S-5! Celebrates Its 30th Year in Business

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Phil Puccio

The beginnings of S-5! is a story steeped in history. It all started in 1991. Haddock was a longtime contractor (and consultant) in the metal roofing and metal fabrication industry and had learned all about metal building and metal roofing from the ground up. During his career as a contractor, he was always innovating, discovering different and better ways to do things. He realized that attaching anything to standing seam roofs without violating the integrity of the roof seemed impossible.

“People needed to put things on their roofs, but there just wasn’t a good way to do it,” said Rob Haddock, S-5! CEO and Founder. “I started tinkering with ideas to solve this age-old problem. I came up with the idea of ​​pinching and grabbing the seam; using a block with a slit spanning the seam, like a saddle on a horse – I know about that stuff.”

“I carved my first prototype out of a small block of wood,” continued Haddock. “Then I had one made out of aluminum at a local shop and tested it for holding power. The baby was like country music.”

Rejection spurs determination

After taking his prototype to four major fabrication companies best suited to successfully bring his invention to market, each of them rejected it. “There’s no market for that,” they said. He also took it to machine shops and was told that production at an affordable price was impossible.

“I never thought about giving up,” Haddock said. “I just had to do it myself. I’ve learned more about metals than I ever wanted to know; I’ve learned more about manufacturing than I ever wanted to know; I’ve learned more about marketing than I ever wanted to know.”

He then took it to the industry’s big construction and roofing OEMs, only to receive more rejection. “We don’t want anything on our roofs,” was the common answer.

“Having worked in the industry for many years, I’ve made some good friends – Kenny Buchinger, MBCI; Dick Bus, ATAS International; Mike Peterson, Peterson Aluminum; John Griffith, Mizel Brothers Isolation; and Angelo Borzillo (co-inventor of Galvalume®),” continued Haddock. “They were good friends because they all had their feet in the trenches and were on a lot of rooftops. You all encouraged me.”

Haddock said, “I remember John Griffith sitting by my fireplace.” He said, “You know what, Haddock, I think you have a game changer here.” Kenny had the same reaction, actually saying, “Me need some of these for a job right now!”

Innovation meets manufacturing

In 1993, Haddock met Harry Carner, who had worked in the aluminum extrusion industry and as a manufacturer of aluminum products for decades. He was a believer in the concept of adding value to extruded products and he was a master of process manufacturing and fabrication.

He has worked in management, front line manufacturing, plant engineering, plant maintenance and performing tool and mold making jobs. He has also worked in aluminum smelters and raw aluminum fabrication – as well as anything else related to aluminum fabrication, be it anodizing, powder coating, jigs or machining. He always ended up in a position working for companies that were unable or unwilling to provide him with the equipment he needed to meaningfully streamline manufacturing.

The Twain will meetTo manufacture his invention, Haddock took it to a company where Carner was the manager. Over the next 18 years, Haddock kept developing new things and teaching Carner more about how and why they were used in the metal roofing industry. Carner figured out how to make them, and in turn taught Haddock about aluminum extrusion and manufacturing processes.

Over time, the two innovators developed a relationship of mutual respect. Both had a lot of experience with their feet in the trenches – Haddock in construction and Carner in manufacturing. They were both pragmatic renegades — rule-breakers who challenged convention and the status quo — mavericks always looking for better ways to do things.

Innovation and entrepreneurship in mass manufacturing for business

In 2011 the two innovators joined forces and brought the production of all S-5! Products under one roof – to serve the metal roofing industry and spread their unparalleled expertise in developing clamps and brackets with unmatched holding power, enhanced through innovative manufacturing techniques and unsurpassed in certified quality, performance, cost effectiveness and real value.

Almost forward 30 years“Thirty years ago it was taboo to attach anything to a metal roof,” says Haddock. “Standing seam metal roofing has been around for 1,200 years and nobody had ever found a good way to attach things like snow guards without compromising the integrity of the roof. S-5! brought about a total paradigm shift.”

Fast-forward to 2022. “Standing seam is now the most user-friendly type of roof because it’s so easy to attach things without penetrating the roof,” Haddock said.

Haddock’s “little idea” of using a block with a slot that “straddles the seam – like a saddle on a horse” has spread into a variety of clamps and other innovations – eventually becoming the S-5! product family.

With all three adult children now in the family business, along with a team of professionals, a testing lab and our own ISO certified manufacturing facility, S-5! continues to develop new and better solutions in a constant product improvement and invention/reinvention mode within the originally created product category.

Iowa Park, TX (northwest of Wichita Falls) is home to the S-5! Production facility. Overseen by Carner, Vice President of Manufacturing, the 74,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility is where millions of clamps and brackets begin as simple extrusions and are eventually cut, deburred, machined, stamped, packaged and shipped through to… metal roofs in 70 countries worldwide from A to Z (Australia to Zimbabwe).

S-5! Metal roof mounts can be found on more than 2 million roofs, including 5.4 gigawatts of solar arrays on some of the world’s most notable buildings such as Costco, FedEx and the corporate headquarters of Apple, Google, IBM, NATO and NREL, not to mention 15,000 affordable solar arrays for private households. For more information visit www.s-5.com.

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Original Source: https://www.metalroofing.com/news/s-5-celebrates-its-30th-year-business/
Category – Roofing

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