everything is done right here in this facility.”

MRS strives to offer the best customer service it can for one simple reason.

“When they buy a piece of equipment, that’s the rollformer, that’s the heart of their company,” said Griffin.

And MRS believes its growth over the years is because it continues to listen to its customers, who are now asking for different features in its rollforming machines.

“Different panel profiles, things to set them away from the competition,” Griffin explained. “And in doing that, they’re working with us to come up with these new profiles and differentiate themselves.”

And that’s how a one-stop shop stays successful for nearly a quarter-century.