In 1966, a German company named Trocal formulated and introduced the world to PVC roofing membranes. Within a few years, PVC membranes covered millions of square feet on rooftops across Europe. Not even a decade later, vinyl roofing began appearing across U.S. rooftops.
One of the reasons PVC, and eventually TPO membranes in the early 90s, became and remain so popular is their excellent installation productivity compared to alternatives.
This is in no small part thanks to the invention of automatic hot-air seam welders. Hot-air seam welders are fast and effective at creating strong, permanent bonds between fabric sheets.
Hot-Air Roofing Welders are Inherently Flawed
Unfortunately, because the process of installing PVC and TPO sheets has evolved very little over the last 50 years, there hasn’t been much motivation to advance hot-air roofing welders.
As a result, the tools have remained fundamentally unchanged. The handful of manufacturers that dominate the welder market are content making only small, incremental enhancements.
However, if you listen to the boots on the deck, you’ll quickly understand the inherent, fundamental flaws associated with these welders:
- Safety: All of the top-selling welders on the market require users to walk backwards. Walking backwards means you have to turn almost completely around to check for tripping hazards that can result in a fall and injury.
- Seam Quality: What’s sacrificed for safety is seam quality. By watching where you’re walking, you can’t monitor how closely the welder aligns with the seam. A roofer should never have to choose between safety and job performance.
- Efficiency: Because welders only go in one direction, after finishing a seam, you must walk the welder and all associated equipment (i.e. power cords, generators, etc.) back to the other side of the roof to start again. Depending on the length of the roof, this can add up to a huge amount of unproductive time and needless wear and tear on the machine.
Another drawback of today’s hot-air welders is outdated technology. The technology currently exists to monitor post-weld temperature, measure humidity levels, track GPS location, and so much more. However, the only recent technological advances made by today’s welders are digital interfaces and programmable profile settings. Thermostats can do more than that.
Pushing Welders Forward 50 years
It’s time someone pushes the hot-air welder market forward, into this century. It’s time someone creates a technologically superior tool that is built—first and foremost—with roofer safety and efficiency in mind.
That time has come, and that “someone” is Industrial Heat Sources and Miller Weldmaster.
Industrial Heat Sources has been working with Miller Weldmaster to revolutionize hot-air roof welding. We took our decades of experience working with roofers and hot-air welding equipment, as well as the feedback we’ve collected from our customers, and pitched Miller Weldmaster on creating a revolutionary new tool.
The result is the new Seamrover DD—the world’s first and only dual direction hot-air welder.
This hot-air tool:
- Welds roof seams like you’d cut grass—At the end of a seam, move over to the next seam and head back the other way. This improves efficiency by 30-35%.
- Moves forward—Keep your attention on the two things that matter most, where you’re walking and the machine’s alignment with the seam.
- Captures, saves and exports data—Percent airflow, temperature, speed, ambient temperature, surface temperature post weld, power voltage, percent humidity, and more are all recorded on the Seamrover DD’s SD card. Save a record of every weld, export data from the card at anytime and upload it to a computer for reference later.
- Tracks location with GPS—Every foot, the welder records a snapshot of its position on a roof and weld data. This means, you can now quickly zero in on potential problem areas for warranty repairs to within 15 feet.
- Eliminates fumbling with and losing welder weights—Weights are built-in and evenly distributed over the press wheels, instead of removable plates that can get damaged or lost.
- Stop weld inconsistencies like voids or fish-mouth gaps—Compensate for slightly veering off a seam with oversized press wheels that give an extra 1/4-in. of seam overlap.
- Ensures consistent welds despite roof imperfections—Flexible press wheel cores create even pressure on the seam and a floating nozzle moves up and own with any roof inconsistencies.
- Significantly increased welding speeds—A new, patent-pending nozzle design and on board air blower allows for faster more efficient heat delivery.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Checkout all the Seamrover DD’s features to learn more on how this welder redefines safety, quality and efficiency, or contact us to speak with a sales rep.